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since 09/11/2006


Gilbert And Sullivan Karaoke (DVD) 15/11/2006

This could have been done much better

Gilbert And Sullivan Karaoke (DVD) I am a little obsessed with Gilbert and Sullivan, to say the least, and I received this for my last birthday, from an aunt. It is a standard karaoke DVD with selections from the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The first problem I had with this DVD was that it refused to play on my DVD player. It plays the copyright warning very, very slowly, then refuses to go to the menu where you choose songs, and stops playing instead. I don't think that there's anything wrong with my DVD player because every other DVD I put in works fine. However, this DVD does work on my laptop, so that's how I've been playing it (and I am told by a friend that it works fine on his DVD player, so I'm not sure if it's a fault with my disc). So, when I finally was able to get the DVD working, I was less than happy with the song choice available. There were several songs from The Mikado, as could be expected, but only one or two from HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, The Gondoliers, Yeomen of the Guard, Princess Ida and Ruddigore, while the other operas are overlooked entirely. I have come to expect Utopia Ltd and The Grand Duke to be ignored for compilations such as this, but I don't know why they haven't included anything from Patience (or Sorcerer, from that matter). It would have been better if they had cut a couple of the Mikado songs and added a couple from other operas instead. For example, I would love to be singing along to When The Night Wind Howls (from Ruddigore) on a ...

Pot O' Gold (DVD) 10/11/2006

A forgotten classic

Pot O' Gold (DVD) It is quite sad that there are so many people - even fans of James Stewart, or of classic films generally - who have never heard of Pot O' Gold. I had never heard of it myself, until my father and I spotted it completely by chance in HMV in Nottingham over a year ago (we had actually gone into the city to look for a costume for me to dress up as Hamlet to go to a convention in Swindon, but that's a whole different story....). Being a huge fan of Jimmy Stewart, it surprised me that I was unfamiliar with this title, so I watched it as soon as we got home and instantly fell in love with it. Pot O' Gold is the story of James Hamilton Haskell (Stewart), a small-town music store owner who goes to the city to live with his uncle, C J Haskell (Charles Winneger), the owner of a health food business. James falls in love with Molly McCorkle (Paulette Goddard), whose family are involved in a feud with the Haskells. James tries to reconcile the two families while trying to give the band Molly sings with their big break on his uncle's radio show. This film is a musical, with even Jimmy Stewart contributing to the singing, and much of the music being provided by Horace Heidt's band, who appear as themselves in the film. The songs range from the soft, enchanting "Do You Believe In Fairytales", to the rousing, hummable "When Johnny Toots His Horn", and most stay in your head even after the film is over. The film also reminds me of other James Stewart films, mainly in Stewart's ...

Pinocchio (DVD) 09/11/2006

Disney's Second Animated Feature

Pinocchio (DVD) Pinocchio is one of those great films that you can revisit again and again throughout your whole life. If anyone says that animation is only for children, show them this film - it is very dark in places and scared me quite a bit as a child! But now it is my very favourite of all the Disney classics. For anyone who doesn't know the story, Pinocchio is a wooden puppet who must prove himself to be brave, honest and true before he can become a real boy. Despite having a conscience (the wonderfully cute Jiminy Cricket), Pinocchio often makes the wrong moral choices and has to face the consequences of his actions. While some of the animation may look a bit dated now, every cell was painted by hand in beautiful detail. Also, the film pioneered such special effects as underwater animation. A cast of unforgettable characters and some of the greatest songs from the Disney songbook, including the Oscar winning When You Wish Upon A Star, make Pinocchio a film for every family to own. English is the only language option for the DVD, and there are only English subtitles as well as English for the hearing impaired. The comparison of the film to the original storyboard was fascinating as was the short 'Making Of' documentary. The original trailer was a joy to behold. The two sing-along-songs were great fun, as were two Jiminy Cricket safety films, I'm No Fool With Fire and I'm No Fool Having Fun (my younger brothers sometimes ask to watch these short features instead of the ...
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