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Thespionic (West Country)
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The Beat That My Heart Skipped [DVD] (2005)
The Beat That My Heart Skipped [DVD] (2005)
Dvd ~ Romain Duris
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Watch, 25 July 2016
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After all the very good reviews, I have to say, that like others on here, this film left me a little flat, though I wouldn't put any one off watching it.
He’s a so called gangster but not really – he’d be laughed out of Goodfellows and I dread to think what Joe Pesci would do to him. He has a relationship with his dad – but not really. He’s one for the ladies but it never goes anywhere. He tries to re-find his mojo with his piano playing but….
This is not a bad film by any means and is a couple of hours of ‘reasonable entertainment IMHO … but: great, unmissable, a must see? Oh please, this is way down the scale. There are a million films as good as this doing the rounds. Very over-rated is my final conclusion, though interesting and a film that keeps you watching throughout, so that must mean something – yes, I did enjoy it.


Summertime: The Best of Larry Adler
Summertime: The Best of Larry Adler
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £9.94

3.0 out of 5 stars For Harmonica Enthisiasts but there is better LA out there!, 21 July 2016
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This is really nice easy listening, especially if you were in a restaurant, hair dressers or the like. I am sure for professional musicians this is a blast and 5 stars all the way... but I an not, and therefore after 20 minutes I'd had enough - my fault entirely. The harmonica is usually a solo piece to brighten up a performance now and then. but for an hour it's too much IMHO and I simply do not have the 'enthusiast's' love. I do though have the 'Glory of Gershwin' which is 5 stars and quite magnificent - this features Larry's solo's with some very iconic singers, singing Gershwin's music.


The Glory Of Gershwin
The Glory Of Gershwin
Price: £5.96

5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Album but..., 21 July 2016
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This review is from: The Glory Of Gershwin (Audio CD)
The Glory of Gershwin / Larry Adler’s 80th
*****

There are some very iconic artists singing ‘Gershwin’ on here, all ably backed by Larry Adler’s harmonica solos. This is a great cd, so many artists performing in a way that you’ve never heard them before. And the quality is excellent I have to say. I was very impressed with most of these tracks and felt that Cher, Sinead O’Conner, Meatloaf & Issy Van Randwyck excelled themselves.
As I say, most make a really good job of it and enhance their standing as very rounded artists … but my God … Peter Gabriel’s rendition of Summertime Is by far the worst that I’ve ever heard. It’s vocally quite horrendous. He must have been as high as a kite when he sang this. What in God’s earth made the producers of this album allow this on here? One of the most beautiful songs ever – totally massacred. Aside from that it’s great and possibly the best Gershwin album I’ve got!


Porgy and Bess [DVD] [1993] [NTSC] [2001]
Porgy and Bess [DVD] [1993] [NTSC] [2001]
Dvd ~ Willard White
Price: £11.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Watchable, Though Sad and Overly Long., 20 July 2016
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Porgy & Bess
****

I first saw Porgy & Bess on stage at the Savoy in London in 2006.
I though it OK but not exceptional. It was, like this version done in an operatic manner.
The DVD, with sub titles, makes it much easier to follow the story properly. I think without the sub titles it would be much less clear - It is quite amusing how the black African American dialect is portrayed on those titles, but is easily followed.
Firstly, I have to say that this story is overly long IMHO, at over 3 hours. I found myself struggling at times to stay in there! The DVD has the advantage of many different sets, and of course the close ups which are of very limited nature on a stage. So it definitely scores on that count.
The story is a particularly sad one and the ending is a real tear-jerker which will leave a lump in your throat. There are indeed several very poignant scenes among this lengthy plot. The funeral scene is particularly endearing.
Gershwin is a favourite of mine but this dvd version of ‘Summertime’ never gets near to many of the fine versions available. The music I found a little under-whelming in places.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this again and would definitely recommend it as one of the great historic ‘black’ stage productions to watch, along with the likes of Showboat, & Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.


I'm In Heaven - The Best Music of Irving Berlin
I'm In Heaven - The Best Music of Irving Berlin
Price: £10.60

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest of All Time, 13 July 2016
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I’m in Heaven
****

It is said that Irving Berlin was / is the greatest American songwriter ever? He wrote some 1500 songs, the music for 19 Broadway shows and 18 film scores. In his day he achieved 25 number one hits.
Whilst I personally prefer the music of Gershwin and Porter , there’s no doubt he’s made some absolutely wonderful music, even if it does sound a little dated now.
Who wouldn’t enjoy: Putting on the Ritz, Top Hat, Cheek to Cheek, Blue Skies etc.
You get 20 of his most popular songs sung by some of the best songsters of that period. It is quite incredible that Berlin, Gershwin & Porter were all born within 10 years of each other. Berlin went on to live to 101!


The Very Best Of Gershwin
The Very Best Of Gershwin
Price: £10.57

5.0 out of 5 stars If You're a Gershwin Fan Then You'll Love This, 13 July 2016
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Here we have yet another collection of Gershwin’s music – 32 tracks in total, both songs and orchestral pieces - which does make a pleasant surprise. This gives added value to this particular recording.
Just like Cole Porter, Gershwin wrote some truly wonderful music though both I‘ve Got Rhythm and Fascinating Rhythm are surprisingly omitted!
The likes of: Summertime, The Man I Love, But Not For Me, Someone to Watch Over Me, Oh Lady Be Good, They Can’t Take That Away From Me & Nice Work if You Can get it are all such great songs.
You also get the likes of Fitzgerald, Holiday, Vaughan, Larry Adler, Sinatra, Elvis Costello, Elton John and rather surprisingly Des O’Conner!
All in all this is a stunning album and I’m sure all Gershwin fans will adore it, being truly beautiful music and very uplifting.


The Very Best Of The Cole Porter Songbook [Double CD]
The Very Best Of The Cole Porter Songbook [Double CD]
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £6.23

5.0 out of 5 stars One for the Collection, from a Great American Songwriter, 12 July 2016
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I really enjoy the music from this period - there are some truly memorable songs and great musicianship on all of these tracks. Of course we all have our favourite singing artist for each classic! This collection is packed with the best vocalists from this era though perhaps not necessarily the best version of the song?
Of course, 50 tracks are far too many to take in and I’d much prefer this whittled down to 20 of his very best, with the best (contentious I know) version! Undeniably, the VFM on here is excellent.
Cole also wrote a several Musicals: Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes & Can Can.
The songs I really like are: Night & Day, Begin the Beguine, I Get A Kick Out of You, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Love for Sale, Miss Ottis Regrets, Too Darn Hot , Every time we say Goodbye & Don’t Fence me in.
There’s no doubt in my mind that on listening to this, Ella Fitzgerald is by far the best exponent of his music.
I have Fitzgerald singing both Cole Porter and Gershwin, I think that these are better albums in terms of listening to the ‘best of’ both of them. The production on both vocals and backing are top class.


A Prophet [DVD] (2009)
A Prophet [DVD] (2009)
Dvd ~ Tahar Rahim
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.75

3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Film but There are Better Out There., 6 July 2016
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This review is from: A Prophet [DVD] (2009) (DVD)
A Prophet
7/10
The plot has been covered on here many a time so I won’t bore you with that again. I found this film an interesting enough watch but like many others I agree that it is simply not in the same league as the likes of Goodfellows, Casino & The Godfather etc, though we are not comparing like for like are we?
Considering its write up I didn’t find it overly violent or overly sexual – any hard-hitting film about prison life, drug runners and gang culture is that way inclined? In fact this film is a pussy cat compared to the recent British film ‘Starred Up.’
I know many really liked this film and rated it very highly, However, I found it a little on the slow side, overly long at two and a half hours, and I also found the last third of the film difficult to keep up with.
You don’t get a ‘wow’ factor watching this sort of film as its ‘low life’ characteristics are something we all want to keep at an outer space type distance.
As I say, interesting, but not a film I’d particularly recommend or watch again.


The Dreaming Room
The Dreaming Room
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like Being in Church, 17 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: The Dreaming Room (Audio CD)
This really is a curio of an album? Some of the songs are gorgeous without a doubt. Laura has the most amazing voice. The choral influence is ever present and at times you’d think you were in a cathedral with that echoing effect. The backing of the synth and the orchestrations are overly heavy at times and a little distracting on some of the music. There is also a driving drum beat / dance beat on some tracks – so a real mixture of extremes, it’s a bit like ‘Tubular Bells’ in places and can also sound like the old synth music from the past, though I do think some of this would sound amazing on headphones where you could just drift away to the quieter tracks. I’m not 100% sure some of the backing does the right type of justice to her incredible voice?
I doubt this will be one of her best albums even though the quality of her voice always makes it worth listening to. Show me Love is the outstanding track for me - and the longest too.
There are also some ‘throw away’ tracks on here for sure. The opening track is just 1.19 minutes long and is no more than a technical wiz. Track 11, lasts 1.12 minutes and is no more than a telephone conversation with her Nan! These are a bit of a waste of time frankly.
Parts of this album are truly beautiful whilst others are a little odd, but just like Gregory Porter, you never get tired of listening to the voice.
I think this album will divide opinion a little?


Alf
Alf
Offered by stevecaptainkirk
Price: £4.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Album, 16 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: Alf (Audio CD)
Alison has one of the most distinctive voices in the music industry. This album takes us back to 1984 when she first burst onto the scene. The album went to number one and also spawned three hit singles: Love Resurrection, Invisible & All Cried Out. ‘For You Only,’ was released the following year but surprisingly failed to chart here, though they loved it in Germany, where it reached number 7, Her highest entry there.
Her ‘Singles’ compilation also topped the charts in 1995. She has not released an album or single now for three years so one would expect something reasonably soon.
This is album is packed with quality songs and simply has to be 5 stars.


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