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haunted (IRELAND)

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The Artist [DVD]
The Artist [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jean Dujardin
Price: £3.75

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique cinema treat, 29 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Artist [DVD] (DVD)
I always worry when I go to movie that has received a lot of hype. I'm afraid that I will be disappointed but that certainly wasn't the case with "The Artist".

How can a black & white silent movie work in this day and age? Perhaps it is because the most important thing in any movie is the story and the characters. In "The Artist" both of these draw the viewer in so much that the lack of dialogue is irrelevant.

The acting, especially that of Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, also helps to sweep the viewer along in the simple tale of the contrasting fortunes of the silent movie star and the young starlet at the start of the talkies era in Hollywood. The scene where Bejo pretends to dance with her idols jacket is surely destined to become one of the all time great movie scenes. Dujardin brilliantly portrays the voyage from cocky superstar to has-been.

The score in such a movie is vital and it succeeds in setting the mood of each scene for the viewer.

You can argue, and indeed you would be correct, that the lack of dialogue is a gimmick. If the same director and cast decided to make another silent movie it probably wouldn't work. However with this story it does work and it has resulted in the creation of a treat for movie fans.


Johnny English Reborn [DVD]
Johnny English Reborn [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Offered by RnR World
Price: £2.56

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't lose any sleep if don't see it, 29 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Johnny English Reborn [DVD] (DVD)
The original had a few funny moments and this one has a few as well. It isn't terrible but don't lose any sleep if you don't get around to watching it.

The cast is quite good. Along with Rowan Atkinson there is Gillian Anderson, Dominic West and Rosumund Pike but they aren't stretched here at all.

Briefly the plot is about MI7's attempting to foil an assassination by bringing back Johnny English from exile after he has been blamed for a disastrous assignment in Africa.

Kids will probably enjoy the slapstick moments but most adults will probably wonder why it was made at all.


Drive
Drive
Price: £21.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Great soundtrack with two types of tracks, 23 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Drive (Audio CD)
I enjoyed the movie "Drive" and thought some of the music on the soundtrack was pretty cool so I'm delighted to say it is excellent.

The soundtrack is in two parts. The first five tracks are mostly excellent Euro electro pop tracks from artists like Desire and The Chromatics. "A Real Hero" by College featuring Electric Youth is a great track. In these five tracks the "odd one out" is "Oh My Love" from Riz Ortolani featuring Katyna Ranieri, which is like a showstopper by Julie Andrews from a Broadway musical. It really makes you stop and listen though!

The other 14 tracks are part of the movie score and were written by Cliff Martinez. These are mostly ambient music type tunes for use in the background of particular scenes in the movie but they are mostly very good.


Moneyball [DVD] [2011]
Moneyball [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £2.98

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie about baseball and business, 10 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Moneyball [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Moneyball is as much about business as baseball. It tells the story of Billy Beane(played by Brad Pitt), the general manager of the Major League Oakland A's. It is the early 2000's and the team have had a great season, getting to the playoffs and losing to the star studded New York Yankees. Beane would like to build on that success but the owner tells him he can't increase the team budget and three of his best players will be moving to bigger teams where they will get much bigger salaries.

The owner is fair and doesn't expect Beane to perform miracles. He knows his GM will try his best to unearth diamonds through his scouting team. Beane himself is very unhappy. He knows that, no matter how well he scouts and how hard he bargains; the sport is weighted in favour of the big clubs with the most money and in the long run, the odd good season apart, the A's will always be one of the runts of the baseball litter.

It is with this mindset that he holds the first meeting of the offseason with his scouting team. Like every other year the scouts (shown as much older than Beane) will try to find cheap talented players, using the same methods they have always used. Beane is not happy with this and tells the scouts that the old ways ware no longer good enough, as the A's can't compete with the richer teams without trying something different. He doesn't even know what this "new way" is but he knows he must try something.

By chance Beane meets Peter Brand, a young man who seems to have a lot of influence in the players the Cleveland Indians select. Beane is curious and Brand reveals that he uses a statistical method of grading players that ranks players on how many runs they get, not on their style of play or their reputation. Brand is convinced that most baseball times don't look for what is really important when they are scouting for players. Beane thinks that this could be the angle he needs and hires Brand as his assistant, much to the chagrin of some of the scouting staff.

Using the new method Beane and Brand bring in new players that no other team wants. The season starts poorly and the manager doesn't want to pick some of the new players. However they stick with the new system and it starts to pay off as the team go on a record breaking unbeaten run and end the season in the playoffs.

I really enjoyed the movie. It seems to be a real underdog story but in the end baseball is shown to be a business first and last. The ending reveals the megarich Boston Red Sox won the World Series a few years later, using the system that Beane used in 2002 with the A's. It seems the richer teams just copied the new scouting system that worked and still throw a lot of money at players. So, again the smaller teams can't really compete!

The acting is good. Jonah Hill is excellent in a rare non-comedy role. I thought Pitt was trying a bit too hard. Perhaps he had Oscar night in mind.

There are some great scenes, especially at the start of the movie when Beane confronts his old scouts and when he visits a player he wants to sign, knowing the player has received no other offers due to injury.
There are a few "Hollywood" moments that jarred a bit, such as the match in which the consecutive wins record is broken(too much slow motion) and a few scenes with Beane's daughter (too much singing).

There isn't much baseball shown, so don't be put off from seeing this if you aren't a sports fan. Moneyball, like most good movies is about people and how they react to changing circumstances in their lives.


Coriolanus [DVD] [2011]
Coriolanus [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: £5.95

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent modern day version directed by Ralph Fiennes, 6 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Coriolanus [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I enjoyed this version of Shakespeare's play. I wasn't familiar with the plot so it was interesting to see the story develop about a very good general who becomes a very bad politician.

The film uses Shakespeare's dialogue but it is set in modern times. However it still resonated for me as we see the influence of populist politics and politicians in the affairs of state.

The story is about a general who wins a great victory and is selected to be the next consul of Rome. However he regards the ordinary people with little more than contempt and his obvious discomfort in even pretending otherwise results in his eventual banishment. There is a great scene set in a TV studio where Coriolanus confronts those opposed to him in a setting not far removed from the Jerry Springer show. After being banished from Rome he then unites with a former enemy of Rome in order to gain his revenge.

I'm not Fiennes' biggest fan and I thought he overegged the pudding in a few of his speeches. Too much spittle and not enough subtlety perhaps, though the character of Coriolanus is not a very subtle man, either as a soldier or as a politiican.

I loved Vanessa Redgrave as his powerful and influential mother. Brian Cox is also excellent as the decent Senator. Gerard Butler is also good as Coriolanus' sworn enemy turned ally, Aufidius.

The movie cleverly uses the setting of modern warzones to demonstrate Coriolanus' best characteristics as a fearless soldier.

An excellent version of one of Shakepeare's lesser known plays.


Emmerdale: Paddy and Marlon's Big Night In [DVD]
Emmerdale: Paddy and Marlon's Big Night In [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dominic Brunt
Offered by figswigs
Price: £3.52

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drags a lot. Hoped it would be much better, 4 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Marlon and Paddy are two of the funniest characters in Emmerdale and I got this one off DVD as a present for my sister hoping it would be a good laugh to watch when she came to visit. She is a big Emmerdale fan.

However at 90 minutes it is at least half an hour too long.

The story is simple enough. Due to a mix up Marlon and Paddy must look after Marlon's baby son on a night they had planned to go out on the town. The following morning they wake up to a wrecked house and no sign of the baby.

This could have been good fun as the two main actors are good but they can't compensate for the weak script that takes ages to get going before a slightly improved last half an hour.

There are very few belly laughs to keep the viewer interested.

Dissappointing overrall.


Battleship Potemkin [1925] [DVD]
Battleship Potemkin [1925] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Aleksandr Antonov
Offered by bestmediagroup
Price: £7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth seeing this restored classic of silent cinema, 4 Feb. 2012
I really enjoyed the restored version of this movie.

I didn't know what to expect and went out of curiosity to see what this classic of the silent era was like.

I really enjoyed it. The quality of the print and especially the music (a new recording perhaps?) was superb.

The first fifteen or twenty minutes are fairly slow as the scene is set on the Potemkin. We are left with no doubt of the heroic nature of the ordinary sailors and the pompous nature of the officers. We are encouraged by Eisenstein to feel that the mutiny, when it comes, is completely justified. In this sequence the acting looks very dated to modern eyes as the villainous officers literally twirl their moustaches as they look down on the "mere" ordinary sailors they treat with contempt.

The pace of the movie speeds up as the action moves from the ship to the city of Odessa itself. The citizens come out in support of the sailors and mourn the casualties as they are brought ashore.

The scene is then set for one of the most famous scenes in cinema as the Tsarist authorities crack down on the citizens. This results in the groundbreaking "Odessa Steps" sequence in which the director's talents are displayed to great effect. He brilliantly shows us the movement of both the crowd and the faceless soldiers as the massacre unfolds. There is technical brilliance on show as the camera follows the soldiers down the steps as they advance on the citizens.

I read that this movie had far more scene cuts than any other movie made up to then and this technique certainly builds up the tension for the viewer as the story develops.
The score is also effective in building tension that you really do forget that you are watching a silent movie.

Obviously the movie was designed as propaganda for the Soviet regime to mark the 20th anniversary of the actual mutiny in 1905 but it stands alone as a brilliant movie that has stood the test of time as it nears ninety years of age


Tracing Your Cork Ancestors
Tracing Your Cork Ancestors
by Tony McCarthy
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone doing geneological research re: Cork, 4 Feb. 2012
In the last couple of years I've started researching my family tree and I had been finding useful sites more or less by accident on the internet.
I was delighted, then, to find this book, which brings together all the useful sources (online and otherwise) of geneological information for Cork.

There are helpful lists of the civil and religous parishes for the county and practical tips about how to amke the best of your time at places like the National Archives and the National Library.

The tip on the usefullness of Guys Topographical Directory was new information for me.

Read this before you start if you are serious about this type of research.


Prime Suspect Complete Collection Box Set [DVD] [2006]
Prime Suspect Complete Collection Box Set [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Helen Mirren
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £27.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb long running and ground-breaking crime drama series, 18 Jan. 2012
Stretching from 1991 to 2006 the seven series of "Prime Suspect" raised the bar for British crime drama series.

The series was characterised by superb writing and acting, gruesome crimes, displays of naked ambition on the part of senior police officers (including heroine DCI Tenisson) and complex plots. The length of the programmes facilitated the plot complexity. Nearly all the stories are over three hours in length so there are plenty of twists and turns for the viewer to get their heads around.
Despite their length the programmes were so enthralling my wife and I often found it impossible to stop watching an episode and continued to watch until the finish even though it was well past our bedtime!

Helen Mirren's performances are all superb as the tough but vulnerable DCI Tenisson. I love when we see her pausing for a few moments to put her "game face" on before going in to interview a suspect or a crucial witness. She lives for the thrill of solving crimes but willingly sacrifices her personal life for career success. Even then she is constantly frustrated by not getting the promotions she believes she deserves. She thinks this is because she is not part of the "boys club" at the top of the Metropolitan Police
We feel for as she grows older as the series pass and still can't find happiness in her personal life.

The supporting cast is always excellent, both those playing recurring characters in the police force and those appearing in a single series.

A box set that is a must have for any fan of TV crime drama.


Gavin And Stacey : Complete BBC Series 1 [2007] [DVD]
Gavin And Stacey : Complete BBC Series 1 [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ruth Jones
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun watching Gav and Stace try to survive the chaos, 17 Jan. 2012
Written by James Corden and Ruth Jones, who also appear in the series, Gavin & Stacey is a very funny BBC sitcom.

At the beginning Episode One we see office workers Gavin & Stacey about to meet for the first time. She lives in Wales and he lives in Essex but they have been communicating by the phone for a few months though work. After getting on like a house on fire they have decided to meet for a night out London, with each of them bringing along a friend in case things don't go too well. We then meet Gavin's best mate, Smithy(played by Corden), a mouthy overweight painter and Stacey's friend Nessa(played by Jones), a gaming arcade employee who has seen it all and has a bone dry sense of humour.

Gavin & Stacey hit it off from the moment they meet. Smithy and Nessa not so much. Gavin & Stacy both get the feeling straight away that they have met the love of their lives and they are soon meeting each other's families and getting engaged. Each family has it's own set of characters, such as Gavin's mother Pamela and Stacey's uncle Bryn. There are some hilarious episodes, such as when Stacey's family meet Gavin's for the first time for a house party in Essex and when all and sundry visit the wedding fare.

After a while it's clear the Gavin & Stacey are the sanest people of all and the show is really about their struggles to get on with their lives amongst the chaos created, nearly always with the best of intentions, by those closest to them.

Each of the six episodes has some great lines and the acting is brilliant all round though I have to pick out Rob Brydon's performance as Uncle Bryn for special mention.

The show mightn't be for everyone as the language is strong at times and there are some "adult" situations.

Overall though it is definitely one of the best British comedies for years.


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