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sean cutter (Edinburgh)

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Thibaud ou Les Croisades - intégrale 4 DVD
Thibaud ou Les Croisades - intégrale 4 DVD
Price: £31.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh if only it had English subtitles (or dubbing!) - but great to see it still exists, 28 July 2015
One of the best school holiday serials of the 70s. What a shame that the DVDs do not have English subtitles - or even the dubbing of the original UK screenings! A class above the norm for Saturday viewing. Great action scenes and location filming and from memory a more intelligent representation of crusaders and politics of the era for its time. And the catchy theme music that marked many 60s and 70s TV. I do hope that the French producers release a DV version that carries subtitles and not just English as I'm sure others would enjoy this adventure series.

Death Line [DVD]
Death Line [DVD]
Dvd ~ Donald Pleasence
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £6.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Mind the doors and avoid Russell Court tube station, 27 July 2015
This review is from: Death Line [DVD] (DVD)
Until I read Jonathan Rigby's English Gothic (superb book on British horror films) I'd never heard of Death Line ... so I dashed out and bought the DVD - the photos on Amazon show a fully dark cover but the copy arrived with the Uncut white banner (less than £7). Another one of those British films that are creepy/quirky and well made. I lopped off a star because a bigger budget might have allowed the previous 'disappearances" and story of the cave-in to have been developed more if only to get more scenes (and "more tea!!!") with the wonderful double act of Donald Pleasance and Norman Rossington piecing it all together -as it stands they have to do it fairly quickly by digging into records. But I'm being pedantic. Like most good horror films it does not overdo the blood and gore but there are a few grisly jolts along the way - and there's nothing paint-like about the blood! Death Line. Great addition to my library of horror films and one I would happily recommend.

by Henry McDonald
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars useful addition of sorts to the history of Good Friday Agreement, 27 July 2015
This review is from: Trimble (Hardcover)
The problem with any book about politicians in Northern Ireland is that an author has to almost start from scratch in explaining the parochial nature of all aspects of that society - social, political, academic, religious, etc. There is an almost desperate attempt by those who get an insight to the place to create whimsy around some of the antics of political and religious leaders whether unionist, nationalist or paramilitary/terrorist. Trimble was/is clearly a cold fish and in that respect he shares a lot with the mysterious Molyneaux (who passed away recently with little attention) and I know some former law students of his [Trimble] who would struggle to recall any personal stories about the man. The book is a straightforward attempt to piece together the lead-up to the Good Friday Agreement and whatever we think of Trimble's past or personality it is clearly his drive that made the final link. I would have preferred a multi-angled lens looking at the behind-the-scenes of all the leaders at that time - Hume for instance seems to disappear from history within weeks of GFA - just to give perspective to what was going on within Trimble's party. Some of the stories about activists in Trimble's entourage seem a bit over-blown and none of them have been heard of since or even at the time! It remains a mystery how the vagaries of the Ulster Unionist Party's selection process put Trimble into the leadership seat as they always seemed to choose buffoons like Harry West and Chichester-Clark or non-politicians like Molyneaux. I'm not sure how history will judge all the actors in this story but at least Trimble did something positive although his rivals in the DUP appear to have gained political dominance within unionism by chucking Trimble's shoes out of the house then stepping into them!?!

The House That Dripped Blood [1971] [DVD]
The House That Dripped Blood [1971] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher Lee
Offered by TastyMate
Price: £34.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The House That You Really Shouldn't Rent or Buy, 10 July 2015
Anthology or portmanteau films as some call them can be rather haphazard and we all have our favourites whilst dismissing others. I'm quite happy watching most of them - Dr Terror's House of Horrors, From beyond the Grave, Tales from the Crypt, etc but only recently have I treated myself to The House That dripped Blood. And it's now one of my favourites. Even the tongue-in-cheek final story with the debonair Jon Pertwee keeps on the right side of campy horror and the whole collection is nicely held together by the police investigation. Doesn't do much for estate agents though...

The Damned [DVD] [2010]
The Damned [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Oliver Reed
Price: £3.86

5.0 out of 5 stars under-rated 60s sci-fi, 2 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Damned [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Classy Sixties style film from Hammer with more in common with their early Quatermass productions than the more familiar horror ones. Anyone raised on The Avengers will feel quite at home with The Damned. Crystal clear picture and wonderful old style British audio (proper footsteps and clear diction), strident musical score and a story that very quickly turns a nice seaside town into something decidedly creepy. Great cast especially Oliver Reed (always had screen presence) and though the children are "very proper" there is a good reason for it and they were very credible young actors. It is sci-fi but think Village of the Damned rather than Quatermass perhaps. Chilling finale and underplayed thus making it even more effective. A surprising find (for me) as I'd never heard of it until I bought the DVD to build up a Hammer collection.

Blood On Satan's Claw - Digitally Remastered Widescreen Edition [DVD] [1970]
Blood On Satan's Claw - Digitally Remastered Widescreen Edition [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Patrick Wymark
Price: £9.58

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and very watchable, 28 April 2015
There are some British horror films that deserve cult status and some that don't and this one has me going with the "not" camp. However, it is nevertheless a strangely beguiling piece of horror hokum. It is hard to define but if you like quirky horror films like Witchfinder General, Horror Hotel and The Wicker Man then you're probably on the right lines but it doesn't quite match any of them. Great atmosphere and beautiful photography and a very classy young cast (Michelle Dotrice of Some Mothers Do 'Av 'Em, Wendy Padbury already famous as Zoe in Dr Who, Robin Davies of Catweazle...). The ending doesn't live up to (most of) the rest of the film but probably only The Wicker Man does that well. One for the collection if not the awards ceremony.

'71 [DVD]
'71 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack O'Connell
Price: £4.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense thriller, 6 April 2015
This review is from: '71 [DVD] (DVD)
Let's get the pedantry out of the way first. Like any thriller you need to make allowances for dramatic license; the lackadaisical response of the Army to two missing soldiers would not have happened but the general air of confusion gives us the excuse for "losing" one private - and off we go... But let's not be pedantic as this is an exciting chase/ hunt 'em down film that never let's up on tension. Some scenes are harrowing, flinch-inducing and a good antidote to terrorism. Thank goodness it avoids political slants and you can "enjoy" (not the most appropriate of words) the action on screen without wanting to petrol bomb the TV(!). The acting is brilliant, the dialogue sparse, the settings are realistic (though condensed and do remember this was one flash-point in Belfast - 10 minutes drive away you could reach tree-lined avenues and pleasant council estates) and the accents (and hair) for once not overdone. One thing it does really well is illustrating how things were moving to a new phase as the ruthless (Provisional) IRA separated out from the more traditional (Official) IRA and how easy it is for young people to get caught up in terrorism. The young loyalist character might seem OTT but I have vivid memories of just such disturbing young characters stopping cars to demand your driving license (with more adult back-up not far away) and that was far away from the sectarian patchwork of Belfast. I won't spoil any scenes but this film weaves a tense hour and a half around a vicious world of terraced streets that on a good day would've looked like Coronation Street (in the Sixties) but in 1971 more like something out of Dante's Inferno. The only drama of The Troubles that can sit respectfully alongside Harry's Game.

The Abominable
The Abominable
Price: £4.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Vivid depiction of high altitude climbing but not what I expected or bought the book for!, 21 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Abominable (Kindle Edition)
Vivid description of high altitude climbing but not what the cover, endorsement or back-cover led me to believe. Intricate in its detail and clever in parts but the plot around the information (I won't spoil it) left me a tad incredulous.

Paddington [DVD] [2015]
Paddington [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Nicole Kidman
Price: £5.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, poignant, 5 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Paddington [DVD] [2015] (DVD)
This will become a classic and not just as a "film for all the family". A great story, poignant, very funny, superb photography, imaginative, wonderful characters, utterly charming - you'll want Paddington in your home! One to add to the DVD collection and watch every Christmas.

Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde [DVD] [1971]
Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde [DVD] [1971]
Dvd ~ Ralph Bates
Offered by Rapid-DVD
Price: £10.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a "Strange Case"..., 29 Nov. 2014
As you will know Robert Louis Stevenson's tale was entitled "The Strange Case of..." and never more strange than this grisly effort from Hammer. Some film critics and horror buffs dismiss this entry and in spite of eagerly watching out for Hammer Horror films as a kid I never did get to see this one until now. Similar in tone to Hands of the Ripper (another good one to watch) but a bit grislier and with a nice spin on the Jack the Ripper mystery; not such a good fit with Burke & Hare though that's being pedantic and their appearance serves its purpose. Atmospheric sets and good production values, an above average Victorian line-up. At times the change to and from "sister" Hyde borders on black comedy but it stops short of getting silly. We suspend belief with most films especially a lot of horror ones but this one keeps you well-entertained with well-staged murders - grisly enough for the censorship era of the time. Philip Madoc (now there's an actor tailor-made for horror) steals the scenes set in the morgue and his youthful creepiness is a welcome relief from Hammer's tendency to use old-whiskered types for this role. One to savour.

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