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Product Reviews

6 (100% helpful)

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  1.  Wire in the Blood - Compulsive


    Awesome, Fantastic, Compulsive

    In the terrifying world of serial killers and crime scene detectives, "Wire in the Blood" is different to the point of being special.

    This series does not sell itself on the glamour of it's settings, it's victims nor it's heroes. On the contrary we are transported to a dirty British industrial town where very unpleasant criminals and intellectually challenged police officers fight it out in derelict buildings and rat infested cellars. Bradfield is to serial killers what Sunnydale is to vampires, but Robson Green is no Buffy.

    This unlikely hero is a dysfunctional academic suffering from dyspraxia, with some wonderful eccentric touches (note how he arrives at top level conferences with his papers in blue plastic carrier bags)

    This psychologist is so bizarre that he drives the police to the brink of their tolerance and sometimes ends up as a suspect himself. But in the end he has the knack of untwisting the minds no other therapy can reach. Robson Green's best ever performance by far.

    If your idea of a good whodunnit involves complex plots, twisted minds, sadistic perverts, exasperating mind games and unexpected endings then this is for you.

    My only tiny concern is that some of the discs have programmes in two parts and others are whole 2 hour shows. Be careful not to miss out some episodes by misreading the menu.

    That aside, find a time when you really will not be interrupted, make sure your doors are locked, and get yourself lost for a while in the terrifying back streets of Bradfield. You may not live to regret it.

  2.  Deliverance


    The greatest film of it's genre.

    One windy night in the autumn of 1975, I sat up all alone in bed watching the Deliverance for the first time.
    Just four ordinary guys all alone in the mountains, hunted by the hill-billies, terrified, desperate to survive.
    Outside the trees were creaking and the hedgehogs squealing in the garden. Indoors the window frames bumped and rattled with each gust of wind. Even through a tiny black and white TV screen I became mesemerised and horrified as the story unfloded and the tension mounted.

    Deliverance is the archetype for all the " hill-billy horror " movies which followed it, such as "Southern Comfort" and "The Hills have Eyes". Watch it without distractions, and without preconceptions.

    But keep your shotgun close at hand.

  3.  Les Visiteurs


    Incredibly funny and remarkably intelligent, this film fulfils a fantasy that most of us have enjoyed.

    How would we really cope if we suddenly found ourselves in a different time zone where everything was new and nothing made sense. A bold Norman knight and his cunning peasant servant find themselves doing battle with everything the 20th century can throw at them, including riot police, lunatic asylums and paranoid dentists.

    There are wonderful slapstick moments which have you falling off your seat in fits of laughter, but also some very subtle and intelligent humour as the values of the present are compared to the values of the past, the class system is lampooned and roles reversed.

    The reviews in Britain slammed it - but only because it was French. The advertising compares it to Monty Python - which it isn't. If you like history, love hilarious, cringe making, laughter, and have always secretly fancied a bit of time travel then join me in making this your all time favourite comedy film.

    Oh,.... and its also a good way to improve your French !

  4.  Praetorians


    There is nothing actually wrong with this game, but it suffers from one overwhelming weakness - it toatlly fails to reach the standards set by the market leader - Rome: Total War.

    Anyone who has played RTW will get bored with Praetorians whilst still working through the introductory tutorial. Six little men hiding in a bush - it's not the stuff that great empires are made of.

    Do yourself a favour just this once and dont wate your money on the underdog. RTW knocks this clean off the ramparts.

  5.  Green Street


    The working class culture of London's East End. The football violence of the 1980's and 90's. A flash of real life as an alternative to so many fanciful films.

    This production is rich in humour, philosophy and violent excitement. It's the first time I have ever seen a film which could portray working class Britain accurately to an American audience.

    The violent subculture portrayed on screen is based on the real life exploits of the "Intercity Firm" who were genuine supporters of West Ham United, who took their name from the "Intercity" trains on which they travelled and who were indeed much feared by the followers of Arsenal, Tottenham and Milwall, as shown in the film.

    The fascinating truth about these real life hooligans was that they held down highly respectable jobs as bankers, teachers and even police offcers but spent their weekends in a state of war against rival fans. A few cases came to court but the mass of the public was never aware of the high levels of organisation which included planting spies in rival firms and monitoring the movements of opponents through the streets and the stations.

    The story sees the principal character make the journey from soft college boy to hardened hooligan, and loving it. When things go horribly wrong he has to readjust his thinking, but deep down inside the seed has been planted and he has learned to stand his ground, - "forever blowing bubbles" as the film says.

    No drama reflects life perfectly but I can say with first hand experience that this one came pretty close.

  6.  15 Park Avenue


    A wonderfully sensitive drama tracing the impact of schizophrenia on a young woman and her family. Set in India, but in the English language this film transcends all national boundaries with its focus on the struggle of individuals and family in the face of adversity.
    The acting is first class and the settings convincing.
    An excellent entertaining film for all ages, but of particular interest to those who themselves have studied or coped with psychiatric illness.

  7.  A decisive attack on Haig's dreadful folly


    The Battle of the Somme ended in 1916 but the battle of words has continued down the years. This video effectively ends that debate.

    The first day on the Somme saw the greatest losses ever suffered by the British Army in one day. Only the Roman defeat at Cannae and the German Spring offensives of 1918 are comparable in terms of the loss of life. Moreover the horror of the Somme continued for months after that fateful first day.

    It was the tragedy of the Somme, more than any other experience which provoked the popular revulsion towards war and the rise of pacifism as a new political force in the 20th century.

    In the 1950s and 1960s several historians advanced the view that Haig was doing what had to be done and that his attrition tactics were essential, to break the will of the professional German army and to save the French from defeat in the aftermath of Verdun. These attempts to rehabilitate Haig were firmly rebuffed by the late AJP Taylor, undoubtedly the greatest 20th century historian, but the seeds of doubt had been planted and the question continued to be asked - was the sacrifice of the Somme justified after all.

    The Line of Fire film of the Somme paints a picture of Haig as a cavalry officer completely out of touch with the circumstances of modern warfare, his mistakes so obvious and so massive that nothing can possibly serve as an excuse. He over-rules General Rawlinson and sets the men impossible targets. He assumes that guns firing shrapnell will destroy barbed wire, and fails to act on reports from the front line that the wire has not been destroyed. His trenches are overlooked by the Germans who can see every aspect of the British preparations. The list goes on but of all the errors one stands out as wicked above all the others which ae merely stupid.

    Haig did not trust his men. They had volunteered to leave their civilian jobs and fight in the "Kitchener Army", but as they were not professionals in his eyes he was afraid that they might become disorganised if they charged towards the German lines. He therefore ordered them to walk, slowly, in long lines which presented perfect targets for the German machine guns. And walk they did. Carrying heavy packs, tools, rolls of barbed wire and various other kit, they walked slowly forwards to their death.

    The film illustrates the incompetence of the high command by highlighting two situations where the British attack did best - and where in both cases the local commanders had specifically disobeyed the order to walk forward slowly.

    This video effectively settles 90 years of argument and forever establishes General Sir Douglas Haig as the inexcusable Butcher of the Somme.