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M. Isham (Historic Warwick, UK)
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Murderous Passions : The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco: 1
Murderous Passions : The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco: 1
by Stephen Thrower
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus., 1 Oct. 2016
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Right. It's a great book. It is massive, crammed with page after page of fantastically researched, informative text and tons of brilliant photos. If you are remotely interested in this strange corner of cinema you should buy this now. Five stars no doubt. May I take a second to address the elephant in the room? Jesus Franco Manera made terrible movies. Despite Stephen Thrower's gallant attempt to make a case for viewing his better (?) films as showing Franco's love of cinema and freedom, what the viewer actually experiences is so lacking in passion and skill that the vast majority of his output is borderline unwatchable. Read this fascinating book but beware, attempting to follow the authors advice and view lots of Jess Franco movies may be damaging to your mental health.


Golden Ass, The
Golden Ass, The
by Milo Manara
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Woof! Bark! Donkey!, 29 Sept. 2016
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This review is from: Golden Ass, The (Hardcover)
Well, this is a nice surprise. Manara and this classic Roman tale are a match made in heaven. I can't recall him doing much work in this period before but hopefully we might see some more. The artwork is right up there with his best, the colouring is subtle and effective and the story trots along at a good pace. You will finish reading it in ten minutes but you will certainly want to go over it again and it's a nice to have item. If you want some sexy classical frolics this is the one.


Tidings
Tidings
by William Wharton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing on sale here!, 31 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Tidings (Paperback)
Tidings. William Wharton. No reviews. The Amazon blurb calls Wharton "one of America's best loved authors" but the evidence on Amazon UK is that he is in grave danger of being overlooked. The latest Jeffrey Archer has over 2000 reviews, Wharton has barely 50 across his entire, extraordinary output. Tidings is a winner all the way with the typical delicious blurring of autobiography and fiction that makes all of Wharton's work so rewarding. It also delivers some emotional punches that will take your breath away. I would put William Wharton in the top ten writers of the last fifty years. If you stumbled here by accident, please do yourself a favour and try a William Wharton novel. Tidings makes a great place to start.


BANDAI NAMCO PS4 The Talos Principle
BANDAI NAMCO PS4 The Talos Principle
Offered by Gameseek
Price: £30.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Existentialism gets a game., 30 Dec. 2015
Really rather good. While the puzzles are challenging (for me!) and fun, it is the existential aspects of the back story that lift the title way above average. I loved debating the absurdity of striving in a meaningless world and the true value, or not, of consciousness with my artificial co-conspirator. If you are looking for something a bit different and think you might enjoy Portal 2 but with philosophy instead of comedy, give this a try.


A Lover Sings: Selected Lyrics
A Lover Sings: Selected Lyrics
by Billy Bragg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift for the Bragg Fan, 20 Nov. 2015
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You could argue that if the only likely buyers of this little book are going to be Bragg fans, then most of its content is already etched into their brains. Also, there is a tendency for the songs to play themselves in your head while reading the lyrics, resulting in the songs I know less well having more impact on the page. Regardless, this is a nice to have volume. The potted autobiography at the start is interesting and the notes on each song at the end are often surprising and fun. Of course there are omissions and inclusions that you could challenge, but that is surely half the fun with a collection like this. I would have had "Some Days I See The Point" and "If You Ever Leave" over some of those chosen here but I bow to the Bard. So if you know a Bragg fan this book makes a perfect gift, and if you don't know a Bragg fan then maybe you should.


The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne [Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD]
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne [Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD]
Dvd ~ Udo Kier
Offered by THE MONSTER BOOKSHOP
Price: £12.85

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Case of Walerian Borowczyk, 19 May 2015
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I have a bit of history with Dr Jeykll. I went to see this at the ICA in 1985 after a review suggested it was v. v. rude. I came out bemused. Was it supposed to be funny? Was it so bad it was good? Was it just good? Many years later I found an ex-rental VHS copy (Bloodbath, in one those big old cases!) at a car boot sale. This time the film got under my skin as I realised the director was doing something rather extraordinary. I could see it had been made by someone with a really original vision. I began hunting down Boro’s other films (no simple task at the time) and came to adopt him as my personal “obscure” favourite. Still my opinion of Jekyll was unresolved.
So lets look at this Arrow release. True to form it is a treasure trove for Borowczyk fans with treats galore in the plentiful extras. My favourites are Marina Pierro's eloquent and impassioned defence of the director and her short film homage to him. But what about the feature? I would love to say that the improved picture quality and loving presentation have revealed a masterpiece (and they do certainly reveal many fascinating details in the photography) but it must remain a troubling enigma. It is amazing that the director has deliberately set out to make a film about a killer loose in house which has no tension, no shocks, no terror. His interests are elsewhere and it makes for a unsettling viewing experience. The performances veer wildly from Udo Keirs criminally under played Jeykll (he is another of my favourites and is wasted here) to Patrick Magee's jaw-dropping turn that threatens to tip the whole enterprise into farce. Only Pierro really shines, often literally thanks to the glowing lighting. Fatally much of the film is plain dull and you find yourself not bothering to listen to much of the dialogue. Yet there are extraordinary moments, moments that will stay with you. Indeed the whole film seems to take place in some part of your brain that rarely gets visited. So, is it a good movie? No. Do you have to see it? Absolutely.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 3, 2015 5:38 PM BST


Bloodborne (PS4)
Bloodborne (PS4)

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars School of death, 30 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Bloodborne (PS4) (Video Game)
I really thought I could do it this time. All too soon however I hit my Ornstein and Smough moment in the shape of Father Gascoigne. Giving up on Bloodbourne is like dropping out of your University course after one month. You feel guilty of course but the main emotion is relief that you just don't have to go through it all. I will get the gaming equivalent of a job at McDonalds (Dead Island 2 maybe?) and salute you brave souls who soldier on. You are better men than me, but I would contend that I am happier. Bloodbourne is a fantastic, beautiful game that I can live without.


The Beast [Dual Format DVD & Blu-ray]
The Beast [Dual Format DVD & Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sirpa Lane
Price: £9.99

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bulging package, 24 Oct. 2014
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Amazon really need to start having their reviews specific to the format. Many of the reviews here are for old VHS copies and this Blu ray is a completely different...Beast (sorry). Two discs and a booklet all made with great attention to detail and love (yes!) for their subject. The extras here include a "Making of" piece which features a (silent) 16 mm film of Boro directing scenes. It is absolutely fascinating and you do feel you are watching something rare and special. If you have any interest in this director it will completely captivate you. The Beast itself is exactly as it should be with all its bits intact. It may not be his best film but this package is a must have for any lover of European art/porn cinema or the genius of Borowczyk.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2014 3:59 PM GMT


WALERIAN BOROWCZYK: CINEMA OF EROTIC DREAMS
WALERIAN BOROWCZYK: CINEMA OF EROTIC DREAMS
by JEREMY MARK ROBINSON
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what you wanna buy., 14 Oct. 2014
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I love Borowczyk, a really fascinating talent. This book does nothing to illuminate that talent. The writing is truly awful and the lack of any sort of research makes the whole thing redundant. We are treated to Robinson's deluded guesses as to how the director might have been on set! Is asking someone who was actually there too much to ask? Walerian made a handful of movies, two of which Mr Robinson hasn't seen (he continually tells us how hard it is to track these things down, I managed it!), and two he can't really remember very well! The illustrations which could have saved the book are reproduced so badly that they are not worth having. Finally, I never wanna read anything that repeatedly uses the word wanna again.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Borrowed dreams, 24 Jun. 2013
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If you are a Neil Gaiman fan (and why wouldn't you be?) you will find plenty of those magical moments that he is so brilliant at creating in this short novel. Often I found myself taken aback as the childhood memories of the narrator rather spookily mirrored my own. Unfortunately he is sometimes guilty of trying a little too hard when creating his new mythologies and some characters can suffer as a result. The Hempstock women here never truly come to life leaving a rather big hole at the centre of the story. Also, the villain reminded me rather too much of the wonderful button-eyed monster in the superior Coraline. While it may not be Gaiman's best this is a gripping and at times moving book, regardless of the readers age.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2013 11:31 AM BST


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