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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?

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since 13/05/2008


The Worlds Greatest Food Markets 26/11/2014

The new Alan Sugar?

The Worlds Greatest Food Markets One of the saddest downward spirals on television today is Sir Alan Sugar’s vanity exercise that we all know as The Apprentice, now in its tenth series and increasingly undermining any credibility Sugar had left in the business world. If the ten people you want to really really work with you all leave then you can’t be much of a boss and you should get the message. I have always thought he is a snidely horrible bloke and Dave Whelan maybe right on this case. Sugar likes being famous over being a busy entrepreneur these days and just cant let go of fame, increasingly ridiculous candidates selected and then humiliated to drag out series after series, mugs also looking for TV careers. But we may have a new East End working-class TV hero in the likable but gruff fish trader that is Roger Barton, the so-called ‘Bastard of Billingsgate’. He was in a BBC documentary at the start of the year about the famous old fish market being dragged into the multicultural 21st London century and proved the most engaging (and least racist) characters of the wily old cockney traders, but more importantly didn’t get tricked into blaming everything on immigrants on camera and proved a decent people person to all faiths and skin colors, as harsh as his business skills were on his fellow traders and customers. It’s a tough life down on the market and Roger lived every line of it on his grey bearded mush. He is the sort of bloke you would want in the trenches. Cor blimey guv’nor! So, how do you ...

Paradise or Bust (DVD) 26/11/2014

A carbon guzzling eco dream...?

The Wall (DVD) 26/11/2014

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 ...

36 (DVD) 26/11/2014

Gentleman, you have 36 hours to save the movie,,.

36 (DVD) In the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy the answer to life and everything was 42, apparently, but the answer to great action packed French cinema isn’t 36. Reading the positive blurb for this in the movie media you are expecting something very good, especially as most give it four stars. Pitched as a cross between Heat and The Departed, you have to be interested in this glossy crime thriller, the two leads of Frances premier ‘conks’ of Gerald Depardieu (the camel toe nose) and Daniel Auteuil (the Snozzel), suggest only a big budget stonker, all the ingredients for great foreign film. But this is French cine and so that means that every ten minutes the protagonists have to light up a Gitannes high tar, slowing things right down, more black leather clad cops than the Village people’s dressing room. After twenty minutes you start to feel the reviews have nothing to do with the film you are seeing unfold, the only connection with DeNiro and Pacino in the more superior movie the rivalry between the two leads. Just because you have a big nose and a bigger gun it doesn’t mean you have a cool movie on your hands. Yes the pair are good on screen together, Auteuil definitely the only reason to rent this, but the narrative and plot mechanisms are silly and the film overly long at 104 minutes. The scene where a drunken Depardieu bungles the raid is ridiculous as it is unexpected in what’s supposed to be a sophisticated crime thriller. -The narrative- Based on a true story-at least for ...

Channel 4 - The West Wing 26/11/2014

The best television drama ever!

Channel 4 - The West Wing Season 7-More4 There’s a definite feeling of the ship being scuttled here as the seventh and final series of the worlds greatest TV drama draws to a close for me on More4. Americas most intelligent television drama ever is no more in my world, and like many other fans, I shed a tear as episode 22 faded out like President Bartlett’s Democrats from the Whitehouse. Richard Schiff, who plays the lugubrious communications speech writer Toby Ziegler, tried to talk Aaron Eckhart and the HBO producers around into a future series covering a Republican presidency, but as yet there’s not even a whisper of that happening. I’m sure a few years down the line the temptation will be there to bring back this awesome show but they have no plans. Another hint the producers wanted to run the ship onto the reef is most of the cast romantically pair off, some surprise attractions too, others more obvious. The body language with the actors is very much that this is it…there’s no more West Wing. Some didn’t make it to the end of the final series, John Spencer, who played Chief of Staff for all seven series, hit the final fence and died during filming episode 15. Not only is there a tributary episode here for a much loved member of the cast but genuine tears for his on screen funeral. What I love most about the show is the way the liberal writers interpolate most of America’s current and past political episodes into the script, concurrent and long running political issues of US domestic and ...

Gypo (DVD) 25/11/2014

Czech mate

Gypo (DVD) Asylum and immigration was the emotive issue of the last decade in the UK and the more the government ignores it the more problems we will have, be it that irrational bigotry from us or the threat of crime, terrorism and a shortage of housing stock from the other side of the coin. The angle explored in this nuts and bolts, wobbly camera drama on the growing UK squeeze centers on Kent’s costal town of Margate, the nearby Channel Tunnel the bottleneck, the main protagonists some Eastern European Roma who are trying to settle here to escape persecution, currently living on a caravan park in Margate, not exactly an improvement from where they came from. With abuse by some locals from similar social backgrounds-people that should understand their plight, but get a self esteem lift from being abusive to the refugees in the town-the story touches on many pertinent issues. Immigration is always about the local pecking order. It’s interesting the film producers chose Margate as the location, in the news last year for growing threats of social divide. Due to a large Roma intake Kent were one of those county councils that have introduced the ‘Britishness Test’ for immigrants, controversially the test not including a quiz about British history, just how to claim benefits, healthcare, housing and equal rights etc. Alas if you have no English skills the DHS Is likely to be your first point of local council contact in the UK, hence Gordon Brown targeting those immigrants and asylum ...

Prison Break - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 25/11/2014

Even straight guys go weak at the knees for Wentworth Miller...

Prison Break - Series 1 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) Star – Wentworth Miller Genre – TV Crime box set Run Time – 12 episodes Certificate – 18 Country – USA Awards – Wins nominations Oscars – Amazon – £ (£Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Now is the time to catch up on all those American TV shows you wish you had seen but were on pay TV or were expensive box sets back in the day. Amazon Marketplace are having a huge clear out and you can pick up great quality older series like Prison Break for as little as 50p, as I have. With £1.24 postage you are getting plenty of TV viewing on the cold winter nights for next to nothing. I recall this one was on Channel Five back in the day but if you didn’t have digital cable TV then in our region you couldn’t get Channel Five. So ten years later here I am enjoying it. The star is the /gay/teen/mature/straight male icon that is the extremely sexy, tattooed Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield, the premise being the super intelligent structural engineer breaks into prison to bust out his hunky older brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell), who is facing the electric chair for a murder he appeared not to commit. Writer Paul Scheuring intriguing concept was nearly made into a film by Steven Spielberg because of the potential for a taught prison movie but felt he could squeeze more out of it over long period. It’s a great idea for a TV series. He made the right decision. A law suit was filed against Fox by two brothers who claim the idea was stolen from their script of their experiences ...

UK Storage Hunters (DVD) 25/11/2014

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 ...

Unemployed After 50 25/11/2014

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 ...

Zack And Miri Make A Porno (DVD) 25/11/2014

Smith and Rogen make a stinker?

Zack And Miri Make A Porno (DVD) Star – Seth Rogen Run – Time 101 minutes Certificate – 18 Genre – Comedy Country – USA --------------- ----- If one word could define the last decade of American comedy it would have to be ‘Bromance’, Judd Atapaw and Seth Rogen two names fully welded into my Thesaurus since I started reviewing on dooyoo and ciao, the irritating bubble perm of Rogen the beacon of this new breed of lad comedy. I’m all for change and really liked the freshness of films like Superbad and the 40-Year-old Virgin, films that helped flush away that dreadful roll call of teenage puerile dirge like American Pie and Road trip that dominated the 1990s lads comedy genre, knob and pie gags so 1970s. But, although we needed that change, after Zac and Miri we may need another, the Bromance all rather stale now after a long decade packed full of it. Kevin Smith, the director of Zac and Miri, was another who tried to change things in the comedy ‘noughties’, his brilliant debut stoner comedy ‘Clerks’, followed up with the relative box-office success of the View Askewniverse’ series off Mallrats, Dogma and Jay & Silent Bob, pretty good stuff, but tailing off some as his budgets rose and the studios asked him to increasingly dumb it down to ping the lowest common denominator to make sure Smith gets the money back, and so it was encouraging to see his comedy universe merge with Apatow’s to try and keep things fresh in a genre that can quickly go stale if left unwrapped. It was quite clear from the ...

The West Wing - Series 6 (Box Set) (DVD) 24/11/2014


The West Wing - Series 6 (Box Set) (DVD) Have you noticed in the West Wing it’s always winter, politicians and political players alike, forever draped in knee length power coats, endlessly walking around in circles to keep warm in the corridors of power? At least the staff doesn’t have to go home at night to eat and sleep in that constant chill and gloom, the end of each episode their unseen down time, the Whitehouse a tardis citadel. So, in that case, why does the Secret Service need to wear sunglasses if it’s always dark in the corridors of power? Those questions won’t be answered in the West Wing, but pretty much anything else will in this stunning political drama that has never had a bad day in its seven years. Six series seen and it has never been better. I don’t think there has been a better TV drama in my lifetime. Right from the opening iconic theme tune that just exudes power and class; you are hooked into this stunning drama. So good is the acting that when you watch a British soapy drama in comparison you just laugh at how poor we are at this stuff. This is a masterpiece of gripping intelligent television. In fact so accurate the writing and substance that Tony Blair models himself on it by all accounts. If only his spin doctors were as all seeing and all knowing as these guys are, able to resolve or consolidate any problem at the drop of a hat. And never swearing in the process. For some reason terrestrial Channel Four gave up on this at the end of series four, although the fact the Sopranos has ...

Our Children (DVD) 24/11/2014

Sometimes women do terrible things to

Our Children (DVD) Genre – World Cinema Run Time – 111 minutes Certificate – 18R Country – Belgium Awards – 8 Wins & 9 nominations Amazon – £5.99 (£6.50 Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Our Children was inspired by a real-life Belgian family tragedy in the late 1990s, big news over there. The rules on the value of children beyond these shores are very different, boys often more valuable than girls, ten million less Indians girls then there should be in the world. Boys produce dowries, girls don’t. We know more cot deaths than we are comfortable with are probably murder in the west but women are given the benefit of doubt in court so we don’t have to deal with unpalatable truths. Sometimes women crack from the pressure of young babies and being home alone. A screaming baby annoys everyone. We choose to blame the men in their lives or social services to lift that collective anxiety. We, as a society, have chosen women as the weaker sex and treat them that way in court through mitigation. A woman can use booze as a ubiquitous defense in court for a rape allegation whereas alcohol is the number one witness for the prosecution for men. The British police get overloaded with domestic abuse cases and so our cynical government increased prison sentences for domestic violence, knowing full well women would be less likely to press charges if the wage earner was likely to be locked up. That’s how we reduce sexual and abuse crime in the modern age. You only need look at Rotherham. It’s ...

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 ...

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 ...
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