Out of Sight was one of the best movies of 1998 but ironically this superior crime comedy was a box-office disappointment. Fortunately the movie can enjoy a...... more
Out of Sight was one of the best movies of 1998 but ironically this superior crime comedy was a box-office disappointment. Fortunately the movie can enjoy a long life on home video and DVD, where it can be savoured by anyone who missed its original release. Making one of his strongest films since his 1989 debut Sex, Lies, and Videotape and his recent hit Erin Brockovich, director Steven Soderbergh pays tribute to the signature wit and intricacy of Elmore Leonard's novel, brilliantly adapted by Scott Frank, the gifted screenwriter who previously adapted Leonard's Get Shorty. The movie is primarily a showcase for the talent and chemistry of George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, respectively playing a career bank robber who has escaped from jail and the federal agent who falls for his charms while tracking him down. Soderbergh directs with confident visual flair, shifting timelines (à la Pulp Fiction) to weave together subplots and maintain vivid focus on Leonard's splendid characters and smooth-as-silk dialogue. While the sexy repartée between Clooney and Lopez recalls the vintage interplay of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Ving Rhames and Steve Zahn add ample comic relief as Clooney's accomplices. Dennis Farina is memorable as Lopez's father and Albert Brooks is almost unrecognisable as a Wall Street crook whose mansion--and a cache of uncut diamonds--provides the setting for the film's climactic caper. As orchestrated by Soderbergh, the film offers a feast of plot twists and surprises but it never loses track of its delightful characters and the clever wit that brings them so vividly to life. --Jeff Shannon
Letters to Hitler Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans of both sexes and all ages wrote letters to Hitler. Lost for decades, a large...... more
Letters to Hitler Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans of both sexes and all ages wrote letters to Hitler. Lost for decades, a large cache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB Special Archive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the Soviet Secret Police at the end of the war. The letters range from gushing love letters - 'I love you so much. Write to me, please, ' this from a... Full description
From the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of Darkmans comes a comic epistolary novel of startling originality and wit. Reading other people's letters is...... more
From the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of Darkmans comes a comic epistolary novel of startling originality and wit. Reading other people's letters is always a guilty pleasure. But for PC Roger Topping contemplating a cache of 27 undelivered missives, retrieved from a back alley in Skipton, it's a job of work. The quaint village of Burley Cross has been plunged into turmoil by the theft of the contents of its postbox, and no-one is above suspicion. Yet Topping's investigation into the curtain-twitching lives of the eminently respectable Burley Cross residents not only uncovers the dark underbelly of his beat, but reveals a hitherto unknown strength of character buried deep within the young flatfoot. The denizens of Burley Cross inhabit a world of epic pettiness, where secrets are the currency. From complaints about dog shit to passive-aggressive fanmail, from biblical amateur dramatics to an Auction of Promises that goes staggeringly wrong, Nicola Barker's epistolary novel is a work of immense comic range. Irresistibly mischievous, Burley Cross Postbox Theft is Alan Bennett with added Tamiflu, sex-therapy and cheap vodka.
Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season boxed set is much more than the sum of its parts, in fact it's one of the most significant TV DVD releases yet....... more
Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season boxed set is much more than the sum of its parts, in fact it's one of the most significant TV DVD releases yet. This isn't just an 8-disc set featuring 24 episodes of live sketch comedy, it's a big box of zeitgeist. This really is the complete first season, mostly uncut and complete with every musical act and short film intact (a few bumpers and transitions were removed to make it flow better on DVD). The first broadcast aired on October 11, 1975, hosted by George Carlin and featured musical guests Billy Preston and Janis Ian. At first, things seem a little raw: Carlin's opening monologue is painfully unfunny, Chase's first shot at the seminal "Weekend Update" is amusing but sloppy, and much of the cast seem to be holding back. But the groundwork is all there, and soon in subsequent episodes you can see it all start to come together (especially with John Belushi who lets his simmering intensity out to tremendous effect), proving that the first episode simply belies the historic impact the show would come to have on popular culture. Here you'll find the first airing of some of the many skits that stayed famous over the years: the Land Shark, Samurai Hotel, Chevy Chase's opening pratfalls and the impersonations of Gerald Ford which would spin off into the proud SNL tradition of presidential parodies. The set is a very entertaining look at a significant point in TV and American cultural history. It is so 1975, but that's a major part of its appeal: did Chevy Chase really used to look that young? Did a young George Carlin really used to look so old? Check out Abba in those disco jumpsuits. And if you're a fan of The Muppets, seeing them here on late-night TV making jokes about getting drunk will blow your mind. Younger fans may not fully understand just how groundbreaking this show was at the time. For example, Richard Pryor hosting the seventh episode, which includes the famous "Word Association" sketch. Back then, to have a comedian of Pryor's reputation joking about drugs, sex, and race on live TV was a tremendous risk (it's also gratifying to see the obvious effect he had on the next generation of comics like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock), and it helped established the show's cache as unpredictable and edgy. The DVD set is full of moments like this and, like the show itself, it has its ups and downs. Watching hosts like Rob Reiner (back when he was still in his "Meathead" days from All in the Family), Madeleine Kahn, and Desi Arnaz work their comedy chops with the cast are high points. Whereas the infamous Louise Lasser episode, which is known for being among the worst episodes in the show's history not so much. Still, it's entirely to Executive Producer Lorne Michaels's credit that it's included here. It's a tremendous collection of everything that gave birth to Saturday Night Live, and the seed of what SNL would become, spawning many movies (not to mention a few catch-phrases), launching the careers of many great comedians, and providing TV viewers with some of the most famous, and infamous, moments in broadcast history. And it all started right here. --Daniel Vancini
Advantages: Strong heavy/hard AOR-themed rock, anthemic sound, biting guitar riffs, great vocals Disadvantages: The album, along with the artist, is extremely underrated, album isn't quite as strong as debut
...Be the Fool, but today the album has gained something of a following and more credit overall.
But Rio were not deterred and with the help of studio musicians the band recorded their second and last studio album Sex Crimes, released in 1986 again on the Music for Nations label. It was produced by Rodford again, and featured Beasley Drake on drums, James Stevens on emulator, with backing vocals...
Advantages: Interesting and funny. Disadvantages: Not to everyones 'taste'. Some displays seemed disorganised.
...Sex Museum, Amsterdam
For a bit of fun and possibly out of pure curiosity, during a trip to Amsterdam in March 2012 we took a trip to the Sex Museum. Until this weekend away I had no idea such a place existed so I didn't really know what to expect. I guess the name was pretty obvious but really... how can they put sex into a museum?
*Before reading any further please note that this review...
...At last , I finally managed to see the first Sex and The City movie ; something I have been wanting to see ever since it came out , even though I wasn't sure if I would like it not. However , after seeing that the DVD was selling for just £5 in Sainsburys the other day, I couldn't help but put a copy in my trolley.
For those of you who don't know , Sex and The City , the movie , is based...