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Ignorant Bystander (Scotland)

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Legend [DVD] [2015]
Legend [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Tom Hardy
Price: £5.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Two-Trick Pony, 27 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Legend [DVD] [2015] (DVD)
This movie buys in to the Kray mythology which sees them as both folk heroes AND victims - rather bizarrely! It doesn't side-step their appalling brutality, but also includes their domestic and romantic lives within a fairly engaging narrative. The problem with the movie is Tom Hardy! He is absolutely amazing, acting with a ferocity that is breath-taking. BUT, you find yourself noticing the acting and looking for the scenes where the two Tom Hardys are on screen together, rather than being immersed in the narrative.

Incidentally, Jake Arnott uses the same source material as the basis for his novel "The Long Firm" . The BBC adaption (available on DVD) is similar, but more engaging and accomplished in every respect.


Everest [DVD]
Everest [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Price: £5.00

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusion on the hill - and in the cinema., 26 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Everest [DVD] (DVD)
The book this is based on captures the magnificence of the mountains and the terror of the storm, but somehow the film never quite reaches those peaks. Despite laboured efforts in the script to point out the names of all the climbers, by the time they had donned their beards, face-masks and hoods I hadn't a clue who was who. I felt as lost as the victims of the storm. It's OK, but I expected more.

Incidentally, the 3D is rubbish. They insist on putting something big and blurry in the foreground to remind us it is 3D ( Yes, we know!). And the insides of the little 2-man tents on the mountain look about 20 feet long. Stupid!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2016 2:34 PM GMT


Burial Rites
Burial Rites
Price: £1.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction - or neither., 10 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Burial Rites (Kindle Edition)
This is a fairly slow-moving tale, based on historical events in Iceland. The story is interesting enough, but the author falls over herself depicting the cold and grime of farming life of the time. The re-creations/translations of the historical letters fall into the same trap. From the other reviews I can see I'm out on a limb here, but this didn't hold my interest.


The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale (Penguin Classics)
The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale (Penguin Classics)
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn, 8 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like most of the sagas, this one begin with a few pages of genealogy. Don't get bogged down, just forge on and get to the main story. The translation is superb; it's easy to follow and genuinely enjoyable to read. The style reminds you that this was once told by a story-teller, it has little asides ("after that nothing more is heard about him" ). It also has a lovely mix of the heroic and the trivial. Icelanders in all their finery meet the king of Norway and are showered with gifts, and a few chapters later, needing to build a wall to keep the lambs in is a good enough reason for not attending the althing. This isn't my favorite saga, but it is the best saga translation I have ever come across.


Big Game [DVD]
Big Game [DVD]
Dvd ~ Samuel L. Jackson
Price: £4.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Berserk fun., 15 May 2015
This review is from: Big Game [DVD] (DVD)
This is real mish-mash of genres, but it works. It's part rites of passage film, part action movie, part black comedy, part satire. But it plays with the genres and stereotypes , and keeps you entertained and intrigued. It's clever and it's fun - with a little bit of weird in the mix too. Grizzled Finnish back-woodsmen come up against the sleek entourage of the U.S. President and the terrorist gang in pursuit. If you like what you know, this is not the film for you.


Far From The Madding Crowd [DVD] [2015]
Far From The Madding Crowd [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Carey Mulligan
Offered by The_Entertainment _Store
Price: £4.99

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stirring stuff., 11 May 2015
As a Hardy fan and lover of Dorset I was going to love this film - or pick holes in it all the way through. I loved it. The countryside that Hardy relished looks beautiful and, whilst playing up the romance, it just avoids melodrama. It's beautifully judged, and the cast are superb. Michael Sheen hints at the crushed heart within the dignified exterior, and Carey Mulligan captures the playfulness that's unaware of its sexual allure - she's gorgeous! For Hardy fans this is unmissable.


Selma [DVD]
Selma [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Oyelowo
Price: £5.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Respect., 4 April 2015
This review is from: Selma [DVD] (DVD)
I was worried this film would treat MLK as a saint. He wasn't - and it doesn't. It focuses on a short, crucial episode in his life when he was building support in Alabama. You see his fear and his courage, his flaws and his commitment - and it really makes you feel his dilemmas. David Oyelowo is superb. He has the gravitas that's needed, without making it melodramatic. And if you need evidence of racism in the Oscar process, look no further.


Pitch Perfect [DVD] [2012]
Pitch Perfect [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Anna Kendrick
Price: £5.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Pitch predictable., 4 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pitch Perfect [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
This is full of the breezy enthusiasm that drives TV talent shows. What kept me going was trying to decide if it was a spoof. I still can't decide.


Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop
Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop
by Bob Stanley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.89

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, but dull., 4 April 2015
This book sets out its stall clearly; it covers the years when the 45rpm single was the dominant format. Each chapter focuses on particular style or artist, but that makes it difficult to get an idea of the interplay between styles in any particular era. It is certainly thorough. Each chapter comes with a slew of names and titles to represent the style, but many of them were unknown to me, so I found myself flicking endlessly to Spotify and Google images. I realised I was reading it because it was good for me, rather than because I was enjoying it. I'm a fan, not a Mastermind contestant, and I don't think this was the book for me.


The Scent of Dried Roses: One family and the end of English Suburbia - an elegy (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Scent of Dried Roses: One family and the end of English Suburbia - an elegy (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The fruits of bitter experience., 16 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a fan of Tim Lott, and here he writes something genuine – and genuinely moving. Perhaps he lingers on the period detail a little too lovingly, but the steady unpicking of the causes of his mother's breakdown feels real. It also offers him an insight into his own breakdown, and he writes about this calmly and lucidly.


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