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Thanks heartily for all the r/r/c to everyone. If it appears that I've not rated you, it most likely will be due to having used up all your reviews and am waiting for your next publication. Also I've disabled receiving alerts via email for a good reason.

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since 25/10/2009


Post It Notes 17/11/2017

A genius invention!

Post It Notes First of all, in Ciao's Specific Criteria section, it is requested that Cleaning & Maintenance and User's Manual be commented on via the slide bar. As this is a product which requires no manual or cleaning/maintenance, I have gone for middle ground simply because none of the options in those sections apply to Post-It Notes. Also in the Specific Criteria section where it says 'How much did you pay?', the only figure the system will allow me to insert is 150 which is grossly misleading and should be read as £1.50. Back in the dark ages (pre-Post-It Note times) of office work, I clearly recall having to carry out the same tasks as would be in a modern-day environment, yet we didn’t have as many tools of assistance as there are now. Lots of handy little inventions have since become a clerical way of life with perhaps quite a few of them being all that younger workers have known, and my favourite has always been that of the now possibly humble Post-It Note. After having spent almost 20 years of my office working life without the aid of many different gadgets (for instance, when I left school and went into clerical work in 1969 at the tender age of 15, photocopy machines were the new ‘in’ thing being all the rage, and items such as staple removers were merely hovering around the inventive corner, yet still to be taken advantage of). Flagging things in a clerical environment has always been an essential task, and back in those days we would staple or clip coloured pieces of paper ...

Fright (DVD) 15/11/2017

Classic 1970s psychological thriller/horror

Fright (DVD) RELEASED: 1971, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 27mins DIRECTOR: Peter Collinson SCREENPLAY: Tudor Gates PRODUCERS: Harry Fine & Michael Style MUSIC: Harry Robinson MAIN CAST:- Susan George as Amanda Ian Bannen as Brian Honor Blackman as Helen George Cole as Jim Dennis Waterman as Chris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Helen and Jim are going out for the evening and leave their young child with new babysitter, Amanda. Amanda is a student and seems a very capable girl. There is some tension between Helen and Jim as they set off towards the restaurant where they are to have a meal. Something is on Helen’s mind and she is worried that Amanda might not cope. In the house alone with the child, Amanda starts to hear noises then discovers her boyfriend Chris outside. She lets him in and it is obvious he has nookie on his mind! However, what later comes to light is that Helen’s first husband, Brian, has escaped from a secure mental hospital and still desperately wanting his wife back, he turns up at the house where Amanda is babysitting…..and, what began as a quiet evening turns into one of terror. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Fright is one of these golden oldies from the early 1970s when – love them or loathe them - horror films had a particular charm all of their own. I did manage to see most of them as they made their travels throughout the cinema circuit, but for some reason this one escaped me. However, I recently have at long ...

Incendiary (DVD) 13/11/2017

A thoughtful drama

Incendiary (DVD) RELEASED: 2008, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 36mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Sharon Maguire PRODUCERS: Adrienne Maguire, Andy Paterson & Anand Tucker MUSIC: Barrington Pheloung & Shigeru Umebayashi MAIN CAST:- Michelle Williams as Mother Ewan McGregor as Jasper Black Matthew Macfadyen as Terrence Butcher Nicholas Gleaves as Lenny Usman Khokhar as the terrorist’s son Sasha Behar as the terrorist’s wife ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Stuck in a loveless marriage to a bomb disposal technician, Mother (whose name in the film is never revealed) dotes on her little son. One evening Mother is bored out of her brain whilst her husband is out at work, so she leaves her son with a neighbour just while she pops out for a quick drink. In the pub, Mother is approached by a young man (Jasper) who is an investigative journalist and he takes a fancy to her. They both end up at her place and have sex. The following day, the little boy is taken to a football match by his dad and Jasper returns to see Mother, they having sex again, then there is a newsflash on the TV to say that there has been an attack at a football ground, which is suspected to have been the work of a gang of suicide bomber terrorists. Distraught, Mother takes herself to the football ground where she knows her son and husband are, only to discover they have both been killed in the blast. Her dead husband’s colleague tries his best to offer support and comfort, as does Jasper, but both ...

You're Next (DVD) 11/11/2017

A dreary gore-fest

You're Next (DVD) RELEASED: 2011, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 35mins DIRECTOR: Adam Wingard SCREENPLAY: Simon Barrett PRODUCERS: Simon Barrett, Jessica Calder, Keith Calder & Kim Sherman MUSIC: Mads Heldtberg, Jasper Lee, Kyle McKinnon & Adam Wingard MAIN CAST:- Sharni Vinson as Erin Wendy Glenn as Zee A J Bowen as Crispian Davison Joe Swanberg as Drake Davison Rob Moran as Paul Davison Barbara Crampton as Aubrey Davison Nicholas Tucci as Felix Davison Margaret Laney as Kelly Davison ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW You’re Next opens with a brief but rather energetic scene of a couple having sex. After the deed, the young woman seems bored and unfulfilled whilst the man vanishes into the shower. On emerging from the shower, the man finds the girl dead with the words “You’re Next” scrawled across a yellow wall in what presumably is her blood. The man then is attacked by a masked-intruder and killed. The film then moves onto the Davison family who are congregating to celebrate Aubrey’s and Paul’s (the parents) wedding anniversary which takes place at their newly-purchased, very large country house. During the celebrations and whilst a heated family argument is in progress at the dinner table, an unseen figure shoots a series of crossbow arrows through the window, killing Tariq and injuring Drake. Aimee tries to run for help but has her throat cut by a line of chicken wire which has invisibly been threaded over the door, then the other family members ...

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection (Box Set) (DVD) 08/11/2017

Watch out….Spencer's about!!!!

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection (Box Set) (DVD) FILM/PROGRAMME ONLY REVIEW Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was a popular British sitcom which ran on TV from 1973 to 1978. In the first series, we are introduced to the main character, Frank Spencer, very ably played by Michael Crawford. Frank’s long-suffering wife Betty was played by Michele Dotrice. (For ease of typing and reference, I shall from hereon refer to Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em as SMDAE) Straight away the situation of this comedy is plummeted into and we meet the endearing, yet haplessly accident-prone Frank Spencer. Frank is probably supposed to be aged in his early to mid-20s (although the actor Michael Crawford was older than that). Depending on what he is doing, Frank dresses in casual trousers with a shirt and tank-top style jumper or for things such as job interviews, a smart suit. His outer clothes are always the same…..a flasher-style raincoat with a flat beret perched on top of his head. Frank has an array of body movements and facial expressions which he utilises each time he does something wrong – which is quite often – consisting of a pained, confused look on his faced accompanied by a finger pressed against his cheek or lip. When things get really awkward for him, he will straighten one arm and nervously slide it up and down the side of his body and leg. Apparently, if my memory serves me correctly from many years ago when I watched a TV programme where Michael Crawford was being interviewed and questioned about his Frank Spencer character, he claimed ...

Planet Of The Apes (DVD) 06/11/2017

Rubbish, but a classic!

Planet Of The Apes (DVD) RELEASED: 1968, Cert. 12 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 52mins DIRECTOR: Franklin J Schaffner SCREENPLAY: Michael Wilson & Rod Sterling PRODUCER: Arthur P Jacobs MUSIC: Jerry Goldsmith MAIN CAST:- Charlton Heston as Taylor Linda Harrison as Nova Kim Hunter as Zira Wright King as Galen Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius Roddy McDowall as Cornelius James Whitmore as President Speaker Woodrow Parfrey as Maximus James Daly as Dr. Honorious Lou Wagner as Lucius ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Taylor and his spacecraft crew crash-land on a planet several thousands of light years from earth, in another galaxy. The crew abandons ship and once they realise what has happened, they step out of the craft to have a look around. On this earth-like planet, the men find that there is life in plant form together with water, then Taylor spots a roaming gang of humans dressed in animal skins and loin cloths. These humans are mute and apparently confused. Taylor and his colleagues are then approached by a troupe of high-functioning apes who can speak English and have a complex, sophisticated society, their main philosophy being that humans are the inferior species to that of the superior apes. Zira is in the ape world, a behavioural psychologist and she manages to communicate with Taylor (two of his colleagues are killed by the apes, and the other is captured and held prisoner with the intention of being experimented upon). A battle of wills then ensues as Zira tries to ...

Blood Work (DVD) 02/11/2017

An average but watchable cop hunts serial killer film

Blood Work (DVD) RELEASED: 2002, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 50mins DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Clint Eastwood SCREENPLAY: Brian Helgeland MUSIC: Lennie Niehaus MAIN CAST:- Clint Eastwood as Terry McCaleb Jeff Daniels as Buddy Anjelica Huston as Dr Bonnie Fox Wanda de Jesus as Graciella Paul Rodriguez as Det. Ronaldo Arrango Dylan Walsh as Det. John Waller Mason Lucero as Raymond Tina Lifford as Det. Jaye Winston ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Blood Work begins with a little introduction whereby FBI criminal profiler, Terry McCaleb, witnesses a murder and does some work on the case, but to no avail. The film then leaps two years forward with McCaleb having retired after receiving heart transplant surgery…..he lives on a boat in LA’s harbour and is close friends with his houseboat neighbour, Buddy, who helps him out (for payment) with things such as driving him around to wherever he needs or wants to go. One day McCaleb is approached by Graciella who informs him he had been the recipient of her murdered sister’s heart, and she begs him to help find her killer. At first McCaleb (who is still recuperating after just a few weeks of receiving his new heart) is reluctant, but at the receiving end of a little bit of emotional blackmail from Graciella in the form of “my sister gave you her heart so in exchange please help me find her killer”, he agrees and privately takes on the task, much to the annoyance of Det. Ronaldo Arrango who is heading the ...

Ae Fond Kiss (DVD) 31/10/2017

A 21st century culture clash

Ae Fond Kiss (DVD) RELEASED: 2004, Cert. 15 DIRECTOR: Ken Loach SCREENPLAY: Paul Laverty PRODUCER: Rebecca O’Brien MUSIC: George Fenton MAIN CAST:- Atta Yaqub as Casim Khan Eva Birthistle as Roisin Hanlon Ahmad Riaz as Tariq Khan Shabana Akhtar Baksh as Tahara Khan Shamshad Akhtar as Sadia Khan Chizala Avan as Rukhsana Khan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Casim Khan is a DJ at a nightclub and Roisin Hanlon teaches music at a Catholic school. When Casim and Roisin meet through Casim’s sister Tahara who is a pupil at the school where Roisin works, they become instantly attracted to one another and quickly fall in love. However, huge problems present themselves in that Casim, although second generation and very westernised, his parents are devoutly committed Muslims plus he faces the dilemma of an arranged marriage which is imminent. To make things even more difficult, Roisin is Irish Catholic, married but separated yet due to her religion not allowed to divorce. Neither Casim nor Roisin are particularly loyal to the strictness of their cultural/religious roots and desperately want to be together, but quite early into their relationship, the pull of Casim’s family values together with the school’s priest disapproving of Roisin’s relationship with a Muslim, threaten to destroy their future dreams and feelings for one another. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Set in modern-day Glasgow, AE Fond Kiss is a down to earth film directed by Ken ...

Devils Of Darkness (DVD) 28/10/2017

Devil worship, a talisman and a jealous gypsy

Devils Of Darkness (DVD) RELEASED: 1965, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 28mins DIRECTOR: Lance Comfort SCREENPLAY: Lyn Fairhurst PRODUCER: Tom Blakeley MUSIC: Bernie Fenton MAIN CAST:- William Sylvester as Paul Baxter Carole Gray as Tania Tracey Reed as Karen Diana Decker as Madeleine Peter Illing as Inspector Malin Victor Brooks as Inspector Hardwick Hubert Noel as Count Sinistre ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Whilst on a rock-climbing expedition in Brittany, Paul Baxter and his friends stumble across a group of devil worshippers in a small area which is largely inhabited by gypsies. It is soon discovered, with the aid of one gypsy woman’s mild warning, that the local Count Sinistre is up to no good. All Souls Night is imminent, and during the celebrations, three of Paul Baxter’s friends go missing, later discovered to have been killed. Back in England and armed with a talisman he filched from the dastardly Count Sinistre, Paul tries to unearth the real meaning behind the death of his three friends. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Devils Of Darkness is a mid-1960s release, very much in the vein of Hammer Films, yet made on a shoestring budget. I can’t say I was particularly gripped, as before the main storyline begins, a brief scene (possibly set in or around the 1800s) involving people being cursed with bubonic plague and troupes of gypsies dancing around a campfire in the woods is shown and I couldn’t quite work out what was supposed ...

Willard (DVD) 24/10/2017

Oh rats!!!

Willard (DVD) RELEASED: 2003, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 40mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Glen Morgan PRODUCERS: Glen Morgan & James Wong MUSIC: Shirley Walker MAIN CAST:- Crispin Glover as Willard R Lee Ermey as Mr Martin Laura Harring as Cathryn Jackie Burroughs as Willard’s mother ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Willard is a shy, socially inadequate young man who lives in a fusty old house with his overbearing, bed-ridden invalid mother…..and, a troupe of rats are lodging in the cellar. At work, Willard is bullied by his boss Mr Martin, who is only interested in the young man’s capacity for money as he’d taken over the company after the previous owner – who was Willard’s father – had died. New girl in the office (Cathryn) feels sorry for Willard and tries to befriend him. Willard adopts a white rat who he christens Socrates, then another who he calls Ben. Quickly becoming obsessed with rats who he is starting to consider as being his friends, Willard acquaints himself with the colony of the creatures who have made their home in the basement of he and his mother’s house. However, Willard is becoming increasingly upset by the vile treatment meted out to him by his boss Mr Martin, then an idea occurs to him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Willard is a re-make of the 1971 original which of course bears the same title. I distinctly recall seeing the original Willard when it was doing the cinema rounds all those years ago, but have ...

Manhunter (DVD) 23/10/2017

To catch a killer

Manhunter (DVD) RELEASED: 1986, Cert.18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 2hrs DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Michael Mann PRODUCER: Richard Roth MUSIC: Michel Rubini, The Reds MAIN CAST:- William Petersen as Will Graham Kim Greist as Molly Graham Brian Cox as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor Tom Noonan as Francis Dollarhyde/The Tooth Fairy Dennis Farina as Jack Crawford ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Retired FBI criminal profiler Will Graham is approached by his former boss, Jack Crawford, asking for his help with the profiling of a serial killer. Will Graham previously had to retire from the FBI after being attacked by the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecktor who he did manage to arrest and have imprisoned, but he – Will – was forced to quit his job after Lecktor’s attack on him caused him to have a complete breakdown. Back in business again and promising his wife Molly that he will have no more involvement in the hunt for this latest serial killer (who is nicknamed The Tooth Fairy) other than examining forensic evidence, Will takes on the difficult task of warding off newspaper reports, interviewing Dr. Lecktor in his cell and trying to protect his wife and child once he realises they may be in danger. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Based on Thomas Harris’s novel The Red Dragon (which I haven’t read) – it being a prequel to Silence Of The Lambs – Manhunter is what now could be considered a rather ordinary film about the FBI’s attempts at tracking down a serial killer, yet ...

Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris (DVD) 19/10/2017

A long way to go for a dress

Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris (DVD) RELEASED: 1992, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 32mins DIRECTOR: Anthony Shaw SCREENPLAY: John Hawkesworth PRODUCERS: Susan Cavan & Andras Hamori MUSIC: Stanley Myers MAIN CAST:- Angela Lansbury as Ada (Mrs Harris/’Arris) Diana Rigg as Mme. Colbert John Savident as Mr Armont Omar Sharif as Marquis Hippolite Lothaire Bluteau as Andre Tamara Gorski as Natasha Petitpierre Lila Kaye as Vi Butterfield ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW The year is 1952 and widowed Ada Harris, who is close friends with Vi Butterfield, is a cleaning lady at a rich woman’s house. One day Ada sees a couple of dresses in her employer’s bedroom and falls in love with them. She then vows to save every penny she can in order to go to Paris for a day and buy a Christian Dior dress for herself. Ada saves very hard and four years later, triumphantly declares she has enough money for her day trip to Paris, to visit the Dior premises and buy herself a dress of the kind she has been dreaming of. However, Ada is shocked to learn that she couldn’t simply go into a shop and buy her dress. A fashion show is being held at The House Of Dior and Mme. Colbert, who is managing the event, arranges it so that Ada can properly attend. Ada finds herself sitting next to the genial Marquis Hippolite, and their paths cross later on, simply because Ada finds that it will take at least a week to make the dress she has chosen. Worried at how she can afford to stay in Paris for that ...

The Angry Silence (DVD) 15/10/2017

A working man's dilemma

The Angry Silence (DVD) RELEASED: 1960, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 35mins DIRECTOR: Guy Green SCREENPLAY: Richard Gregson, Michael Craig & Bryan Forbes PRODUCERS: Richard Attenborough & Bryan Forbes MUSIC: Malcolm Arnold MAIN CAST:- Richard Attenborough as Tom Curtis Pier Angeli as Anna Curtis Alfred Burke as Travers Michael Craig as Joe Wallace Geoffrey Keen as David Bernard Lee as Bert Laurence Naismith as Martindale Russell Napier as Thompson (Film also features Oliver Reed, Edna Petrie, Alan Whicker, Roger Maxwell, Norman Bird, Gerald Sim and Beckett Bould) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ FILM ONLY REVIEW When it is drawn to the attention of Travers, the union leader at a factory, that some of the machinery is unsafe to use, he holds a meeting with the workers and calls for an all-out unofficial strike until the safety problem is rectified, as the management is sidestepping the issue and not really wanting to do anything about it. Tom Curtis is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, because although he can understand the ethics behind the strike, he has a wife (Anna) and two children to feed and clothe, with another on the way as Anna is pregnant. As he can’t afford to not be paid any wages for the duration of the strike, Tom reluctantly withdraws his support for the union and decides to work. However, his decision makes him very unpopular with the other union members, who make life distinctly unpleasant for him – he gets sent to Coventry, plus is the target for ...

Under The Tuscan Sun (DVD) 13/10/2017

One of those 'finding yourself' type films

Under The Tuscan Sun (DVD) RELEASED: 2003, Cert. 12 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 53mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Audrey Wells PRODUCERS: Tom Sternberg & Audrey Wells MUSIC: Christophe Beck MAIN CAST:- Diane Lane as Frances Lindsay Duncan as Katherine Sandra Oh as Patti Vincent Riotta as Martini Raoul Bova as Marcello Roberto Nobile as Placido Pawel Szajda as Pawel Anita Zagaria as Fiorella ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Under The Tuscan Sun starts in San Francisco with Frances (who is a writer) being a little depressed after her recent divorce. After two friends gift her a ticket for a bus tour of the Tuscany area of Italy, Frances takes herself off and during the tour, sees a ramshackle old house for sale, situated deep in the Tuscan countryside. On impulse and after some mild haggling with the owner, Frances buys the house and employs a team of Polish builders to renovate it. Making friends with some rather gorgeous Italian males and Katharine, an ageing but nonetheless off-the-wall individual, Frances gradually learns to rebuild her life and change her priorities. However, there are a couple of disappointments she has to contend with whilst doing that inner ‘finding herself’ journey. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Under The Tuscan Sun is a film whereby I was sure I’d read the novel at some point, but on watching it, I realised that perhaps I hadn’t after all – so, obviously am unable to make any comparisons in the area of accuracy. During the first ...

Spotlight (DVD) 10/10/2017

Exposing Boston USA's priesthood

Spotlight (DVD) RELEASED: 2015, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 2hrs 8mins DIRECTOR: Tom McCarthy SCREENPLAY: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy PRODUCERS: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin & Michael Sugar MUSIC: Howard Shore MAIN CAST:- Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes Michael Keaton as Walter Robinson Live Schreiber as Marty Baron Brian d’Arcy James as Matt Carroll Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer John Slattery as Ben Bradlee Jr. Gene Amoroso as Stephen Kurkjlan Billy Crudup as Eric MacLeish James Sheridan as Jim Sullivan Paul Guilfoyle as Peter Conley Michael Cyril Creighton as Jow Crowley Laurie Heineman as Judge Constance Sweeney Jimmy LeBlanc as Patrick McSorley Tim Progosh as Principal Bill Kemeza Stanley tucci as Mitchell Garabedian ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW After a case where a Catholic priest was arrested – then freed – for child molestation in 1976, Spotlight leaps forward in time to 2001 where Marty Baron, the new editor of the Boston Globe, wishes the Spotlight section of the newspaper (which is made up of a team of investigative journalists) to unearth as much information as possible on the hushed up allegations that various Catholic priests had been abusing children as far back as the 1960s, as he strongly wishes the identity of the perpetrators to be uncovered, with a view to them being re-charged with the crimes they had committed. The rest of the film follows the Spotlight team’s efforts at tracking down as many of the sexual abuse victims ...
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