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Damon K. J. Mitchell (Slovakia)

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No Country For Old Men [DVD]
No Country For Old Men [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Price: £2.61

121 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diefies moral reading, 31 Dec. 2008
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
I think (though I don't want to speak for anybody else) that the main reason some people don't like this movie is because it defies traditional moral and movie logic - there really is no moral compass here. What happens to every character is almost totally random, good deeds often results in terrible consequences and and bad deeds can go ahead unhindered - in this sense it is much truer to life, but it makes disturbing cinema where we are so conditioned to see heroes be pushed to their limits but ultimately triumph and evil doers be punished by those who suffered most at their hands. Themes of chance and determination/fate and the crossing over of unavoidable lines of force or action are the themes of this film it seems - made most vivid in the coin toss scene with the shop assistant.

The abrupt ending threw me for a loop the first time as well - annoyed me and frustrated me.... but hell it also made me think about what I'd seen and that's something not many movies do - sending you off with a friendly cinematic, cathartic pat on the back. And the more I thought about it the more it seemed right, to tie everything up neatly at the end would undermine the very idea of movie itself.

Be prepared to think about it a bit.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2011 4:56 PM BST

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ron Perlman
Price: £2.48

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for the devil, 17 Nov. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I, like many people, am becoming a huge fan of Del Toro's work both in English and Spanish and having really enjoyed the first Hellboy was excited about seeing this sequel.

I saw it twice in the cinema, once in London in a special preview screening and again back at home on it's last night - and was completely bowled over both times. For someone like me who watched Ray Harryhausen creatures slugging it out on TV as a kid with his jaw open - this movie is a dream come true, Del Toro has just unlatched the top of his head and spilled his imagination onto celluloid and the result is amazing. I really liked the first one, but I love this one!

The reason I gave this review the title I did was because I can see that for some people there maybe a flaw in this movie, and that is that there are no real human characters of any consequence in it. If you exclude Liz whose pyro-abilities leave her one foot in the creature camp anyway, we are left with only Manning who is a caricature bureaucrat, black suited agents that are tooth fairy fodder and obnoxious ungrateful members of the public.

In the first movie we had Myer's, Professor Broom and even one of the Black suits was given a personality and a name - Agent Clay, if I recall; with his hair plugs.

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing - what I am saying is that the movie is pretty damning of people and their behavior - it's sympathies are much more with the magical folk - but this can make it pretty hard to hate the 'villain'. Though I think the elf prince is an great character and his first scene in what seems like an ancient chamber, until a subway train screams past, is genius - there is moral complexity here. The story is in essence a timely environmental allegory - reminding us that there are many things that the world will be a sadder place without, and that the planet has many reasons to be very pissed off with us!

I won't say anything about the incredible design work and vision - as there isn't anything to add that others haven't already said - except maybe that it really stands up to repeat viewings; I spotted so many details on my second viewing that I missed first time (like all the crabs on the legless Goblin!)

There is an obvious hint in the scene with the Angel of Death at a third movie, but whether or not that story will ever get told seems doubtful (with Del Toro signed up for about 4 or 5 other projects - Including the 2 Hobbit movies and working as producer on a stop motion version of Pinocchio, which could be amazing given the bedtime story that opens Hellboy 2). I for one would love to see a Hellboy 3.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Price: £1.78

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The cheaper alternative, 8 Nov. 2008
YES - there really is a cheaper alternative to getting this movie on DVD or BLU RAY!

Sit down in a comfy chair remember all your favourite bits from the great Indiana Jones trilogy, until a grin spreads across your face and you all but tingle with anticipation - at that point smash yourself repeatedly around the head and face with spade until you loose the will to live. (If you want to enhance the experience, chalk the words 'Never hope again' on the spade first!)

There - you've had the same experience I had in the cinema for free!

And it's not just me - on the Empire web site (for and by movie fans) there are over 50 pages of viewer comments and the average rating for this piece of trash came out at 2 out of 5 stars.

If you saw it and liked it by all means buy it - but for God's sake without knowing for a fact someone liked it DO NOT BUY THIS AS A GIFT FOR SOMEBODY!!! far too risky, it really is bad, and you could end up wasting your money on something that they think sucks.

Basic Japanese-English Dictionary
Basic Japanese-English Dictionary
by Oxford University Press
Edition: Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended, 2 Mar. 2008
Be warned - this is only a Japanese to English Dictionary (not English to Japanese) I knew that before I bought it so that wasn't a problem for me, but it should be noted!

As a Japanese-English dictionary words can be found listed in hiragana order (A, I, U, E, O, Ka, Ki, Ku, Ke, Ko etc) and are listed in both Hiragana and Romaji making entries quite easy to find - in theory.

I say 'in theory' as there are two big problems -

1) You have to know the base dictionary form of a word to find it most of the time (this obviously causes problems with verbs mostly) if you've found a verb in a text in say the past tense, or nominal form, or any conjugation other than the basic dictionary form you will have trouble finding it. Once you find the base form there are examples in other conjugations perhaps including the one you encountered in your text, but that's no use if you can't find the base form when it's significantly different. It would be like expecting a non-native speaker of English to know that they should look up 'FLEW' under 'FLY' or 'WENT' under 'GO'.

2) There are a lot of gaps including some words I would consider quite basic - one of the first things I tried to look up was 'Suika' (which I later found out meant Watermelon) this wasn't in this dictionary - nor were any of the other 8 possible meanings of 'Suika' which I also discovered from an online translator. This is just one example but I've had the same experience several times now with other words that later also turned out to be equally everyday and simple.

I've given this dictionary 2 stars as it has been able to help me in some cases and the brief Grammar guide at the back clarified a few points - but it really isn't very useful. I'll be buying another dictionary for sure.

White Chalk
White Chalk
Price: £5.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded all Expectations, 13 Nov. 2007
This review is from: White Chalk (Audio CD)
I'll keep it short as there are already so many positive reviews, so - I have liked everything P J Harvey has done in all her various guises and styles and yet while this is unmistakably a P J album it is also totally 'other'. I really wasn't prepared for it at all, and ended up listening to it three times straight through marveling at the beauty of what she had created. It is the most interesting, haunting and provocative piece of work she's produced in recent years.

Tommy Tiernan: Live [DVD]
Tommy Tiernan: Live [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tommy Tiernan
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.91

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair Enough., 4 Jun. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tommy Tiernan: Live [DVD] (DVD)
A lot of people only bother to write reviews of things they loved (5 stars) or Hated (1 star) - and so far Tommy has recieved two of the first kind of reviews so I'd like to add a little moderation here - it's alright but not THAT good.

I got this along side 3 other stand up DVDs by Stewart Lee (fantastic, far superior) Jeff Green (on a par with Tommy) and Tim Vine (Dire!)and Tommy fell firmly in the middle of the pack.

I have to say I didn't like the opening and a bad opening is difficult to come back from - it seemed too 'Irish' to me, playing up to his Irish audience and almost approval seeking.(Far more interesting to watch Stewart Lee go out of his way to provoke his Scottish audience - and still make tham laugh!)

What really seperates Jeff Green's show and this one is a question of highlights - Jeff's show was consistently humerous but I can't think now of any real moments that stand out, Tommy on the other hand is less consistent, and there where whole stretches I didn't really find too funny, but there are some real peaks in there as well - like the donkey, the recording songs off the radio crisis and the tale of his first ejaculation.

So... Yes, you'll be entertained and will have a few laughs - but 5 stars is pushing it.

Tim Vine - Live [DVD]
Tim Vine - Live [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tim Vine
Price: £3.96

6 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A String of poor puns does not make good comedy!, 4 Jun. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tim Vine - Live [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this DVD in a stand up comedy binge along with shows from Stewart Lee, Tommy Tiernan and Jeff Green.

Tim's DVD was the worst by a significant margin (for the record Stewart Lee was best by and equally big margin, with Jeff and Tommy in comfortable 2nd and 3rd places pretty much holding hands)

This, in my opinion, is not stand up comedy - he's a gag merchant and there's something a bit desperate about how he throws it all out. Warning bells should have gone off at the boast on the box that it holds "An incredible 377 jokes" these "jokes' are largely puns or even just word associations - example, on seeing one audience member taking photos "Do you like photography? Me too - snap!" This is then dragged out with other comments like "don't be negative", "let's see what developes" and "get the picture" Ask yourself do you really need another 373 "jokes" like that?

I bought it on the promise of 'inspired medly of one-liners' but don't be fooled he's not even close to true one-liner masters like Mitch Hedburg or Steven Wright - 'I'm sick of following my dreams, I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them there' - now that's a one-liner :)

So, why two stars not just one? Well I confess I did laugh once or twice and I did like one of the bonus features - Tim's video diary. This extra was really odd to watch and gave me an uneasy feeling that I couldn't put my finger on - but I kept showing it to friends until finally it clicked - watching Tim's real life video diary is like watching an extended episode of 'I'm Alan Partridge' without the smart scripting. He occupies the same void of sub celebrity and has the same split between his chirpy public face and his vapid private life - the highlight for me was a slightly drunk Tim at a dire 'corperate' slurring, with no irony whatsoever, "That's what's so good about this job, I've never met these people before and now I'm having a drink with them." Ah, Tim you sad,lonely man.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2009 11:00 PM BST

Stewart Lee - Stand-Up Comedian [DVD]
Stewart Lee - Stand-Up Comedian [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stewart Lee
Offered by westworld-
Price: £12.45

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch, 4 Jun. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had a recent stand up comedy binge and bought this along with DVDs from Jeff Green, Tommy Tiernan and Tim Vine.

This was by far the best (with Jeff and Tommy both providing safe material with a few good laughs to come close second and third and the Tim Vine, not being a true stand up but a cheap gag merchant, coming in last)

Stewart Lee's show has, unlike the others, tempted me back for repeat viewings and kept funny. He takes risks in his choice of topics, twists language in wonderful ways and displays both natural talent and technical proficiency as a comic. Cannot be recommended enough.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2010 6:40 PM BST

The Inflatable Volunteer
The Inflatable Volunteer
by Steve Aylett
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enthusiasm and coherence don't always go together, 16 Nov. 2004
I've read most of Aylett's stuff and although anything by him deserves 5 stars for it's sheer otherness I have to say this one is the hardest going; had I read this first I probably wouldn't have become as big a fan as I am of his work.
Both praiseworthy and problematic are the lack of fixed plot or character here which leaves you in at sea in Aylett's stream of conscious; a distressing place to be if you haven't learned to swim with some of the other works first. (The monkeys which know everything - but got it from a file! or the ghost who wanted to boast about his suicide but had to do it in mime because the slit throat carried over - these were stand out moments for me in this book just to give you an idea of what to expect.)
It kind of appends onto the world of Accomplice (a self contained series of 4 books he wrote) and uses images and ideas from that series without ever explaining them here - so reading Accomplice first may help you to follow the flow a bit better.
As a first book I'd reccommend the stand alone book 'Bigot Hall' to anyone, that'll give you some of the biggest belly laughs Aylett style and ease you into his flavour in bite sized chapters.
However here, as ever, Aylett's use of language and his ability to eschew all convention is a joy to read and is reccommened to anyone who finds most books to be merely bad echos of something else and are searching for something new.

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