Share this page on

gold Status gold (Level 9/10)



Trusted by 201 members
See member statistics

Can i be the only member on ciao never to receive a diamond after posting 2000 reviews, of which 1880 of those earned 347 crowns on dooyoo?

Reviews written

since 13/05/2008


Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (DVD) 23/11/2014

A new meaning to Smart TV.

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (DVD) Breaking Bad is probably the most popular TV show that you have never heard of. Its low key release on an obscure American cable station almost saw it cancelled after the pilot. They were the only station interested. If a show doesn’t work after three or four episodes it’s cancelled in America regardless. In Britain they buy the whole series and show the whole series. Vince Gilligan, the creator of the show, was loyal to AMTV and all six series stayed there, the huge cash reward from syndication rights around the world. The problem was it was a deliberate slow boiler to bed in the characters, critical to its success, blank canvases to be painted on, so not that exciting after three or four episodes. Watching 40 something dad Walter White (Bryan Cranston) being the hard working Middle American up to his eyeballs in debt trying to provide for his wife (Anna Gunn) baby daughter and disabled 17-year-old son Walt Junior (RJ Mittie) wasn’t that exciting. It’s the duty of every father to do just that, right? But once the boring Albuquerque chemistry teacher is diagnosed with lung cancer and given just two years to live the fun starts big time. Baring in mind this aired at the start of the recession that hit home in those Middle American TV room its timing was the key. Walter White took middle-class professionals through the recession from start to finish. This was TV talking to an intelligent thinking American who rarely gets appreciated. The Concept Walt, using his chemistry ...

Charlie And Boots (DVD) 23/11/2014

Whatever happened to Paul Hogan? Not a lot judging by this.

Charlie And Boots (DVD) Star – Paul Hogan Genre – Comedy Run Time – 103 minutes Certificate – PG Country – Australia Amazon – £6.00 DVD Awards – 1 Nomination = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = There are two kinds of Aussie movies. The postcard to Australia one to sell that seemingly wonderful utopian paradise (and it really is) and the new wave of darker movies, like Lantana, Animal Kingdom and Candy. But in the 1980s Hollywood only had eyes for Mel Gibson and the brief supernova that was Paul Hogan, the genial Aussie stereotype men want to be and the alpha male women secretly want to have. His co-star in Crocodile Dundee, the beautiful Linda Kozlowski, did have him, Hogan dumping his wife for the exotic blonde. For a brief spell in the 1980s he was the darling of the Award ceremonies, somewhat absurdly nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for writing Dundee, just to get the man in the hat that dressed like Greg Norman on the red carpet in his tux. He was a proper guy and put most manicured and pampered male stars to shame. Charlie & Boots managed a sole nomination, a patriotic one form the Readers Choice at The Australian Film Institute. Unlike Mel Gibson, Hogan was the real deal and as Aussie as you can get, a blue collar guy through and through, only zapped into showbiz when he was filmed painting the Sydney Harbor Bridge and talked into going on a talent show. Gibson, on the other hand, was born in New York and left when he was ten, in stage school on Bondi Junction by his 17th birthday ...

The Wall (DVD) 23/11/2014

Under The Thumb

The Wall (DVD) Star – Martina Garten Genre – World Cinema Run Time – 1 minutes Certificate – 18 Country – Austria Amazon – £ 5.75 DVD Awards – Wins 3 & 14 Nominations = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = The Wall, adapted from the well regarded 1963 book by the same name, is a subtle feminist metaphoric polemic on the female condition and their place in the world, that of drudgery, restriction and oppression, quiet literally a physical glass ceiling in this film. My thoughts on feminism, of course, are well known here. I simply don’t buy into the idea that women don’t get the same chances to succeed today as men. Ok, back in the day feminism did help to haul women back up to near parity but the modern feminism movement is no longer needed, the battle of the sexes well and truly over. The 18% pay gap is nonsense, a tariff child bearers have to pay if you start a family. If men were the ones had the babies then they would be 18% down. Single women and men between the ages of 18-30 in the same type of jobs earn the same money, simple as. There is no pay gap when families are not present. If anyone is holding back women its babies. If western women don’t get on in the world today then it’s down to their choices, not men’s. . CAST Martina Gedeck ... Woman Karlheinz Hackl ... Hugo Ulrike Beimpold ... Luise Julia Gschnitzer ... Cottager Hans-Michael Rehberg ... Cottager Wolfgang M. Bauer ... Man Plot A thirtysomething woman (Martina Gedeck) is driving to the family hunting lodge in the ...

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DVD) 23/11/2014

The coolest superhero ever!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DVD) Star – Chris Evans Genre – Action/Comic Book Run Time – minutes Certificate – PG136 Country – USA Awards – 1 Wins & 9 nominations Amazon – £10.00 (£150.00 Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = I must admit I gave up on the comic book genre way back in the 1980s as it was all rather camp, seriously kapow cheesy and only for kids. Too much Lycra and not enough for the grown ups. Even Richard Pryor’s bizarre appearance in Superman 3 couldn’t save it, reaching its nadir in the late 1990s with Daredevil. Ben Affleck as a blind superhero with no special powers was never a good idea. But along came the spectacularly dark and gothic Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan the first comic book director to really grasp the power of modern digital effects and change the genre for ever, making superhero films the biggest and coolest blockbusters in the business today. They look fabulous. In fact some would say that the Marvel and DC comic book hero’s saved Hollywood, seven of the top ten highest grossing films of all time described as fantasy/comic and made in the last 15 years. These billion dollar movies are popular because the geek in us is now OK to be expressed and hardcore comic book fans are enjoying the fact the movies are no longer naff and making their superhero’s come alive and how they see them, and fans no longer mocked for reading comics. Everyone loves these movies now, Captain America from the Marvel Universe no different. This digital emancipation is also doing ...

12 Years A Slave (DVD) 23/11/2014

Feels like 12 years!

12 Years A Slave (DVD) Star – Chiwetel Ejiofor Genre – Drama Run Time – 134 minutes Certificate – 18R Country – USA Awards – 223 Wins & 211 nominations Oscars – 3 wins from 9 nominations. Amazon – £ (£Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = So, America has its first black president and Hollywood has its first black winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture Direction, Steve McQueen bringing to life the book ‘12-Years a Slave’, written by the films main protagonist Solomon Northup in the year of 1868, 15-years after his horrendous ordeal. It would dominate the film awards with 211 wins from 233 nominations. McQueen had been looking to pen and direct his righteous legacy movie and his Caucasian wife recommended this book. Its authentic stuff and horrific for both black and white to witness. They filmed where it all happened back in the 19th century and a tree where Solomon Northup (Chiwitel Ejiofor) sees several men being lynched was actually used for lynching and is surrounded by the graves of murdered slaves. This is method acting to the extreme. The black actor on set didn’t need any motivation. This stuff was very real, no doubt some of their ancestors involved in slavery. Sadly there are three times as many people in slavery today around the world and just as many in chains and behind bars. The legacy of slavery remains in the United States and mentally unfixable for some. Cast • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup • Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps • Benedict Cumberbatch as ...

BBC Snooker Coverage 23/11/2014

Neil to Robertson, Ronnie!

BBC Snooker Coverage So a year on in the world of Barry Hearn snooker and here we all were for The Masters Tournament, moved to the Alexander Palace from Wembley Arena as Hearn continues to push his main two sports of darts and snooker closer together, the ‘Ally Pally’ a legendary darts venue, of course. It’s a rowdy place at the best of times and the atmosphere was suburb all week for the local favourites this week at the snooker, matching Wembley Arena for buzz, the crowd really up for Ronnie O’Sullivan, as per usual, chasing a record tenth Masters final. This was where television began and snooker, rather ironically, was televised and relayed from the Palace here to introduce help colour television to the British public. It’s an old building high on the hill in North London to maximise the old aerials reach and adding a nice piece of history to the Masters last week. Ronnie was in the mood to yet again challenge Hearn’s authority by parading his kids in front of the cameras to make the point on why he - and others - are refusing to play the bulk of the new ten month snooker season. Ronnie is saying the travelling is just too much to earn the ranking points they need to stay in the top 16, which he is almost certain to drop out of this year if he doesn’t win one of the next three tournaments and so having to qualify for the World Championship in the spring if he doesn’t. The crucible without The Rocket is unthinkable. It looks like Ronnie will have to play at least one qualifier at a seaside ...

Football and Gangsters - Graham Johnson 23/11/2014

Ched Evans is not footballs only bad boy...

Football and Gangsters - Graham Johnson With convicted rapist Ched Evans in the news right now there is no better time to read this book. What people haven’t thought about with footballers accused of rape is whether they were set up by criminals to be blackmailed and, maybe, his refusal to pay ended up badly. It’s not impossible. There have been numerous cases of young footballers charged with rape in the news over the last ten years, Nail Ranger of Newcastle United the most recent, and only one of them has ever been convicted, Ched Evans. Did the court make an example of the Sheffield United striker or could the charge have ‘gone away’ if he had paid off the gangsters? According to well know Liverpool crime writer Graham Johnson this type of thing does go on. It’s highly likely he exploited a young girl who had been drinking but young women are as promiscuous and daring as young men are these days and its something society and the law is not prepared to counter. Some of the stories of gangsters in football in the book have been collaborated by the police and well known in the press, like the threats on Liverpool players Steve Gerrard and Robbie Fowler, whilst others are more conjecture, like the ones around Wayne Rooney and Micheal Owen. What is true is high ranking thugs and mobsters are around footballers all the time, be it in security, drinking in the same pubs or just friends and associates. There is a lot of money in the game right now and the sharks are circling for a payday, usually using violence and ...

Behind The Shades - Duncan Fletcher 22/11/2014

success can win some genuine enemies and unfaithfaithful friends.

The Proposition (DVD) 22/11/2014

High Noon Down Under Cobber!

BBC1 - Open Coverage 22/11/2014

A soggy sandwich and a pint of Guiness!

Heroes 22/11/2014

Ordinary super heroes? Well just as long as you are cute!

Heroes We all have those deep dreams where we can fly, maybe stop time or move objects around our bedrooms, usually when we are nearly awake, the dreaded 9-5 awaiting us. So we need TV to lift ourselves out of the everyday reality of being just normal and so shows like Hero's are absolutely perfect medicine for it in the primetime mid-week slot. We all want to be some sort of hero to someone else deep down and when you have flawed and normal people just like us up on the big screen being gifted with those powers then you have a sure fire winner. Alas, this is TV and the ‘normal’ people are really rather sexy, although I think we can let the makers of this off as this isn’t too bad as far as entertaining TV goes. Sadly series two didnt carry that on. It’s been too long without some decent popcorn Sci-Fi TV drama on BBC2 and maybe Hero may well be the show that restores our faith in this genre, although it’s early days. The excellent Hyperdrive has neatly replaced Red Dwarf and with Lost and 24 hidden away on cable, Hero is a rather welcome addition, be it a bit simplistic and cheesy in its delivery, but for once the BBC not trying to fiddle me with a phone vote with their new output. From the first few episodes of series one its fair to say the Hero’s Sandwich is a little too chunky on the Tuna dialogue and the red meat of the acting somewhat tough and chewy in parts, one or two more cliché layers of mayo bound to be applied with a big squelchy slop as the series progressed. ...

Unemployed After 50 22/11/2014

Scrap heap workers wanted in Northampton. Must be over 50 though.

Unemployed After 50 My hometown of Northampton made the news recently because the locals, apparently, didn’t fancy packing sandwiches for employment. Greencore, one of the world’s biggest catering companies, chose to advertise 300 jobs for their new Northampton factory in Hungary. On the face of it, it looked liked the locals turned their nose up at those jobs, currently 8000 plus signing on here. But further investigation from a local rag suggested that they had not fully advertised the jobs in Northampton yet because the factory was planned for a 2016 opening. You don’t need a years training to pack egg and tuna sandwiches! There are just as many job hungry Eastern Europeans in Northampton to fill those sandwiches as there are ones prepared to travel 1500 miles to pack them. Greencore, used to outsourcing labor in places like Mexico and Canada, ‘may’ have quite fancied a 700 Euro payment for every foreign worker they employed from Hungary in another country, that payment not available if you employ them in their home EU country. Foreign workers also have fewer rights as they are a long way from home to complain or unionize, as we have seen in agriculture here. There are plenty to pick up the rifle when the other person gets bored of doing the job. Hungarians are just as likely or unlikely to want to pack sandwiches all day as British workers. What the national press didn’t tell you is that two large catering factories had closed in Northamptonshire recently and those guys bespoke for the ...

UK Storage Hunters (DVD) 22/11/2014

Yep, Spotted Dicks on UK vesion!

UK Storage Hunters (DVD) When White Dee, the fat unemployed stereotype from Channel Fours Benefit Street, got on Celebrity Big Brother, television had finally eaten itself, and considering reality TV is televisions vomit, that was not a pleasant sight. The underclass people we all look down on can not, in any universe, become celebrities for doing absolutely nothing. That is breaking the fundamental rules of the television space time continuum. In America reality TV has kept it sense of itself and only ever sends itself up in the reality genre, semi scripted auction shows like Storage Hunters at the heart of that reality theater. SH is one of American station Tru TVs most popular shows, the stable also including Lizard Lick and South Beach Tow that has also made it over the pond. In the United Kingdom these shows are on Dave. After five series of Storage Hunters in America the show has had a trip to the United Kingdom. Problem is the only person to jump on the plane from that enjoyable series is auctioneer Shaun Kelly, the bald bloke who rolls his rrr’s when doing his auction stick. If you don’t know the set up of Storage Hunters it’s basically about people who buy and sell who are afforded the right to bid on and buy the contents of storage lockers (garage sized areas). The lockers are up for public auction as the owners have failed to pay the rent or no longer interesting in paying for storage and dumped it there. The bidders can poke their nose in the unit but cant cross the line into the unit ...

Absentia (DVD) 22/11/2014

The Underpass to Hell!

Absentia (DVD) Genre – Horror Run Time – 87 minutes Certificate – 18 Country – USA Amazon – £8.48 DVD (£9.16 Blue Ray) Awards – 7 Wins & 24 Nominations = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = After the mega low budget success of Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity along comes Absentia, another minimalist low budget horror genre entry. It was partly paid for by a crowd-funding website with over 300 people raising $25,000 of its actual $75,000 budget. Its tough to finance independent film now and TV director Mike Flannigan had to go cap in hand for the rest of the cash from Argentina to get his first feature film made. It looks ok on that budget although the rather oddball concept of a ‘possessed underpass’ not so good an investment. But the equally low budget critics and film awards like Fangoria loved it, garnering 24 nominations on the circuit. CAST Katie Parker ... Callie Courtney Bell ... Tricia Dave Levine ... Det. Mallory Justin Gordon ... Det. Lonergan Morgan Peter Brown ... Daniel James Flanagan ... Jamie Lambert Doug Jones ... Walter Lambert Scott Graham ... Psychiatrist Connie Ventress ... Ruth Ian Gregory ... Mitch Plot LA girl Tricia (Courtney Bell) is six months pregnant, her little sister Callie (Katie Parker) coming around to visit up in the suburban leafy Valley as she prepares to sell her house. Tricia’s husband Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown) mysteriously disappeared seven years ago and she is finally ready to sign the Absentia forms, the official document that declares ...

Exposed : Magicians, Psychics and Frauds (DVD) 22/11/2014

Best documentary of the year so far!

Exposed : Magicians, Psychics and Frauds (DVD) As documentaries go this one is right up there, mind bogglingly good, literally. It’s the tale of James Randi, he, who looked like Father Christmas and spent his life debunking fraud and psychic types, which made his as famous as the frauds and deceivers of the day. Just as we want to be wowed by the trick and illusion we also want to know how it’s done. For most people its fun but for some people those faith healers and psychics look real and they believe in it, the ones who hand over the cash, the sort of people who think a permatanned American preacher can heal their terminal illnesses. From those corrupt evangelists to magicians claiming to be psychics he would go after them and bring them down on Live TV. Randi simply didn’t like the idea people believed in all that stuff and easily relieved of their cash. Magicians were fine and dandy to Randi as you pay on the gate knowing it’s all trickery and there only to be entertained, the white bearded one starting out as the Amazing Randi as a young man. But the likes of Uri Gellar were in his crosshairs because he never confessed to being a magician and Randi wasn’t going to let go. But all along Randi was deceiving others with a big secret, and deceived by someone else very close to him, secrets revealed in the film, the neat bow at the end to make this film work so well. Everyone has their secrets and deceptions. As the Amazing Randi he did ok and black & white footage shows him doing his Houdini style act and various ...
See more reviews Back to top