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Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...)
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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Single Disc Edition) [DVD] [2003]
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Single Disc Edition) [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Russell Crowe
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars "Acheron" is a tough nut to crack. More than twice our guns, more than twice our numbers - and they will sell their lives dearly, 19 Jan. 2016
BRILLIANT! I was very favourably surprised by this film. It is one of the best movies ever made about war on seas in the age of sail. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

May 1805, Napoleonic Wars. Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe, remarkable!) of HMS "Surprise" is ordered to pursue the French privateer "Acheron", and "sink, burn, or take her as a prize." We enter in the story at full speed, as both ships meet in the first minute. It turns out that "Acheron", far from being a simple privateer, is in fact a heavy frigate. It is also revealed that she managed to enter the southern Atlantic without being noticed because Napoleon purchased her from Americans – sailing from USA with her French crew she easily avoided British patrols, focused on French coasts…

American built "Acheron" is brand new and her design represents the nec plus ultra in naval construction (her hull is stronger, her battery more powerful and yet she is faster than HMS "Surprise"), which makes her a formidable adversary for the smaller and especially older British light frigate. Shocked by the first encounter, Aubrey nevertheless decides to carry his mission, as this mighty French vessel can inflict terrible damage to British commercial shipping and whaling fleet. If necessary, HMS "Surprise" will follow "Acheron" to infinity – and beyond… And then the film really begins.

The story of this long and dramatic sea chase makes for a great movie, masterfully directed by experienced veteran Peter Weir. The budget was generous (150 million dollars) and we can see the result on the screen. The scenario is strong and keeps surprising us - we cannot guess how it will all end… We get to know the men serving on HMS "Surprise" and start to care about them, which makes the film even more interesting. It shows also a very beautiful friendship, between Jack Aubrey and ship's surgeon, doctor Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany, excellent).

I must admit with shame that I never read any books about Jack Aubrey adventures, therefore I am unable to make any comparisons between the film and the novels. It is however worth mentioning that in the book, the action took place during Second Independence War (1812-1814) and Jack Aubrey's antagonist was an American vessel, USS "Norfolk". Peter Weir preferred however to replace her with a French frigate, in order to not antagonize US viewers…

I was quite impressed by Peter Weir portrayal of life and warfare on sea in the great age of sail. They are shown I believe rather faithfully, with all their cruelty but also with all their rough and grim beauty. HMS "Surprise crew lives a tough life, full of back breaking labour, with danger omnipresent, death lurking from every corner and with the added "bonus" of ferocious discipline, atrocious food and poor sleeping arrangements. Nevertheless, people who live, serve, fight and die on HMS "Surprise" are shown like a band of brothers from "Henry V". They are of course all submitted to the all-powerful master and commander but with Jack Aubrey being a good leader, this is actually a more or less willing arrangement (even if some people were probably pressed into the service). A more politically correct director could easily show the HMS "Surpirse" as a floating hell populated by slaves and ruled by a barbarian tyrant – but I believe Peter Weir's vision is closer to reality. Life on sail ships in Napoleonic Wars was a very, very tough thing, but it was not even remotely as bad as before the great mutinies of Spithead and Nore in 1797. Also, ever since the terrible mutiny on HMS "Hermione" in the same year, the worst abuses by commanding officers were frowned upon and as result leadership quality improved. Officers still had of course to be very tough and in this film it is shown very well, that those who were not tough enough and/or failed to maintain distance between them and simple sailors fared poorly – very poorly indeed…

There is a little bit of "Moby Dick" in this film, as the relentless pursuit of Great Bad French Frigate by Jack Aubrey starts to turn at one moment into a quasi-achabian obsession. However HMS "Surprise" is not the "Pequod" and Aubrey's actions are actually logical – he IS after all under imperious direct orders to catch "Acheron" and "sink, burn or take her as a prize". This is also a very masculine film, with some anonymous women appearing only in one short glimpse. All this, together with some very tough action scenes, makes "Master and Commander" into a movie mostly for guys I think.

I could certainly say a lot more about this film, but I will stop here, to avoid more spoilers. I was impressed by "Master and commander" and I completely cannot understand why it didn't fare better at box office. I would be delighted to see a sequel (after all there twenty books in the Aubrey-Maturin series) but sadly I don't think it will ever happen… I rented this film, but I think I will buy it one day, because it is worth not only to see more than once but also to be kept on the shelf. ENJOY!


I Wake Up Screaming [DVD] [1941] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
I Wake Up Screaming [DVD] [1941] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £8.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'll follow you into your grave! I'll write my name on your tombstone!" A story about a great tragedy and relentless hatred, 15 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
EXCELLENT! I love "film noir" and this 1941 oldie but goldie is amongst the best! I liked every single minute of it and couldn't figure out the whole puzzle until the last moment. A recommended viewing. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

PRECISION: this is a Region 1 NTSC DVD. It will NOT play on Region 2 PAL European equipment.

Two young beautiful sisters soldier on through life in New York in early 40s: Vicky Lynn (Carole Landis) is a waitress and her sister Jill (Betty Grable) is a typist. One day a kind of slightly shady smooth operator named Frankie Christopher (Victor Mature), who is a promoter by profession, notices Vicky and bets with two of his friends, that he can quickly make her into a renowned model or maybe even more... Vicky trusts Christopher, but Jill is very suspicious about him and doesn't hide it... Then tragedy occurs and when the police shows the film really begins... I will not say anything more about the story.

This film impressed me for many reasons. The scenario is strong. The mystery is well preserved but once we know the truth, the whole thing makes perfect sense. Dialogs are brilliant, witty and even if it is a dark movie, frequently funny. The "film noir" unique atmosphere is as dense as clouds on Venus. Characters are well designed, each having his own story to tell. And the story is simply great!

This is a rather short film (82 minutes) but every single second was well used, without even a single one being wasted. Because of that the director was able to "pack" the things so well and so tightly, that you would never think that only 82 minutes passed! It is an impressive management of time!

This film is also a very succesful mixture of many genres: "film noir" of course but also some romantic comedy and a more classical whodunit - and somehow it all works together perfectly!

Actors did VERY well. Betty Grable doesn't sing or dance here as in most of her movies - but this being her, the director simply HAD TO arrange two scenes, in which she shows her legs...))) Victor Mature is equally excellent in a role very different from his later Biblical dramas... As for Carole Landis, she simply SHINES! But possibly the best performance is that of Laird Cregar, who plays a very menacing and very HUGE police detective, named Ed Cornell, a remarkably complex and interesting character.

Another thing which I appreciated a lot is the use of "Over the rainbow" theme from "Wizard of Oz". I would never believe that you can use such a sweet song as the main theme for a very dark "film noir", but here it was used wonderfully! Kudos for the idea!

I LOVED this film and it impressed me. I will absolutely keep the DVD for another viewing! ENJOY!


Captain Phillips [DVD] [2013]
Captain Phillips [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £4.98

5.0 out of 5 stars An IMPRESSIVELY GOOD reconstitution of a real story, with an incredible performance of all actors. ENJOY!, 14 Jan. 2016
EXCELLENT! I was deeply impressed by this film! Paul Greengrass signed here a genuine masterpiece. This is one of those films which will never age and will still be a darn good viewing once we are all long gone. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

This film tells a true story, about the fateful meeting which took place in 2009 between a huge American container ship "Maersk Alabama" and a bunch of Somali pirates. Two main characters are captain Phillips (Tom Hanks), the skipper of "Maersk Alabama" and Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi), the leader of the pirates. The film sticks very closely to the real facts, therefore I will not say anything more about the story, in order to avoid spoilers.

Exactly like in the earlier and equally formidable "United 93" Paul Greengrass managed to reproduce the feeling of reality of those events and keep the story close to the facts when in the same time adding all the necessary ingredients of an action thriller. The pace of the film is fast and nervous, the tension incredible, the characters interesting and even if the real issue of the whole situation is known in advance, we still let take ourselves for the ride - and it is a GREAT one!

Tom Hanks is of course very good in this film, but the real performance is that of young and inexperienced Somali-American actors, beginning with Barkhad Abdi, for whom it was the first contact with show business ever. Paul Greengrass directed them with incredible skill, because you would swear that they are all Hollywood veterans.

The pirates in this film seem to be a quite truthful image of real Somali sea bandits. They are clearly bad and very dangerous people but in the same time they are also kind of pathetic - especially when they try to boast... This film shows very well, that some poor, in fact destitute people (they clearly don't eat three meals every day) for whom it is natural to feel some sympathy, can also be evil - very evil... Of course, they will also always find justification for the evil they do - when in the same time there are countless thousands of equally miserable people who soldier on honestly through life and don't commit crimes...

This narration of a real story mixing a genuine sea adventure with elements of action film and some social drama is an IMPRESSIVE achievement. I loved every minute of it and I recommend it with ethusiasm. A must for all amateurs of good cinema. ENJOY!


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” And so she does..., 8 Jan. 2016
Reading this first novel Jane Austen ever wrote (but which was the last to be published) was a very pleasant experience. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of coming of age of Catherine Morland, aged 17, a silly and immature but good-hearted, honest and likeable young damsel, who meets two very different suitors during her sejour in the good city of Bath somewhere around 1810. The heroin, let's stress it again, is very likeable but not particulalry clever and especially she is mentaly completely immersed in her favourite books - gothic novels. This lack of maturity and common sense as well as a certain estrangement from reality will play her a couple of nasty tricks, from which she will have to learn some valuable lessons... I will say no more about the plot.

Other than the usual delights of Jane Austen humour, wit and sharp social observations, this book offers an extra treat - it is the one in which we can see the real birth of author's talent. The first half of the book makes for a pleasant reading but not much more, as author, who was only 23 when writing her first novel, clearly was still hesitating, treading carefully and learning her trade. But past the middle point, suddenly we see the young writer spreading her wings and soar! Some writers graduate from honest labourer to gret master from one book to another but I think it is the first time I saw the birth of a major writer in the middle of a novel. It impressed me greatly.

My personal copy of "Northanger Abbey" was a Barnes & Noble "old style" hardback, part of "Barnes & Noble Classics" collection. Its very "passé" aspect (going as far as artificially yellowed paper and irregularly shaped edges of pages) actually increased the pleasure I took in reading this very pleasant, entertaining and in many moments quite amusing short novel. I will definitely keep this book and pass it one day to my kids...

I will say no more here about the book. Get it, read it, love it and one day come back to it. ENJOY!


Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.95

5.0 out of 5 stars “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” And so she does..., 8 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Northanger Abbey (Paperback)
Reading this first novel Jane Austen ever wrote (but which was the last to be published) was a very pleasant experience. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of coming of age of Catherine Morland, aged 17, a silly and immature but good-hearted, honest and likeable young damsel, who meets two very different suitors during her sejour in the good city of Bath somewhere around 1810. The heroin, let's stress it again, is very likeable but not particulalry clever and especially she is mentaly completely immersed in her favourite books - gothic novels. This lack of maturity and common sense as well as a certain estrangement from reality will play her a couple of nasty tricks, from which she will have to learn some valuable lessons... I will say no more about the plot.

Other than the usual delights of Jane Austen humour, wit and sharp social observations, this book offers an extra treat - it is the one in which we can see the real birth of author's talent. The first half of the book makes for a pleasant reading but not much more, as author, who was only 23 when writing her first novel, clearly was still hesitating, treading carefully and learning her trade. But past the middle point, suddenly we see the young writer spreading her wings and soar! Some writers graduate from honest labourer to gret master from one book to another but I think it is the first time I saw the birth of a major writer in the middle of a novel. It impressed me greatly.

My personal copy of "Northanger Abbey" was a Barnes & Noble "old style" hardback, part of "Barnes & Noble Classics" collection. Its very "passé" aspect (going as far as artificially yellowed paper and irregularly shaped edges of pages) actually increased the pleasure I took in reading this very pleasant, entertaining and in many moments quite amusing short novel. I will definitely keep this book and pass it one day to my kids...

I will say no more here about the book. Get it, read it, love it and one day come back to it. ENJOY!


NORTHANGER ABBEY (PENGUIN CLASSICS)
NORTHANGER ABBEY (PENGUIN CLASSICS)
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” And so she does..., 8 Jan. 2016
Reading this first novel Jane Austen ever wrote (but which was the last to be published) was a very pleasant experience. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of coming of age of Catherine Morland, aged 17, a silly and immature but good-hearted, honest and likeable young damsel, who meets two very different suitors during her sejour in the good city of Bath somewhere around 1810. The heroin, let's stress it again, is very likeable but not particulalry clever and especially she is mentaly completely immersed in her favourite books - gothic novels. This lack of maturity and common sense as well as a certain estrangement from reality will play her a couple of nasty tricks, from which she will have to learn some valuable lessons... I will say no more about the plot.

Other than the usual delights of Jane Austen humour, wit and sharp social observations, this book offers an extra treat - it is the one in which we can see the real birth of author's talent. The first half of the book makes for a pleasant reading but not much more, as author, who was only 23 when writing her first novel, clearly was still hesitating, treading carefully and learning her trade. But past the middle point, suddenly we see the young writer spreading her wings and soar! Some writers graduate from honest labourer to gret master from one book to another but I think it is the first time I saw the birth of a major writer in the middle of a novel. It impressed me greatly.

My personal copy of "Northanger Abbey" was a Barnes & Noble "old style" hardback, part of "Barnes & Noble Classics" collection. Its very "passé" aspect (going as far as artificially yellowed paper and irregularly shaped edges of pages) actually increased the pleasure I took in reading this very pleasant, entertaining and in many moments quite amusing short novel. I will definitely keep this book and pass it one day to my kids...

I will say no more here about the book. Get it, read it, love it and one day come back to it. ENJOY!


Northanger Abbey (Vintage Classics Austen Series)
Northanger Abbey (Vintage Classics Austen Series)
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” And so she does..., 8 Jan. 2016
Reading this first novel Jane Austen ever wrote (but which was the last to be published) was a very pleasant experience. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of coming of age of Catherine Morland, aged 17, a silly and immature but good-hearted, honest and likeable young damsel, who meets two very different suitors during her sejour in the good city of Bath somewhere around 1810. The heroin, let's stress it again, is very likeable but not particulalry clever and especially she is mentaly completely immersed in her favourite books - gothic novels. This lack of maturity and common sense as well as a certain estrangement from reality will play her a couple of nasty tricks, from which she will have to learn some valuable lessons... I will say no more about the plot.

Other than the usual delights of Jane Austen humour, wit and sharp social observations, this book offers an extra treat - it is the one in which we can see the real birth of author's talent. The first half of the book makes for a pleasant reading but not much more, as author, who was only 23 when writing her first novel, clearly was still hesitating, treading carefully and learning her trade. But past the middle point, suddenly we see the young writer spreading her wings and soar! Some writers graduate from honest labourer to gret master from one book to another but I think it is the first time I saw the birth of a major writer in the middle of a novel. It impressed me greatly.

My personal copy of "Northanger Abbey" was a Barnes & Noble "old style" hardback, part of "Barnes & Noble Classics" collection. Its very "passé" aspect (going as far as artificially yellowed paper and irregularly shaped edges of pages) actually increased the pleasure I took in reading this very pleasant, entertaining and in many moments quite amusing short novel. I will definitely keep this book and pass it one day to my kids...

I will say no more here about the book. Get it, read it, love it and one day come back to it. ENJOY!


Northanger Abbey (Wordsworth Classics)
Northanger Abbey (Wordsworth Classics)
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.50

5.0 out of 5 stars “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” And so she does..., 8 Jan. 2016
Reading this first novel Jane Austen ever wrote (but which was the last to be published) was a very pleasant experience. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of coming of age of Catherine Morland, aged 17, a silly and immature but good-hearted, honest and likeable young damsel, who meets two very different suitors during her sejour in the good city of Bath somewhere around 1810. The heroin, let's stress it again, is very likeable but not particulalry clever and especially she is mentaly completely immersed in her favourite books - gothic novels. This lack of maturity and common sense as well as a certain estrangement from reality will play her a couple of nasty tricks, from which she will have to learn some valuable lessons... I will say no more about the plot.

Other than the usual delights of Jane Austen humour, wit and sharp social observations, this book offers an extra treat - it is the one in which we can see the real birth of author's talent. The first half of the book makes for a pleasant reading but not much more, as author, who was only 23 when writing her first novel, clearly was still hesitating, treading carefully and learning her trade. But past the middle point, suddenly we see the young writer spreading her wings and soar! Some writers graduate from honest labourer to gret master from one book to another but I think it is the first time I saw the birth of a major writer in the middle of a novel. It impressed me greatly.

My personal copy of "Northanger Abbey" was a Barnes & Noble "old style" hardback, part of "Barnes & Noble Classics" collection. Its very "passé" aspect (going as far as artificially yellowed paper and irregularly shaped edges of pages) actually increased the pleasure I took in reading this very pleasant, entertaining and in many moments quite amusing short novel. I will definitely keep this book and pass it one day to my kids...

I will say no more here about the book. Get it, read it, love it and one day come back to it. ENJOY!


Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” And so she does..., 8 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Northanger Abbey (Hardcover)
Reading this first novel Jane Austen ever wrote (but which was the last to be published) was a very pleasant experience. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

This is the story of coming of age of Catherine Morland, aged 17, a silly and immature but good-hearted, honest and likeable young damsel, who meets two very different suitors during her sejour in the good city of Bath somewhere around 1810. The heroin, let's stress it again, is very likeable but not particulalry clever and especially she is mentaly completely immersed in her favourite books - gothic novels. This lack of maturity and common sense as well as a certain estrangement from reality will play her a couple of nasty tricks, from which she will have to learn some valuable lessons... I will say no more about the plot.

Other than the usual delights of Jane Austen humour, wit and sharp social observations, this book offers an extra treat - it is the one in which we can see the real birth of author's talent. The first half of the book makes for a pleasant reading but not much more, as author, who was only 23 when writing her first novel, clearly was still hesitating, treading carefully and learning her trade. But past the middle point, suddenly we see the young writer spreading her wings and soar! Some writers graduate from honest labourer to gret master from one book to another but I think it is the first time I saw the birth of a major writer in the middle of a novel. It impressed me greatly.

My personal copy of "Northanger Abbey" was a Barnes & Noble "old style" hardback, part of "Barnes & Noble Classics" collection. Its very "passé" aspect (going as far as artificially yellowed paper and irregularly shaped edges of pages) actually increased the pleasure I took in reading this very pleasant, entertaining and in many moments quite amusing short novel. I will definitely keep this book and pass it one day to my kids...

I will say no more here about the book. Get it, read it, love it and one day come back to it. ENJOY!


Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warshi
Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warshi
by Patrick Bishop
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mighty beast which tied up dozens of warships for years and how was she finally slain..., 4 Jan. 2016
This is a very good book, telling comprehensively the story of super-battleship "Tirpitz" and her influence on both Battle of Atlantic and the Battle of Russia Convoys, from her launching in April 1939 to her destruction on 12 November 1944.

Author adopted for this book an "extended" view of one ship history, by describing also lots of events which were connected to "Tirpitz" strongly, albeit indirectly: the archifamous sortie of "Bismarck" in 1941, the Great Raid at Saint-Nazaire, the PQ-17 convoy tragedy and the battle of Barents Sea in 1942 as well as the battle of Cape North in 1943. I believe it was a good choice, as it made this book longer and more filled with dramatic events and famous episodes, but still logically coherent and focused on the main topic.

The writing is very pleasant and even if I was already quite familliar with most of the events, it was still a pleasure to rediscover them shown from an original perspective. And I still learned a lot, especially about people who actually served (and for many of them died) on board of "Tirpitz". Two of the air raids by British Fleet Air Arm which targeted "Tirpitz" are also described in great detail and this is a very useful thing, as they are less known than the RAF attacks - the attack on 9 March 1942 by twelve Fairey Albacores from HMS "Victorious" and the operation "Tungsten" on 3 April 1944, which involved no less than six (!) British carriers: HMS "Victorious", HMS "Furious", HMS "Emperor", HMS "Fencer", HMS "Pursuer", HMS "Searcher" and a total of 80 bombers and fighters.

Operation "Source", the most daring and strategically significant operation of midget submarines until now, is extremely well described. Immediately after finishing this book I decided to re-watch "Above us the waves"...

This is an excellent book, worth every penny. I am totally keeping it on the shelf and I recommend it with all my heart. Enjoy!


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