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Jamaica Inn (DVD) 19/06/2017

Jamaica Inn - but maybe not as you know or expect!

Jamaica Inn (DVD) Film only review The Product Actors: Maureen O'Hara, Robert Newton, Charles Laughton, Horace Hodges, Hay Petrie Directors: Alfred Hitchcock Writers: Alma Reville, Daphne Du Maurier, J.B. Priestley, Joan Harrison, Sidney Gilliat Producers: Charles Laughton, Erich Pommer Classification: PG Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 11 Jun. 2007 Run Time: 95 minutes Cost £3 new on Amazon or £2.06 second hand. Main Cast Charles Laughton – Sir Humphrey Pengallan Leslie Banks – Joss Merlyn Maureen O'Hara – Mary Yellen Robert Newton – James 'Jem' Trehearne Marie Ney – Patience Merlyn Horace Hodges – Butler (Chadwick) Basic Story This is a film based on the well-known 1936 novel by Daphne Du Maurier. Set in Cornwell, Jamaica Inn is an old coaching inn on wild and bleak moors. From here Joss runs his band of wreckers and smugglers. When his orphaned nice comes to stay, things are set to change – and maybe not for the better. My Opinion This is an old film that I have not seen before. I do know a little of the story about Jamaica Inn but not enough to draw parallels. Reading online there were some changes made to the story to remove a criminal vicar because they feared the film would not sell in USA with that element. This film is rather old, dating back to 1939, and is in black and white. It does have Alfred Hitchcock as a director but on watching the film you would not connect anything with Hitchcock or his later films. It is dark and quite ...

Catherine Cookson - The Wingless Bird (DVD) 07/06/2017

'Love gives you wings' - a pleasant tale set around World War 1

Catherine Cookson - The Wingless Bird (DVD) Film Only Review The Product Actors: Claire Skinner, Julian Wadham, Edward Atterton, Elspet Gray, Frank Grimes Director: David Wheatley Producer: Ray Marshall Classification: PG Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007 Run Time: 145 minutes Price Full price on Amazon is £3.82 but it can be bought second hand for 22p plus 1.26 postage. The Basic Story This story begins just before World War 1. We have two sisters who live and work in a sweet and tobacconist shop owned by their strict father. Trouble begins when the younger sister gets pregnant, and the worst thing is she wants to marry the father – who comes from the docks and who is a class beneath them, according to the father. A separate strand in the story is the other sister Agnes, the main character in the tale, who draws the attention of Charles Farrier, a proper Gentleman from the landed classes. Charles’ brother Reginald is fine when he meets Agnes but the same cannot be said for his parents. My Opinion I have never read this book so cannot compare it to the TV movie. I was lucky enough to find this on Youtube and watched it one wet summer afternoon. I found this to be one of the best Catherine Cookson adaptions, from the point of view of being enjoyable and not how well it follows the book as I cannot verify that. The story is set during Edwardian times with many of the older generation still holding onto their Victorian values and ideas of class structure and ...

Beyonce Midnight Heat Eeu de Parfum 05/06/2017

Pleasant and rich aroma but with an awkward shaped bottle

Beyonce Midnight Heat Eeu de Parfum The Product Beyonce Midnight Heat 100ml Eau De Parfum Spray Fragrance from the designer house of Beyonce Eau De Parfum for women Sensual scent Base notes of amber, sandalwood and patchouli 100 ml bottle Comes in tall curved bottle with deep purple graduated colouring to the base section. And a clear pull of plastic cap. The fragrance is available as 15, 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum. The nose behind this The perfume is clear. Comes in a cellophane wrapped purple, black and blue box with a white card lining. Exclusive to Coty. Made in USA. Use within 36 months. Flammable. Launched in 2012. Cost I did shop around a little online and bought my large 100ml bottle from the Tesco Direct site for just under £15. Though I have found it now on Amazon for £13.50 and free delivery. It is also only £11 for 100 ml on ebay but I am always rather cautious about buying perfume from there in case it is not genuine. My Opinion The fragrantica site states:fruity, tropical, floral, sweet, patchouli. I never go for celebrity fragrances just because of the name, but I found this as a tester in our local chemist the other day and found it a very pleasant aroma so bought it online later as a birthday gift to myself. The perfume itself appeals to me as it has undertones reminiscent of Angel perfume – being quite heavy and spicy. However this is not half as strong as Angel which my husband detests, so I did ask for his thoughts before I bought it – he was not immediately against it ...

The Body Shop Moringa Soap 31/05/2017

Floral and feminine creamy soap from Body Shop

The Body Shop Moringa Soap The Product 100g Soap Individually wrapped Non-drying Leaves skin cleansed, feeling soft & hydrated Vegetable based bar Seed oil from hand-picked moringa pods Certified sustainable palm oil Cost £2 per bar The Range This comes in a variety of different gift set combinations but can also be bought: Shower gel Soap Body scrub Body butter Eau de toilette Body mist Hand cream Body milk Body sorbet Beautifying oil My Opinion Until I started buying this range form Body Shop I had never heard of Moringa. Howver it is said to be a flowering plant. I like using conventional type soaps as well as hand washes and I find most of the Body Shop soaps last very well. This was an individually wrapped bar but it came in a clear plastic wrapper and was the old style oval shape which fits nicely into your hands. It seems recently Body Shop have changed the shape of their soaps into rectangular blocks that come in a brown paper style wrapper. They are the same price but reading online some people do not like the new shape. Personally I have not come across these new bars yet but I did like the oval shape as it was so easy to hold and use and it had no pointed corners etc. This soap may seem more expensive than some at £2 a bar but with Body Shop you are buying them for their fragrance and creaminess. The bar itself is a soft creamy light yellow shade and has a delicate but quite persistent floral type of aroma. Not really a masculine soap this one as having it out in the ...

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion 29/05/2017

If you enjoy The Big Bang Theory you'll relate to this book

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion The Product The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion Paperback – 2 Jan 2014 368 pages Penguin ISBN-13: 978-1405912792 Cost £2.81 second hand paperback on Amazon or £5.19 new. The Basic Story= Don Tillman is the main character in the story, and the ‘project’ in the title refers to his attempts to get a wife. Don is very clever, being an Australian genetic professor. However whilst he is clever he is not very socially aware. Don decides as he is almost reaching forty that he needs a wife, but rather than trying to find someone by the conventional methods Don decides to do the task ‘logically’ by compiling a long and complicated questionnaire to try and weed out unsuitable applicants. There follows many funny episodes and Don gets thrown together with an unlikely character – but is there more to their relationship than meets the eye? My Opinion I had never come across this author or book but it was suggested at a recent book club meeting so that is why I bought it second hand from Amazon. For me I was unable to actually imagine Don in a neutral way as his character is so much like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory TV show that it was Sheldon I was imagining as the main lead. The author states he has never seen the series but the character traits are very similar. Both are very clever characters, working in universities. However their cleverness does not mean they have social skills and they are both quite inept at making relationships with females. This was a ...

BORN TO KILL (DVD) 27/05/2017

Nature or Nurture? The title says it all

BORN TO KILL (DVD) Film Only Review The Product DVD Drama Actors: Jack Rowan, Romola Garai, Earl Cave, Richard Coyle, Daniel Mays Classification: 15 Studio: 2entertain Release Date: 12 Jun. 2017 180 minutes ASIN: B06Y441J67 Cost Full price on Amazon is £14.99 Basic Story Here we have a single mother bringing up her teenage son and working as a nurse. Sam the son believes his father is dead – but his mother has been hiding a terrible secret that slowly starts to emerge. Also Sam begins to develop very anti-social tendencies to say the least – surely he cannot be following in the path of the father who he never really knew? My Opinion I do not normally watch TV dramas but I saw this one mentioned in a TV magazine as being quite good so decided to watch it on this wet May day. Luckily it is still on Channel 4’s on demand channel, but only for a few more days. Originally aired over four 1 hour episodes, this is a psychological drama – and examines the premise of the title – ‘Born to Kill’. Sam is 16 and living alone with his mum. She is a hardworking nurse and he is the polite and attentive son, even going so far as to visit the old people’s ward where his mum works to read the old gentlemen in bed there. Sam believes his father to be dead and he relishes telling people that his father died in Afganistan rescuing a mother and child. In reality his mum hides a deadly secret – Sam’s father is actually in prison, but while her lie of his being dead has worked all these years the ...

Molly And Me (DVD) 14/05/2017

Gracie Fields,the singing housekeeper.A funny light-hearted caper

Molly And Me (DVD) Film Only Review The Product Molly and Me – a 1945 black and white comedy film Actors: Gracie Fields, Monty Woolley, Roddy McDowall Director: Lewis Seiler Classification: U Studio: Elstree Hill Entertainment DVD Release Date: 17 Oct. 2005 Run Time: 76 minutes ASIN: B000BPA734 Cost £1.99 new on Amazon or £1.40 second hand. Main Cast Monty Woolley as John Graham Gracie Fields as Molly Barry Reginald Gardiner as Harry Phillips/Peabody Roddy McDowall as Jimmy Graham. Basic Story This is a 1945 comedy which was based on the earlier novel ‘Molly, Bless Her’ written by Frances Marion. The film is set in 1937 London and we see Molly, played by Gracie Fileds, as an out of work actress. Tired of being unemployed she applies for a job as a housekeeper and dresses down to play the role. However by a twist of fate the butler who comes to interview her is also an out fo work actor. He does not want any more actors working in ‘his’ house, but Molly soon has a way around that and ends up in the household of Mr Graham – a stuffy and rather reclusive sort of fellow who had once been in Parliament. The story of ‘Molly and Me’ details what happens between Molly and the butler Peasbody, as well as what is going on in the household. Gracie gets to sing some songs and has a transforming effect on the household. My Opinion Well I had never heard fo this film until I saw it reviewed on here and did not even realise that Gracie Fields had been in movies. However I had an hour or ...

Nine Lives (2016) (DVD) 04/05/2017

Great for cat loves - some truely funny moments

Nine Lives (2016) (DVD) Film Only Review The Product Actors: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Malina Weissman, Christopher Walken, Teddy Sears Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Producer: Christopher Lambert Classification: PG Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 12 Dec. 2016 Run Time: 87 minutes Cost £5.99 new on Amazon or £4.41 second hand. Main Cast Kevin Spacey as Tom Brand, a businessman who ends up in the body of a cat. Jennifer Garner as Lara Brand, Tom's second wife. Robbie Amell as David Brand, the son of Tom who works with his father. Cheryl Hines as Madison Camden, the ex-wife of Tom and the mother of David. Malina Weissman as Rebecca Brand, the daughter of Tom and Lara. Christopher Walken as Felix Perkins the owner of an exotic pet store. Basic Story Comedy movie of a hard-hearted businessman who gets transported into the body of a cat to learn the meaning of love and togetherness. My Opinion This is a relatively new film for me to watch as it only came out in December 2016. I found It one night while browsing Netflix so was able to watch it for free. No, I did not have any children with me but hubby had gone to bed and I did not feel like watching an ‘18’ movie with loads of violence and swearing so thought this fitted the bill nicely. Now the main character of the film is Tom Brand – a typically driven businessman who does not devote enough time to his second wife and daughter. The daughter’s birthday is coming up and all she wants is a cat. However her ...

Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult 01/05/2017

If you want something to be true badly enough, you can rewrite it

Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult The Product Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult Paperback: 432 pages Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (2 Jan. 2014) ISBN-13: 978-1444754612 First published in 2005. Cost Hardback and paperback are £2.81 second hand on Amazon. New the hardback version is £11.60 or £8.83 for paperback. Other earlier versions are also available. Basic Story= this book was written in 2005. You are 32 years old with a daughter, and planning your own wedding. What would you do if you suddenly found your loving father was being arrested for kidnapping a child – and that you were that child? My Opinion This is my second Jodi Picoult book and surprisingly it was picked by our book club straight after the other Picoult book! Anyhow I had quite enjoyed the 19 Minutes novel so thought I would give this one a go. I had no preconceived notions about this story and the book cover does explain about the kidnap. The book follows different characters as the background to this story is unwound. The secret isn’t just that Delia was kidnapped by her father when she was only four years old, but what was the motive/motives behind it. The book had different chapters which follow half a dozen of the main characters, so you get the story told from different perspectives. How would you cope if you idyllic New Hampshire childhood was all based on lies – the mother who Delia thought had died is actually still alive – will she be the goddess that Delia has conjured up in her imagination over the years? How did ...

Catherine Cookson - The Tide Of Life (DVD) 27/04/2017

Trying times - How a watch can mean so much when you have nothing

Catherine Cookson - The Tide Of Life (DVD) Film Only Review The Product Film of the TV mini series first aired in 1996 Based on the Catherine Cookson novel of 1976 Director: David Wheatley Producer: Ray Marshall Classification: 12 Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 23 July 2007 Run Time: 146 minutes Cost £4 new on Amazon or £2.30 second hand. Main Cast Gillian Kearne - Emily Kennedy John Bowler - Sep McGilby Susie Burton - Lucy Kennedy Justin Chadwick - Con Fullwell Berwick Kaler - John Kennedy James Purefoy - Nick Stuart Outline of Story This was a 1996 mini-series that originally went out over three episodes. It is a film of the 1976 Catherine Cookson novel of the same name. The story is set in the 19th century in the rural and coastal areas of the north of England and the main character is Emily Kennedy. Emily is a young teenage servant and housekeeper. A victim of circumstances, Emily is forced from one employer to another. Honest and hardworking, with a fierce love for her poorly younger sister. There are three distinct sections to this movie, evidently one per episode when first aired. Emily is ever positive against all the odds as she is forced from one family to the next. We see romance, loyalty and struggles. Some beautiful scenery and well-designed sets. My Opinion This was another shortish film to watch at just over 2 hours in total. I was able to view it for free on Youtube. The lead, played by Gillian Kearney is young, pretty but very resourceful and ...

Catherine Cookson - The Fifteen Streets (DVD) 22/04/2017

Realistic period drama, grim and fast paced

Catherine Cookson - The Fifteen Streets (DVD) Film Only Review The Product Film adaptation of Catherine Cookson’s 1952 novel. Main Actors: Owen Teale, Sean Bean, Anny Tobin, Leslie Schofield, Faye Dannell Director: David Wheatley Writers: Catherine Cookson, Rob Bettinson Producers: Geraint Davies, Joanna Gollins, Ray Marshall Classification: 15 Studio: Cinema Club DVD Release Date: 14 April 2003 Run Time: 104 minutes Cost £4.97 new on Amazon or £1.26 second hand. Main Cast Owen Teale as John O'Brien Sean Bean - Dominic O'Brien Anny Tobin - Mary Ellen O'Brien Leslie Schofield - Shane O'Brien Faye Dannell - Katie O'Brien Gillian Hope - Molly O'Brien Scott Frazer - Mick O'Brien Clare Holman - Mary Llewellyn Basic Story This is a TV adaptation of the 1952 novel by Catherine Cookson. It is set around 1900 in Newcastle. Featuring the dockers and their slum dwelling in the ’15 Streets’ and the O’Brian family. Two of the O’Brian sons are at loggerheads – one, Dominic, played by Sean Bean, is a tough and rough drinker and fighter like his father, while the other brother, John, played by Owen Teale (who later featured in Game of Thrones), is a more thoughtful and gentle soul who does not follow the family traits of drinking and fighting. There is another younger brother and two sisters, one of whom is interested in learning and education and has lots of interesting chats with her elder brother John. The daughter is taken under the wing of a female teacher, who is from a much wealthier and refined ...

Catherine Cookson - The Black Velvet Gown (DVD) 18/04/2017

The Velvet gown - the most dazzling part of the story.

Catherine Cookson - The Black Velvet Gown (DVD) Film only review The Product DVD of Catherine Cookson 1984 novel. TV film made in 1991. Actors: Bob Peck, Janet McTeer, Geraldine Somerville, Brendan P. Healy, Jean Anderson Directors: Norman Stone Writers: Catherine Cookson, Gordon Hann Producers: Don Bell, Michael Chaplin, Ray Marshall, Victor Glynn Number of discs: 1 Classification: 15 Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 29 Oct. 2008 The film was produced by Worldwide International Production for Tyne Tees Television. Cost New £4.99 on Amazon, £2.21 second hand. Cast Bob Peck - Percival Miller Janet McTeer - Riah Millican Geraldine Somerville - Biddy Millican It won an International Emmy for Best Drama Basic Story In this 1991 TV version of the Catherine Cookson novel written in 1984 we see a young widow with two sons and a daughter. Set in the north of England in the 1830s, homeless, how can she make her way in the world? She takes on a job as housekeeper and is lucky that the old man of the house takes in her three children as well. But things do not run smoothly and she eventually finds herself trapped in the house by circumstances. Will she ever be free to find happiness? The old man believes in education and was once a teacher – but will the learning the children receive be advantageous to them or a hindrance? My Opinion This is set back in the 1830s and we see an impoverished widow caring for her three children and taking on the only job she can get. The ...

Catherine Cookson - Colour Blind (DVD) 14/04/2017

Colour blind? Not in 1915 and still not in 2017

Catherine Cookson - Colour Blind (DVD) Film Only Review The Product Actors: Niamh Cusack, Tony Armatrading, Carmen Ejogo, James Larkin, Art Malik Director: Alan Grint Classification: 12 Studio: ITV DVD DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007 Run Time: 146 minutes Cost £4.88 new on Amazon or £1.77 second hand. Basic Story This TV mini-series is of a Catherine Cookson book which she wrote back in 1953. The story begins in working class Newcastle DURING World War 1, where the lead character in the book, Bridget, played by Niamh Cusack, returns home after a surprise wedding, but her family are shocked when her new husband turns out to be a coloured African sailor. Bridget’s brother is outraged, mainly because there is an undercurrent of him being too closely attached to his sister, which is why she left home in the first instance. The story moves on with the birth of mixed race child, Rose Angela, and the film covers Rose Angela’s life as she faces prejudice growing up, living with her mother as her father had to flee due to an unfortunate incident. My Opinion This was first screened on TV in the 90s in three episodes but it is not overlong at just under two and a half hours. The title of the film does give a clue to the main theme of the story – which is racism and the prejudice towards it. It may be a touchy subject even now and watching this over 100 years after ti was originally set lots of people’s attitudes have not changed very much. The family are shocked and scandalised when Bridget appears on ...

Catherine Cookson - The Black Candle (DVD) 08/04/2017

Good period drama but with some violent scenes

Catherine Cookson - The Black Candle (DVD) Film Only Review The Product 1991 TV Movie Actors: Samantha Bond, Denholm Elliott, Sian Phillips, Nathaniel Parker, Robert Hines Director: Roy Battersby Classification: 15 Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 29 Oct. 2008 Run Time: 103 minutes Cost £2.99 new on Amazon or £1.41 second hand. Basic Story This was a movie made for TV in 1991. It is an adaptation of one of Catherine Cookson’s novels. I have not read the novel for comparison but I have seen mentioned that this movie only covers about half the timescale that the book does. The story is set in the north of England in the 1880s. We have one strong woman, played by Samantha Bond, who takes over the factory when her father dies – it is a blacking and candle factory – hence the title of the movie. She is supporting her young cousin. There is also her works manager who has just married and had a baby. However the baby is not his and the secret of this baby’s conception will have severe repercussions for many. Nathaniel Parker, well known for the Inspector Lynley Mysteries, plays the squire’s son, while Robert Hines plays his sensitive and artistic meeker brother. My Opinion This story was new to me and it was a movie I was able to watch on Youtube. It is shorter than some Cookson movies. The leading lady in the tale is Samantha Bond who carries off her character very well. She is strong yet caring and sensitive. Her poor works manager does the decent thing by the woman he has ...

Catherine Cookson - The Dwelling Place (DVD) 02/04/2017

Sometimes bleak, an interesting view of 1830s life for the poor

Catherine Cookson - The Dwelling Place (DVD) Film Only Review The Product TV mini series from 1994. Actors: Tracy Whitwell, James Fox, Edward Rawle-Hicks, Lucy Cohu, Tim Barker Director: Gavin Millar Producer: Ray Marshall Number of discs: 1 Classification: PG Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 23 July 2007 Run Time: 149 minutes Cost £3.75 new on Amazon or £2.22 second hand. The Basic Story This film adaptation is based on the 1971 Catherine Cookson novel fo the same name. Based in County Durham in the 1830s, Cissie is the eldest child who is forced to bring up her family alone after both her parents die in a cholera outbreak. The family is soon turned out of their tied cottage, but Cissie refuses to let the family be split up and for the children to go into the Workhouse. Cissie endeavours to keep them all together at whatever cost, even constructing their own little home which is the ‘dwelling’ in the title. My Opinion I used to enjoy quite a few of the Catherine Cookson novels but after a while they seemed to become a little repetitive to me. I have not read this novel but during a chat with someone they mentioned this story so I thought I would follow it up. I found this on Youtube so was able to watch it for free. The running time was just under two and a half hours. I did not really know any of the actors very much, though James Fox is certainly known as was Julie Hesmondhalgh, though it took me a while to place her as the late ‘Hayley’ from Coronation Street! Some ...
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