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Dyspeptic Spirit (Sunny Berkshire)

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Criminal Justice [DVD]
Criminal Justice [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Whishaw
Price: £8.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling viewing, 7 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Criminal Justice [DVD] (DVD)
I must confess that I really enjoyed this series. It was compelling viewing from start to finish and even the ending didn't disappoint as is so often the case with murder mysteries. Yes you could pick holes in the series (the depiction of the Police and the court system are a little wayward at times) but this can be forgiven in a drama that keeps you entertained all the way through.

Recommended.


Dexter - Season 7 [DVD]
Dexter - Season 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael C. Hall

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal, 8 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Dexter - Season 7 [DVD] (DVD)
You know this is a really hard season to review. I thought the writers of Dexter had plumbed the depths of bad writing with the last series but to their credit they have outdone themselves and found even greater depths of the crass into which they have plunged head first with gusto.

It is true that the first two series of Dexter were good. It was an original idea, skilfully dramatised and highly watchable with an interesting moral question hanging over the series: Can killing be morally justified? Yes it was nonsense but highly watchable nonsense nonetheless.

Then came series 3 and 4 where the writers attempted to make Dexter a more rounded human personality (fighting his inner demon or "dark passenger" (guffaw)) rather than the cartoon character that worked so well in the first two series. Needless to say this did not work and reduced the series to one with way too many "skin-crawlingly" bad moments and not enough of the simple high octane programming that worked so well previously. Series 5 was a minor return to form, moving back to the successful but simple plot structure of the first two series ie. the hunt for a serial killer intertwined with Dexter's own dark purposes.

And then we come to the sixth series. A series with a plot written on the back of a cigarette packet by a drunk that would leave even the brain dead disappointed and a ridiculous twist shoe-horned in at the end for dramatic effect even though it made no sense whatsoever and did not tie in with previous events (he was dead all along! really? are you serious?). Jennifer Carpenter whose acting throughout has always been a little suspect is just appalling as the newly promoted L.T. or looo-tenant (perhaps the best place for her) and every time she appears on screen I just felt the need to stab myself hard in the eye in an attempt to lessen the pain. The cliffhanger ending was predictable US dramatic nonsense but at least left me wondering how the writers were going to extricate themselves from such a self-inflicted wound.

So on to series seven which is spoiler rich so be warned. In my defence I would like to say that I only watched this series because I wanted something light and throw-away to watch on a week's holiday in Portugal but even I could not predict how bad it would be. The ridiculous cliffhanger ending was clumsily dealt with over the proceeding episodes but only by forcing the viewer to endure more appallingly bad acting by Hall as Dexter and particularly Carpenter as LT Morgan. She went through every imaginable sort of grotesque facial gurning in an attempt to express her mixed emotions towards her brother which were along the lines of "he's a killer but he's my brother but I'm a cop and he's a serial killer but I'm in love with him ... continue ad infinitum". The plot then became a complete mess without any sort of coherence whatsoever. There was a plot line about a nursery owner come poisoner who happens to look like a supermodel who becomes fixated by Dexter who realises that she is the only person who has ever really understood him (other than Lumen of course) because she's a killer as well. Then there's the illegal immigrant stripper who happens to look like a supermodel (are there no ugly women in the US?) who falls for Quinn and da-de-dah. Then there's the mob boss who's gay and wants to kill Dexter because he killed his lover even though his lover is a killer as well. And then there LaGuerta who has suddenly become operational again and tries to hunt down Dexter who she now realises is the Bay Harbour Butcher but is made to look stupid by Dexter who "magically" creates evidence to foil her investigation and make her look foolish. None of these plot lines are remotely believable and nor are the characters that inhabit these nonsensical roles. People carry out murders and abductions in broad daylight and no one thinks of looking at the CCTV until it's convenient to the plot and then the footage is crystal clear and irrefutable. Police Officers steal evidence so that prisoners are released with no case to answer (is evidence really treated like that in the US? I doubt it!). Hannah McKay's escape is just mindless and the ending another predictable cliffhanger forcing us all to watch the thankfully final eighth series but not one that is even vaguely believable.

No doubt I will watch series 8 as well but I dread to think how much lower the writers can stoop.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2015 2:53 PM GMT


Breaking Bad - Season 3 [DVD] [2010]
Breaking Bad - Season 3 [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Bryan Cranston
Offered by Amore DVD
Price: £3.44

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance, 29 Sept. 2013
I must admit that I enjoyed the first couple of seasons of Breaking Bad but this third season was Just Plain Bad. It was more like druggie-enders than quality drama with more plot holes than a lorry-load of Emmental. The writers have clearly lost direction after the first two seasons and didn't really know where to take the plot which was a crime in itself because it was so vacuous. Colonel Sanders running a drug ring? Not very likely but then again none of the characters actions made any sense whatsoever. The predictable cliffhanger ending was only for the dim-witted.

It was a season that was style over substance and reminded me of the worst excesses of Tarantino but much much worse than that it was just plain dull.

Watch the Sopranos and The Wire for quality, early Dexter and Fringe for pure escapist nonsense.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 7, 2013 8:17 PM GMT


The Greatest Movie Ever Sold [DVD]
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold [DVD]
Dvd ~ Morgan Spurlock
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yawnomentary, 4 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Spurlock is a hugely likeable and charismatic chap and I get what he was trying to achieve here but it fails really to live up to expectation. The entertainment value is pretty much zero and what he has to say could have been stretched to five minutes... just.

I can only see his films moving in One Direction from now on.

Geddit?


Searching For Sugar Man [DVD]
Searching For Sugar Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rodriguez
Price: £9.40

5.0 out of 5 stars If only I could give it 10 stars, 3 Sept. 2013
This is such a good documentary. It's rare that high expectations are exceeded but in this case they were. I love SR's music and this was such an uplifting addition to his art. I just wish we could hear more of that third album and some of those 30 tracks he has waiting to record.

Now all I want is a documentary about Bill Fay and Nick Drake and I will be happy. Oh and Love and ....


Prince of Persia Trilogy (PS3)
Prince of Persia Trilogy (PS3)
Offered by Yellow Bulldog Ltd
Price: £13.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value so far, 3 Sept. 2013
I haven't finished all three games yet so will review them as I go along:

1. The Sands of Time

First played this on the PS2 a few years ago and got stuck right at the end with the infamous wall jump downwards. I therefore played this through with a feeling of dread (I hate not finishing games) but managed the accursed jumps first time without any trouble whatsoever. I don't know whether the game has been tweaked (I doubt it) or I just learned the trick (time the jumps and hold down the jump key was what worked in my experience).

Anyway, the updated visuals of TSoT are good enough not to offend though needless to say poor in comparison to modern standards. The gameplay remains unchanged and (although a little dated) is still fun. The combat remains a little frustrating at times and repetitive beyond belief (especially on the third playthrough (see later)). The camera still drives you mad at times especially on the elevator level where I kept dying because the camera got stuck behind a banner! The acrobatics are still fun (if rediculous) though at times I found it hard to know what to do next largely due to that annoying camera again. Wall-jumping still remains a frustration at times (especially when trying for the Games Master trophy) but fortunately you can rewind time to calm your nerves long enough to stop you screeching "why won't you jump you useless ****** etc etc" before hurling your controller across the room in a mad rage.

Overall TSoT is a good experience and a worthwhile purchase if a little dated. Platinum is fairly easy and will not take long unless (like me) you use gamingdragon91's sand cloud guide and have to play through again from the start because you missed one of the very first sand clouds oddly omitted from the guide and randomly stuck elsewhere. Sigh.

2. Warrior Within

First impressions: arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

((Where TSoT is an enjoyable blast from the past, WW is an aboration....

Pros

Improved combat
Great platforming
Great new moves
Complex and fun
Difficult to conquer but satisfying
Challenging
Not glitchy!

Cons

Confusing storyline and level design
Horribly difficult particularly on hard
Dull look , hard to distinguish features eg. ropes!


Alone in the Dark (PS3)
Alone in the Dark (PS3)

1.0 out of 5 stars Do I have to give it a star?, 3 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having played some of the best games ever on the PS3 recently (eg. Fallout 3, Bioshock I & II), I have to admit that this is the worst game I have ever played on the console in equal last place with Turok and Haze.

Negatives:

the story is a yawn
the combat so painful and repetitive
control of the character a nightmare
repetitive and dull game play
steel bushes
variety of weapons pointless since the results are all the same

Good points:

errrrrrrrr....
some of the puzzles were quite clever (the first time)
easy-ish platinum if you found the key and can steer a car blindfold
errrr that's it

Did I mention, avoid!


Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010]
Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Viv Richards
Offered by westworld-
Price: £8.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 3 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
There is always going to be that question as to whether a documentary about a specific area of interest eg. sport is going to cross boundaries. With this film I guess the jury is out since I didn't exactly find it a riveting watch (not being a cricket fan) but nonetheless came away feeling a little enriched. What was fascinating was the effect the drubbing by Australia in the early 70s had on the youngish Clive Lloyd motivating him to create an almost unbeatable cricketing machine.

A must-see for all cricket fans and an enjoyable watch for everyone else.


Into The Abyss [DVD]
Into The Abyss [DVD]
Dvd ~ Werner Herzog

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death row, 3 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Into The Abyss [DVD] (DVD)
I know that Werner Herzog is the critic's darling and his work much lauded but god I find his films hard to watch. Not only is his pacing deliberate and slow and his delivery soporific but he fails to make even the most interesting subject matter even vaguely watchable. His worst crime in this case though, is that, by the end of the film I wasn't even sure whether the evidence against the two was conclusive or debatable largely because his presentation was uncritical.

Hard to recommend unless you like old Werner.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2015 12:03 AM BST


Elephant in the Living Room [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Elephant in the Living Room [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars America revealed, 3 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Another documentary about the land of the free; the greatest democracy on earth though not in this instance for animal life.

A disturbing look at the huge numbers of dangerous and exotic creatures kept in American homes, mostly completely legally. The film is carried by the wonderfully charismatic Tim Harrison (who deals with the problems these animals cause when they escape or are released) and the story of Terry Brumfield who kept lions at his home. During the course of the film we see Tim Harrison dealing with many of these exotic pets and visiting a number of animal sales where virtually anything can be purchased for the right fee. We also see Terry Brumfield gradually lose control of his "pets" as they outgrow their surroundings and become dangerous.

A must see if you enjoy good documentaries.


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