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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


Man About The House - Series 1 (DVD) 23/04/2017

Vintage early 70s Britcom

Man About The House - Series 1 (DVD) FIRST SHOWN ON BRITISH TV: 1973, Cert. PG DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Peter Frazer-Jones WRITERS: Brian Cooke & Johnnie Mortimer MUSIC: Johnny Hawksworth MAIN CAST:- Richard O’Sullivan as Robin Paula Wilcox as Chrissy Sally Thomsett as Jo Brian Murphy as George Roper Yootha Joyce as Mildred Roper Doug Fisher as Larry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ PROGRAMME ONLY REVIEW (Series 1) Chrissy and Jo share a flat in the house of George and Mildred Roper. One morning after Chrissy and Jo have held a party, they find a man sleeping in their bath. During what at first is stilted conversation, Chrissy and Jo learn that the man’s name is Robin Tripp and that he has just arrived in London, is staying at the YMCA and is at college, training to be a chef. Chrissy and Jo have been looking for a third person to share their flat with them, and after interviewing a few unsuccessful female candidates, they ask Robin if he would like to stay with them so long as he does the cooking (neither Chrissy or Jo have any talent in the kitchen whatsoever) and that he keeps his hands to himself – it quickly being obvious that he is particularly attracted to Chrissy. The problem of how to tell landlord & landlady George and Mildred Roper that a man is to be Chrissy’s and Jo’s new flatmate, is solved by pretending that Robin is gay. Robin settles in, being poorly received by the rather henpecked George Roper, yet it is immediately apparent the bored and frustrated Mildred finds Robin very ...

Small Town Saturday Night (DVD) 20/04/2017

Interwoven lives

Small Town Saturday Night (DVD) RELEASED: 2010, Cert.15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 34mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Ryan Craig PRODUCERS: Ryan Craig, Charlie Mason, Justin Moore-Lewy & Wonder Fortune Serra MUSIC: Stephen Bertrand MAIN CAST:- Chris Pine as Rhett Ryan Bre Blair as Samantha Carson Shawn Christian as Det. Tommy Carson John Hawkes as Donny Watson Robert Pine as John Ryan Adam Hendershott as Les Ryan Lin Shaye as Phyllis Ryan Octavia Spencer as Rhonda Dooley Brent Briscoe as Travis Scott Michael Campbell as Dwayne Murphy Muse Watson as Charlie ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW The setting is a very small California town called Prospect. Rhett Ryan is a promising country singer/songwriter. He and his partner Samantha Carson – who is still married to, but separated from the father (Det. Tommy Carson) of her little girl – are madly in love and are putting the final touches to their plan of moving to Nashville where Rhett believes he can make a successful living as a country singer. Nasty guy Donny Watson has just been released from prison and makes his way home. As soon as he hits his home town of Prospect, he has a mild altercation with Det. Tommy Carson. Donny then tries to move back into his old trailer home but is told by the manager that he can’t until he settles several months’ worth of rent arrears. All Donny really wants is to re-connect with his little son, but he chooses a bad way of going about trying to make that connection. Donny’s father Charlie owns the ...

Rain (DVD) 19/04/2017

A family in crisis

Rain (DVD) RELEASED: 2001, Uncertified RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 31mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Christine Jeffs PRODUCER: Philippa Campbell MUSIC: Neil Finn & Edmund McWilliams MAIN CAST:- Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki as Janey Sarah Peirse as Kate Alistair Browning as Ed Marton Csokas as Cady Aaron Murphy as Jim ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW 13-year-old Janey accompanies her parents (Kate and Ed) and little brother (Jim) on a beach holiday where they stay in a small chalet-like place which is one of a few clustered together on a remote beach. Mum Kate seems preoccupied and before long it becomes obvious that she is very attracted to Cady, a local photographer and boat owner. Kate also has a well-developed drink problem, but she manages to have sex with Cady at every opportunity. Kate’s husband Ed notices the attraction between his wife and Cady…..he is both watchful and hurt, but takes a back seat in the hopes it will fizzle out and just be a holiday romance. His despair at what is happening makes him withdraw into himself, sitting around moping rather than having fun with his children. Janey also notices how things are between her mother and Cady. In between spending most of her time looking after little brother Jim, Janey’s increasing adolescent sexual awareness makes her act a certain way whenever in the company of Cady, whilst simultaneously feeling sorry for her father Ed and ashamed of her mother’s drinking habits, to the point where she all but sets ...

Murder Once Removed (DVD) 17/04/2017

An interesting murder story

Murder Once Removed (DVD) RELEASED: 1971, Cert. U RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 14mins DIRECTOR: Charles S Dubin SCREENPLAY: Irving Gaynor Neiman PRODUCER: Bob Markell MUSIC: Robert Drasnin MAIN CAST:- John Forsythe as Dr Ron Wellesley Barbara Bain as Lisa Manning Richard Kiley as Frank Manning Reta Shaw as Nurse Regis Wendell Burton as Fred Kramer Joseph Campanella as Lt. Phil Proctor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Dr Ron Wellesley and Lisa Manning are in love, planning to marry after it has been arranged to bump off Lisa’s wealthy husband Frank. Frank Manning has a few suspicions about Dr Ron Wellesley’s intentions after having him watched by a private detective plus finding out that he’d hurriedly had to leave his previous practice in another area of the USA due to some dodgy rumours….but, he still allows the doctor to treat him, keeping a careful eye on anything untoward within that treatment. Dr Wellesley also regularly treats a young heroin addict by off the record providing the boy with large doses of methadone. The nurse at Dr Wellesley’s practice is a cheery middle-aged woman called Nurse Regis – she has a dog who she claims knows each time a person dies, expressing that knowledge through letting out long, mournful howls. Frank Manning continues to be suspicious of Dr Wellesley, so has a word in the ear of local cop, Lt. Phil Proctor, just to keep an eye on what Wellesley may or may not be up to. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Made for American TV ...

Psychosis (DVD) 15/04/2017

Can you see what I see?

Psychosis (DVD) RELEASED: 2010, Cert.18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 29mins DIRECTOR: Reg Traviss SCREENPLAY: Reg Traviss, Richard Raynesford & Katrena Rochell PRODUCER: Patrick Fischer MUSIC: Scott Shields MAIN CAST:- Charisma Carpenter as Susan Paul Sculfor as David Ricci Harnett as Peck Justin Hawkins as Josh Ty Glaser as Emily Bernard Kay as Rev. Swan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Psychosis opens in 1992 with a group of young eco-warriors setting up camp in the countryside, with the aim of preventing the decimation of wildlife due to anticipated construction work which would damage the area. However, the eco-warriors are one by one murdered, and a serial killer dies a bloody death from wounds incurred whilst attempting to kill the last of the young people. We then hurtle forward to 2007 where American crime writer Susan and her husband David move into a remote country house they have bought. David has to commute to and from London each day for his work, and Susan feels that the isolation of their house will help her concentrate on completing her next novel. Almost immediately Susan starts to see and hear strange things which David can’t and when they talk about it, fleeting reference is made to some kind of breakdown Susan had a few years previously. When David has to spend a few days in London, Susan is alone in the big house with nobody for company but the very strange Peck, who David has hired as an odd-job man…..and, Susan continues to both see ...

The Towering Inferno (DVD) 12/04/2017

A fire in the sky!

The Towering Inferno (DVD) RELEASED: 1974, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 2hrs 45mins DIRECTOR: John Guillermin SCREENPLAY: Stirling Silliphant PRODUCER: Irwin Allen MUSIC: John Williams MAIN CAST:- Paul Newman as Doug Roberts Steve McQueen as Chief O’Hallorhan Faye Dunaway as Susan Fred Astaire as Harlee Claiborne William Holden as Doug Roberts Susan Blakely as Patty Robert Vaughn as Senator Parker Richard Chamberlain as Simmons Robert Wagner as Bigelow O J Simpson as Jernigan Jennifer Jones as Lisolette Susan Flannery as Lorrie Sheila Allen as Paula Ramsay ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW It is the night of the grand opening of what has become the tallest building in the world, designed by architect Doug Roberts. The team observing the safety of the building on TV monitors discover an electrical fault, due to cheap-skating by Simmons who has been responsible for installing the electrical system in the building. As Doug Roberts is alerted by the security team of the electrical fault, a fire has already broken out and he has frantic discussions with Simmons plus various officials who in one way or another have had a hand in the construction of the building and installation of the electrics. Various celebrities, business magnates and politicians have already gathered in a large room close to the top floor of the building – for a lavish party - as the fire spreads. The fire brigade is called, but, have the flames already spread too far? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ...

Gaslight (DVD) 11/04/2017

One of the best mystery/suspense films ever made

Gaslight (DVD) RELEASED: 1944, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 54mins DIRECTOR: George Cukor SCREENPLAY: John Van Druten, Walter Reisch & John L Balderston PRODUCER: Arthur Hornblow Jr. MUSIC: Bronislau Kaper MAIN CAST:- Ingrid Bergman as Paula Alquist Charles Boyer as Gregory Anton Joseph Cotton as Brian Cameron Dame May Whitty as Miss Thwaites Angela Lansbury as Nancy Barbara Everest as Elizabeth Harry Adams as the policeman ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW When Paula Alquist’s aunt is murdered, she travels to Italy where she studies music. Whilst in Italy, Paula becomes acquainted with Gregory Anton who is a fair bit older than her – they fall in love and marry in haste. Gregory wants to live in London yet regrets not owning a property there, so Paula suggests they move into her murdered aunt’s house which she, Paula, had inherited. Once in London and settled in the house, Gregory shows a dark side to his personality whereby he becomes very critical of Paula, plus he tries to convince her that she is mentally ill, recommending that she shouldn’t go out so as to save them from embarrassment in the event of her behaviour being strange. Often alone in the house, Paula starts to hear voices and footsteps in the room above her own. She also appears to lose things (such as a cameo brooch given to her by Gregory), all of these mishaps being blamed by Gregory on her ever worsening mental state. Scared that she is going mad and feeling very isolated, ...

Radio On (DVD) 08/04/2017

A bleak but atmospheric journey

Radio On (DVD) RELEASED: 1979, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 44mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Christopher Petit PRODUCER: Keith Griffiths MUSIC: See review MAIN CAST MEMBER: David Beames as Robert ALSO FEATURES: Sandy Ratcliff, Lisa Kreuzer, Sabina Michael, Katja Kersten, Paul Hollywood, Andrew Byatt, Tilly Vosburgh, Sting and Sue Jones-Davies ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Shot completely in black and white, Radio On opens with the camera panning around a very scruffy-looking London flat with David Bowie’s Heroes providing the initial theme music. Robert, a DJ working for a minor radio station, learns of the death of his brother who’d lived in Bristol. Shocked as his brother’s death was suicide, Robert decides to drive down to Bristol to try and learn more about what exactly happened. On the way and once in Bristol, Robert has brief dalliances with some off the wall characters, most of who are friendly but one in particular not so. The film largely focuses on Robert’s journey, culminating in his brief stay in Bristol and those he meets there. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Billed as a British road movie, Radio On doesn’t have a storyline as such other than that which I’ve described above. It is more a study of mood, atmosphere and has a few dark undercurrents. During the first part of the film, there is hardly any dialogue, with most of the action – if that’s what you can call it – revolving around Robert jumping into his car and in bleak, ...

Tiger Balm 06/04/2017

Effective temporary pain relief

Tiger Balm PRICE: Currently £4.39 for a 19g jar at Boots ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Camphor, Menthol, Clove Oil, Cajuput Oil ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Tiger Balm (of the ‘red’ variety) is a product I began using back in the 1980s after having it recommended to me at the Mind Body Spirit Festival in London. At the time I used to suffer from back problems, although am not troubled by them now. After using for the first time and being very pleased with the results, I have always kept a jar in the bathroom cabinet. Tiger Balm comes in a little screw-top jar which is brightly coloured, bearing the image of a tiger on the front. The side of the label on the jar also shows an ingredients list and instructions for use. The jar is then packed into a basic cardboard box which also bears the same colours, an image of a tiger and general information on use, ingredients etc. Both the box and jar are easy to open. The Tiger Balm itself as it rests in the jar, is a solid mass of amber-coloured gunge that strongly resembles impacted ear-wax, but don’t let that put you off! When the lid of the jar is unscrewed, the strong smell of the balm will be very noticeable, immediately hitting your olfactory receptors, this being a smell some people may not like but I find it quite pleasant. It isn’t an easy odour to describe and certainly in no way could be termed as a fragrance. For me, I guess the smell of camphor is overriding. The claims of Tiger Balm are to relieve mostly muscle pains or ...

Sleepwalking (DVD) 04/04/2017

A slice of life, road-movie style

Sleepwalking (DVD) RELEASED: 2008, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 41mins DIRECTOR: Bill Maher SCREENPLAY: Zac Stanford PRODUCERS: A J Dix and Five Others, including Charlize Theron MUSIC: Christopher Young MAIN CAST:- Nick Stahl as James Reedy AnnaSophia Robb as Tara Charlize Theron as Joleen Reedy Dennis Hopper as Mr Reedy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Joleen’s and her 12-year-old daughter Tara’s already unstable lifestyle is thrown into further disarray when Joleen’s boyfriend is arrested and charged for drug possession and use….the garden around their home being overgrown with cannabis plants. Not knowing who to turn to, Joleen and Tara – at his request – temporarily move in with James, Joleen’s younger brother, after the home they shared with the rogue boyfriend is taken over by police. James is a taciturn young man who seems to feel awkward helping out his sister and niece, but can’t bear to see them homeless. Before long, Joleen absconds, promising to return one day, leaving Tara in the care of James. When James loses his job due to his poor time-keeping and high levels of absence largely caused by various things he has to do for Tara, Social Services pay a visit and send the young girl into foster care at a children’s home, which she hates. Tara manages to abscond from the home and reunite with James, persuading him to learn how to drive so they can take to the road and search for Joleen. However, the journey – although succeeding in bringing ...

Conflict (DVD) 02/04/2017

The perfect murder?

Conflict (DVD) RELEASED: 1945, Cert. U RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 26mins DIRECTOR: Curtis Bernhardt SCREENPLAY: Arthur T Horman & Dwight Taylor PRODUCER: William Jacobs MUSIC: Frederick Hollander MAIN CAST:- Humphrey Bogart as Richard Mason Alexis Smith as Evelyn Turner Rose Hobart as Kathryn Mason Sydney Greenstreet as Dr. Mark Hamilton Charles Drake as Prof. Norman Holsworth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Richard Mason and his wife Kathryn are preparing to go to their fifth wedding anniversary celebrations which are being arranged by their good friend (who is a psychologist) Dr. Mark Hamilton. Whilst they are getting ready, Richard and Kathryn have a mild argument, during which Richard admits that he is in love with Evelyn who is Kathryn’s younger sister. Kathryn reveals that she’d guessed such was the case, but refuses to give Richard a divorce. At the party, Evelyn becomes acquainted with a young man, Professor Norman Holdsworth. This worries Richard, as he wants Evelyn for himself even though he simultaneously realises he and her can never be together unless Kathryn will give him a divorce. On the way home, Kathryn asks sister Evelyn if she will go and stay with their mother for a while as she is lonely – Evelyn agrees, and on hearing this, Richard (who is driving) loses control of the car which crashes, and he suffers a broken leg although everybody else in the vehicle is uninjured. Richard then, whilst convalescing, hatches a plan to carry out the ...

Lady In Cement (DVD) 30/03/2017

Crime/thriller 1960s style

Lady In Cement (DVD) RELEASED: 1968, Cert.15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 33mins DIRECTOR: Gordon Douglas SCREENPLAY: Marvin H Albert & Jack Guss PRODUCER: Aaron Rosenberg MUSIC: Hugo Montenegro MAIN CAST:- Frank Sinatra as Tony Rome Richard Conte as Lt. Dave Santini Dan Blocker as Waldo Gronski Martin Gabel as Al Mungar Raquel Welch as Kit Forrester ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Tony Rome and his friend Lt. Dave Santini are cruising around the sea off of Florida, hoping to come across some ancient Spanish galleon ships which had sunk back in the 14th century. Whilst on a dive into the water, Tony Rome discovers the body of a dead woman which has been encased in cement. Some time later, Waldo Gronski hires Tony Rome to act as a private detective and find a missing woman called Sandra Lomax. During his investigations, Tony Rome meets up with Kit Forrester and Al Mungar, Kit’s rather vicious bodyguard/minder. Kit admits to having had connections with the missing woman (Sandra Lomax) and Al Mungar is keeping a very close eye on Tony. As Tony uncovers various interesting things which may or may not be connected to both the missing Sandra Lomax and the dead woman found encased in concrete in the sea, quite a few twists and turns occur which deepen the mystery. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Lady In Cement is a film I saw at the cinema back in 1969 when I was just a few weeks short of my 15th birthday, and I must confess that at the time, I didn’t ...

The Good Life - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 28/03/2017

Classic vintage Britcom

The Good Life - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) FIRST TELEVISED IN THE UK: 1975 CERT: PG WRITERS: John Esmonde & Bob Larbey PRODUCER: John Howard Davies MAIN CAST:- Richard Briers as Tom Good Felicity Kendal as Barbara Good Penelope Keith as Margo Leadbetter Paul Eddington as Jerry Leadbetter ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Back in the mid-1970s when the hippies were cutting their hair, taking jobs in banks and the stragglers being left behind to live off the land, John Esmonde & Bob Larbey had the idea of creating a TV sitcom whereby the main theme was a man, Tom Good, deciding on his 40th birthday that he wanted to quit his job as a draughtsman for a manufacturing company in the City and live a life – together with his other half Barbara – of as close to self-sufficiency as society will practically permit. With just a tiny bit of trepidation after Tom has explained the ins and outs of self-sufficiency to her, she agrees, and they plan to turn the garden into a kind of smallholding where they would grow their own vegetables and rear pigs, chickens and a goat, hoping that any fuel they needed could be obtained from rotting vegetation and animal dung. Excited, Tom walks out of his office forevermore, then he and Barbara begin a life of all but virtual independence, hanging up the 9 to 5 lifestyle and providing for themselves. However, Tom and Barbara happen to live in a large detached house in a posh part of Surrey, where their new project doesn’t go down too well with some of the people in the area, ...

Episode 50 (DVD) 25/03/2017

A haunted hospital?

Episode 50 (DVD) RELEASED: 2011, Cert,18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 18mins DIRECTORS: Joe Smalley & Tess Smalley SCREENPLAY: Ian Holt PRODUCERS: Ian Holt & Ehud Bleiberg MUSIC: Timothy Andrew Edwards MAIN CAST:- Josh Folan as Jack Chris Perry as Damon Keithen Hergott as Dylan Natalie Wetta as Andi Eleanor Wilson as Lysette Robert Maisonett as Jose Keiron Elliott as Keiron Justin G Brutico as Richie Ossie Gibson as Blake ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Two sets of people, one being paranormal investigators and the other being investigators of the supernatural, are at loggerheads when they are separately sent to investigate strange happenings at a disused psychiatric hospital. The paranormal investigators believe the creepy events at the hospital to be caused by electrical currents and the supernatural investigators believe there to be a devil present that is trying to seek some kind of revenge on a past deed when the hospital was open and functioning. After formally agreeing to try and respect one another’s differences, the two groups set about discovering what is behind the disturbances at the old hospital. However, everybody is in for quite a few shocks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Episode 50 is a film I’ve been putting off watching since it was given to me as a present a few years ago, simply because I was told it bears a resemblance to Paranormal Activity which although I quite enjoyed when I saw it, I did find it to be rather contrived and ...

Creation (DVD) 24/03/2017

A tortured genius?

Creation (DVD) RELEASED: 2009, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 48mins DIRECTOR: John Amiel SCREENPLAY: John Amiel & John Collee PRODUCER: Jeremy Thomas MUSIC: Christopher Young MAIN CAST:- Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin Jennifer Connelly as Emma Darwin Martha West as Annie Darwin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Creation is a biography of part of the life of Charles Darwin, beginning with his trip to the Galapagos Islands. The film then jumps forward a few years to him living with his wife and children in a small village. Darwin appears to be a very loving, emotional and sensitive man, being particularly close to Annie, his eldest daughter. He teachers her all about nature, the world, his past colourful life and introduces her to his own theory of evolution. The film then moves on through a particularly difficult time in Darwin’s life after the death of Annie, whereby both he and his wife Emma – who is a very religious woman and opposed to his theory of evolution – each blame themselves for the death of their daughter, but in different ways to one another. We see Darwin rapidly losing his mind, semi-dependent on laudanum, suffering delusions, confusion, hallucinations and illness, before finding some kind of peace within himself and the eventual publication of his book, On The Origin Of Species. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Creation is a film I chose to watch as I rather like biographies, so long as they are well-done and of course on a ...
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