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Pyke Bishop (Birmingham, UK)

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Judgment Day-John List Story [VHS]
Judgment Day-John List Story [VHS]
VHS

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A portrayal of a man driven to the brink of insanity, 16 Jun. 2015
Robert Blake stars as a churchgoing, well respected accountant who murders his wife, children and mother and then evades capture for 17-years, based on the real-life story of John List.

It took a report on America's Most Wanted show to bring John List to justice 18 years after he murdered his mother, wife and three children, and vanished, leaving only a confession and no clues to his whereabouts. Robert Blake convinces here as the New Jersey accountant whose long-repressed resentment at a childhood of abuse suddenly drives him to violent crime.

List's rigid view of life prevented him from coping with a complex world and the pressures of marriage and family. He lost his job. He depleted his mother's savings. He sank further and further into anger and depression. Finally, unemployed and almost penniless, something in List snapped. On a cold winter morning he murdered his family one-by-one. He wrote a confession and several letters to family members and his local minister. He ate lunch, drove to the airport and disappeared without a trace.

Equally imposing is David Caruso as the FBI agent who refuses to be beaten by the seemingly baffling case. With Beverly D'Angelo, Carroll Baker and Alice Krige rounding off an impressive cast.

There are other John List movies too, but, this is better than most true-life TV movies, and a powerful portrait of a desperate man driven to the brink of insanity.


Danielle Steel's Palomino [DVD]
Danielle Steel's Palomino [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lindsay Frost
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.56

2.0 out of 5 stars Enough corn to fill you up for a lifetime!, 25 April 2015
Danielle Steel's Palomino opens with a female photographer named Samantha Taylor (Lindsay Frost) visiting the California ranch of her good friend (Eva Marie Saint) in order to get herself together after Samantha's marriage dissolves.

While there Samantha falls for Tate Jordan (Lee Horsley), one of the ranch hands, but he feels he is unworthy because her ex-husband is a famous television personality. He breaks off their relationship, and Samantha works through her grief by photographing cowboys. Soon after Samantha suffers from a terrible horse riding accident that leaves her paralysed.

She undergoes a long and painful rehabilitation. And now, fighting the battles of the handicapped, she finds new challenges, and new friends.

Samantha returns to the ranch and begins to put her life back together yet again when Tate returns and the pair confront the lingering pain from their brief time together.

There's enough corn here to fill you up for a lifetime in this adaptation of Danielle Steel's romantic novel. The characters were common stereotypes, and the entire story seemed generalised. This is typical Danielle Steel material about love found, lost, and found again. But I believe you will find better examples of her work in many of the other screen adaptations.


Hostile Advances [DVD]
Hostile Advances [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rena Sofer
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £1.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Docudrama, 7 April 2015
This review is from: Hostile Advances [DVD] (DVD)
Sexual harassment in the workplace leaves a young woman no option but to risk everything and take her case to the court-room.

Working in a branch office of the IRS, Kerry Ellison (Rena Sofer) must suffer the unwanted advances of co-worker Jack Gilcrest (Victor Garber). Even when Jack is transferred to another branch his stalking does not diminish. In a last-ditch effort to see that justice is done, Kerry files a sexual harassment suit against her employers, based on a true story.

It's a story that's been told many times before, and though interesting in itself, does not bring much that is new to the discussion. This movie puts down such "flirting" as scary, driving the woman in question, into nightmares, out of her job, and, ultimately, to a lawsuit.

Justice is shoehorned into a typically melodramatic format in this mediocre TV-movie that at times has all the subtlety of a stalker thriller. Rena Sofer at times looking overly imperilled as she makes her impassioned plea for justice, and director Allan Kroeker has Victor Garber gnawing on the scenery as her nemesis.


Hostile Advances [DVD]
Hostile Advances [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rena Sofer
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.66

2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Docudrama, 7 April 2015
This review is from: Hostile Advances [DVD] (DVD)
Sexual harassment in the workplace leaves a young woman no option but to risk everything and take her case to the court-room.

Working in a branch office of the IRS, Kerry Ellison (Rena Sofer) must suffer the unwanted advances of co-worker Jack Gilcrest (Victor Garber). Even when Jack is transferred to another branch his stalking does not diminish. In a last-ditch effort to see that justice is done, Kerry files a sexual harassment suit against her employers, based on a true story.

It's a story that's been told many times before, and though interesting in itself, does not bring much that is new to the discussion. This movie puts down such "flirting" as scary, driving the woman in question, into nightmares, out of her job, and, ultimately, to a lawsuit.

Justice is shoehorned into a typically melodramatic format in this mediocre TV-movie that at times has all the subtlety of a stalker thriller. Rena Sofer at times looking overly imperilled as she makes her impassioned plea for justice, and director Allan Kroeker has Victor Garber gnawing on the scenery as her nemesis.


Morrison Murders [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Morrison Murders [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £4.39

3.0 out of 5 stars An adequate attempt, 4 April 2015
Based on true story. A man, his wife and his young son are brutally murdered in their home, and the community bands around two brothers as they grieve the loss of their family members. But one tenacious detective thinks the killer is a lot closer to home.

Walker Morrison (John Corbett) is stunned as evidence quickly begins to mount against his younger brother Luke (Jonathan Scarfe), who stands to gain not only half of the family's assets but all of his father's $200,000 insurance policy. This entire situation places a great strain on the brothers, and on the relationship between Walker and his wife Patti (Maya McLaughlin).

I felt the movie was rather dramatically stated (something you would expect from a low budget movie) and made an adequate attempt in telling the story, only a few changes were made from the real story - names were changed. And it was told with some subtlety, and showed the obvious conflict between justice and mercy in trying to bring some closure to the case. At the end no information relating to the real-life case was ever revealed.


White Label: Condemned (PC DVD)
White Label: Condemned (PC DVD)

4.0 out of 5 stars Savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, 1 April 2015
Raw, savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, a first-person action game from the makers of F.E.A.R. You play as an FBI agent who's struggling to keep his own sanity while tracking a serial killer and facing off against what seems like an army of depraved sociopaths.

Condemned's graphics and menu design may seem dated, but the bone-crushing hand-to-hand combat sequences make for a visceral, highly atmospheric experience that's quite unlike anything you've ever played before.

The game begins with agent Ethan Thomas on a routine assignment: Someone's been brutally murdered in a bad part of town, and he's there with the police to figure out what happened.

Without spoiling anything, let's just say that things don't quite go according to plan. Thomas winds up implicated in some serious crimes, Thomas goes off on his own, with nothing but a cell phone, a stun gun, and his forensic tools to aid him. The only other person he can depend on, save himself, seems to be a colleague of his who's willing to stay in touch by phone, helping Thomas to analyse evidence so he can slowly connect the dots that lead to some disturbing discoveries. The dark, engrossing story of Condemned starts out strong and has its moments along the way, but unfortunately, it doesn't take centre stage during what's mostly a straight-up action game with an intriguing premise.

Condemned is a first-person shooter, except instead of shooting, there's mostly just a lot of pure, bloody brawling. You've got everything from metal pipes to nail-covered two-by-fours to fire axes to sledgehammers to signposts. Each weapon is rated differently for speed, range, power, and defence, though the differences can be pretty subtle.

There's some striking artificial intelligence at work, combined with some amazingly frightening lifelike animations that will make you wince as if in pain or in anticipation of it. Your foes cannot be reasoned with, as they're lunatics with a thirst for blood who'll rush out at you from the shadows, flailing anything they can get their hands on while trying to kill you. They'll scream obscenities and smash things in freakish anger. They'll lie in ambush, and they'll gladly hurt one another - as well as you - just as long as somebody gets hurt. And they won't just stand there and take it as you lash out at them with weapons of your own. As they recoil in pain from your attacks, they'll lurch forward for their next strikes, as if guided by momentum and adrenaline. The best thing to be said about Condemned is that it captures hand-to-hand combat with intense, lifelike brutality like no other game before it.

Agent Thomas is mostly limited to slow, powerful strikes: The right mouse button makes you block, while the left button makes you attack. The stun gun feels pretty overpowered, though it's necessary later on in the game when you're dealing with more than just one or two enemies at a time. It's easy to aim, and it immobilises the unfortunate target, giving you a free shot. After each use, the stun gun automatically recharges its battery for your next shot. There are some conventional firearms in Condemned, but the gunplay isn't particularly satisfying, and it's quite scarce. The weapon models for guns don't look nearly as realistic or detailed as the game's much broader assortment of makeshift melee weapons. Any guns you find will never have more than a few rounds of ammunition in them, so you'll need to make these shots count and then throw the weapon away in favour of something a little more solid.

Occasionally you get to stop to gather some forensic evidence, which helps break up the action a little, though there's really not much to this process.

There's very little music in the game, apart from some subtle ambient tracks that play here and there, and the sparse voice acting is of good quality. So it's really the sound effects that deserve most of the credit. Suffice it to say, you'll hear every thud, crunch, and spatter in alarming detail. Even relatively mild acts, such as breaking the glass on a first-aid kit, might well cause you to flinch from how piercingly loud and clear they are.

When it comes to showcasing just how shockingly up close and personal the act of fighting for your life can get in a game, Condemned has become one to beat...preferably over and over with a lead pipe.


Condemned (PC)
Condemned (PC)

4.0 out of 5 stars Savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, 1 April 2015
This review is from: Condemned (PC) (Video Game)
Raw, savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, a first-person action game from the makers of F.E.A.R. You play as an FBI agent who's struggling to keep his own sanity while tracking a serial killer and facing off against what seems like an army of depraved sociopaths.

Condemned's graphics and menu design may seem dated, but the bone-crushing hand-to-hand combat sequences make for a visceral, highly atmospheric experience that's quite unlike anything you've ever played before.

The game begins with agent Ethan Thomas on a routine assignment: Someone's been brutally murdered in a bad part of town, and he's there with the police to figure out what happened.

Without spoiling anything, let's just say that things don't quite go according to plan. Thomas winds up implicated in some serious crimes, Thomas goes off on his own, with nothing but a cell phone, a stun gun, and his forensic tools to aid him. The only other person he can depend on, save himself, seems to be a colleague of his who's willing to stay in touch by phone, helping Thomas to analyse evidence so he can slowly connect the dots that lead to some disturbing discoveries. The dark, engrossing story of Condemned starts out strong and has its moments along the way, but unfortunately, it doesn't take centre stage during what's mostly a straight-up action game with an intriguing premise.

Condemned is a first-person shooter, except instead of shooting, there's mostly just a lot of pure, bloody brawling. You've got everything from metal pipes to nail-covered two-by-fours to fire axes to sledgehammers to signposts. Each weapon is rated differently for speed, range, power, and defence, though the differences can be pretty subtle.

There's some striking artificial intelligence at work, combined with some amazingly frightening lifelike animations that will make you wince as if in pain or in anticipation of it. Your foes cannot be reasoned with, as they're lunatics with a thirst for blood who'll rush out at you from the shadows, flailing anything they can get their hands on while trying to kill you. They'll scream obscenities and smash things in freakish anger. They'll lie in ambush, and they'll gladly hurt one another - as well as you - just as long as somebody gets hurt. And they won't just stand there and take it as you lash out at them with weapons of your own. As they recoil in pain from your attacks, they'll lurch forward for their next strikes, as if guided by momentum and adrenaline. The best thing to be said about Condemned is that it captures hand-to-hand combat with intense, lifelike brutality like no other game before it.

Agent Thomas is mostly limited to slow, powerful strikes: The right mouse button makes you block, while the left button makes you attack. The stun gun feels pretty overpowered, though it's necessary later on in the game when you're dealing with more than just one or two enemies at a time. It's easy to aim, and it immobilises the unfortunate target, giving you a free shot. After each use, the stun gun automatically recharges its battery for your next shot. There are some conventional firearms in Condemned, but the gunplay isn't particularly satisfying, and it's quite scarce. The weapon models for guns don't look nearly as realistic or detailed as the game's much broader assortment of makeshift melee weapons. Any guns you find will never have more than a few rounds of ammunition in them, so you'll need to make these shots count and then throw the weapon away in favour of something a little more solid.

Occasionally you get to stop to gather some forensic evidence, which helps break up the action a little, though there's really not much to this process.

There's very little music in the game, apart from some subtle ambient tracks that play here and there, and the sparse voice acting is of good quality. So it's really the sound effects that deserve most of the credit. Suffice it to say, you'll hear every thud, crunch, and spatter in alarming detail. Even relatively mild acts, such as breaking the glass on a first-aid kit, might well cause you to flinch from how piercingly loud and clear they are.

When it comes to showcasing just how shockingly up close and personal the act of fighting for your life can get in a game, Condemned has become one to beat...preferably over and over with a lead pipe.


Condemned (PC DVD)
Condemned (PC DVD)

4.0 out of 5 stars Savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, 1 April 2015
This review is from: Condemned (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Raw, savage beatings are the order of the day in Condemned: Criminal Origins, a first-person action game from the makers of F.E.A.R. You play as an FBI agent who's struggling to keep his own sanity while tracking a serial killer and facing off against what seems like an army of depraved sociopaths.

Condemned's graphics and menu design may seem dated, but the bone-crushing hand-to-hand combat sequences make for a visceral, highly atmospheric experience that's quite unlike anything you've ever played before.

The game begins with agent Ethan Thomas on a routine assignment: Someone's been brutally murdered in a bad part of town, and he's there with the police to figure out what happened.

Without spoiling anything, let's just say that things don't quite go according to plan. Thomas winds up implicated in some serious crimes, Thomas goes off on his own, with nothing but a cell phone, a stun gun, and his forensic tools to aid him. The only other person he can depend on, save himself, seems to be a colleague of his who's willing to stay in touch by phone, helping Thomas to analyse evidence so he can slowly connect the dots that lead to some disturbing discoveries. The dark, engrossing story of Condemned starts out strong and has its moments along the way, but unfortunately, it doesn't take centre stage during what's mostly a straight-up action game with an intriguing premise.

Condemned is a first-person shooter, except instead of shooting, there's mostly just a lot of pure, bloody brawling. You've got everything from metal pipes to nail-covered two-by-fours to fire axes to sledgehammers to signposts. Each weapon is rated differently for speed, range, power, and defence, though the differences can be pretty subtle.

There's some striking artificial intelligence at work, combined with some amazingly frightening lifelike animations that will make you wince as if in pain or in anticipation of it. Your foes cannot be reasoned with, as they're lunatics with a thirst for blood who'll rush out at you from the shadows, flailing anything they can get their hands on while trying to kill you. They'll scream obscenities and smash things in freakish anger. They'll lie in ambush, and they'll gladly hurt one another - as well as you - just as long as somebody gets hurt. And they won't just stand there and take it as you lash out at them with weapons of your own. As they recoil in pain from your attacks, they'll lurch forward for their next strikes, as if guided by momentum and adrenaline. The best thing to be said about Condemned is that it captures hand-to-hand combat with intense, lifelike brutality like no other game before it.

Agent Thomas is mostly limited to slow, powerful strikes: The right mouse button makes you block, while the left button makes you attack. The stun gun feels pretty overpowered, though it's necessary later on in the game when you're dealing with more than just one or two enemies at a time. It's easy to aim, and it immobilises the unfortunate target, giving you a free shot. After each use, the stun gun automatically recharges its battery for your next shot. There are some conventional firearms in Condemned, but the gunplay isn't particularly satisfying, and it's quite scarce. The weapon models for guns don't look nearly as realistic or detailed as the game's much broader assortment of makeshift melee weapons. Any guns you find will never have more than a few rounds of ammunition in them, so you'll need to make these shots count and then throw the weapon away in favour of something a little more solid.

Occasionally you get to stop to gather some forensic evidence, which helps break up the action a little, though there's really not much to this process.

There's very little music in the game, apart from some subtle ambient tracks that play here and there, and the sparse voice acting is of good quality. So it's really the sound effects that deserve most of the credit. Suffice it to say, you'll hear every thud, crunch, and spatter in alarming detail. Even relatively mild acts, such as breaking the glass on a first-aid kit, might well cause you to flinch from how piercingly loud and clear they are.

When it comes to showcasing just how shockingly up close and personal the act of fighting for your life can get in a game, Condemned has become one to beat...preferably over and over with a lead pipe.


Untamed Love [1994] [DVD]
Untamed Love [1994] [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Getz
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A story drenched in sentiment, 12 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Untamed Love [1994] [DVD] (DVD)
Six-year-old Caitlin is a deeply disturbed child whose violent and disruptive behaviour prevents her from attending school or day care with other youngsters. However, special-education teacher Maggie Barnard (Cathy Lee Crosby) senses that there is a great intelligence in Caitlin, and she believes Caitlin can be taught if someone can find out how to reach her.

However, not everyone Maggie works with agrees with her assessment, and as she attempts to break through the walls of anger and abuse that surround Caitlin's mind, she must also do battle with a system that sometimes does more harm than good to kids. Based on a true story, Untamed Love also features John Getz (Men at Work) and Jaime Gomez (Nash Bridges) .

Although there was nothing outstanding in terms of filming, this is a heart-warming story which is drenched in sentiment. And director Paul Aaron supplies standard pacing to the drama.

Maggie (Crosby), living happily enough with devoted lawyer Dan (John Getz), begins working on a new pupil in her class, disturbed, dirty 6-year-old Caitlin (Ashlee Lauren).

The film coasts along, measuring Caitlin’s emotional growth, Maggie’s growing dependence on the girl and her backing-away from any commitment with Dan. The story entails attempts to keep Caitlin out of a state mental institution: Maggie has brought her out of the darkness, discovered her to be a normal child with a high I.Q. and lots of emotional knots that Maggie deftly unties.

Crosby moves methodically, if not mechanically, through the role. Young Lauren is satisfactory as the tortured child, and Getz gives his thankless part a surprising lustre. Gary Frank (who plays Caitlin's brutish father) seems rightfully to be searching for characterisation, and Gomez, as Maggie’s assistant who has to do most of the work, is solid.

The film is broadcast periodically on the 'True Movies 1' channel which has been heavily edited due to censorship. However, the DVD version remains intact.


Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £103.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rent "Twister" instead!, 11 Mar. 2015
When a tornado takes her meteorologist husband's life, Jamie Marshall (Kelly McGillis) devotes her own life to prove his theories - that violent twisters are predictable.

Ok, well the movie obviously was meant to cash in on the "Twister" craze. The story-line was poorly conceived. The acting was just as bad. If you want to see a movie featuring tornadoes and, you really don't care about realism; then I suggest you watch the original "Twister" instead.

Scenes are difficult to watch because of the comical score and impossibly funny situations, the lead characters engage in a passionate kiss as ball lightning hails down upon them, and the FEMA director seems to be an ordained minister as well. Bottom line: rent "Twister" instead.


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