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debby "mystery lover" (Canada)
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David Jason: The Autobiography
David Jason: The Autobiography
by David Jason
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.04
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

4.0 out of 5 stars We own the entire series and have enjoyed watching them (some more than once) over the years, July 18 2014
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First let me say that my husband and I are huge fans of A Touch of Frost in which David Jason plays the detective, Inspector Jack Frost. We own the entire series and have enjoyed watching them (some more than once) over the years. So I decided to get the autobiography for a bit of insight into the 'real' man. Sir David does gives us little glimpses. His early childhood experiences are very clearly described along with his insecurities and adventures (and misadventures). Everything written has a humorous and self-deprecating touch to it and you learn that struggling actors are just regular people after all.
I found the middle of the book a bit slow going however. For whatever reasons, Sir David gets a bit bogged down in all his various parts, auditions, rejections, and job offers and the 'human' element gets a bit lost. I was most curious of course in the development of the Frost character (personal choice) and found that section more interesting. Many of the comedies he describes were not shown on Canadian Television so perhaps that was why the long and elaborate details surrounding them didn't resonate with me.
As for the later years of his personal life...I feel he dispatched the facts in a very quick, brief way. He devotes only a few pages to the tragedy of his partner's death (although he does acknowledge his obvious pain)...I'd have loved to know a bit more about her and their relationship (this is after all an autobiography) and he really skims along when it comes to his marriage and the birth of his daughter.
Overall the book is an easy read (despite some repetitive chapters - ie. the roles change but the scenerio is the same - will he get the job, how he struggles with the job etc.) and Sir David has a wonderful sense of humor so the book is 'laugh out loud' funny. I am just sorry that he kept his autobiography so superficial - as noted, there are a few glimpses into his persona but not enough to feel you really know the man - although you will surely know his resume. Despite my disappointment in the 'narrowness' of the book, I'd still recommend it. This actor has given millions of people so much joy through his impressive body of work over many years and I am very glad I purchased and read his latest contribution.

Ripper Street: Season Two
Ripper Street: Season Two
DVD ~ Matthew Macfadyen
Price: CDN$ 19.99
22 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment, April 19 2014
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This review is from: Ripper Street: Season Two (DVD)
We loved Season One and eagerly awaited Season Two - yikes - what a huge disappointment! The music is so loud that you literally cannot make out anything anyone is saying. The first disc had an interesting plotline - the drug invasion into Whitechapel - replete with crooked cops and traffikers of narcotics. However there was so much fighting, bloodletting and gruesome action, that the fine acting we enjoyed in Series One was lost in the loud circus atmosphere of Series Two. Every other scene comprised of fist fights, stabbings and drug taking. I wouldn't recommend this unless you enjoy extreme violence and sparse character development.

The Bletchley Circle: Season 2
The Bletchley Circle: Season 2
Price: CDN$ 19.99
27 used & new from CDN$ 15.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS - I PRAY FOR A SEASON THREE, April 19 2014
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This is an outstanding series. We enjoyed the first season and were thrilled that a second season emerged. The stories are gripping and the acting is terrific. If you like crime/detective/spy type films of high quality, then you can't go wrong. My only disappointment is that there aren't ten discs or more! Highly recommend!!!

Kiss Me Deadly (Widescreen)
Kiss Me Deadly (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Ralph Meeker
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 37.15
10 used & new from CDN$ 3.28

2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, stupid and loud, March 22 2014
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This review is from: Kiss Me Deadly (Widescreen) (DVD)
Don't waste your money on this. I bought it based on the rave reviews but clearly I must have missed something! The acting is terrible - everyone shouting, screaming and running around. The plot is ridiculous and the ending ... well just as ridiculous. Ralph Meeker is okay and the film begins with some promise. It soon deteriorates into total silliness. My husband couldn't watch it to the end.

DNA: The Complete Series 1 and 2
DNA: The Complete Series 1 and 2
DVD ~ Samantha Bond
Price: CDN$ 32.86
16 used & new from CDN$ 27.53

2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Ridiculous, Jan. 27 2014
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This series sounded intriguing and since we like mysteries, we thought we'd give it a try. The premise of the first two shows is that the lead 'good guy' (Tom Conti) having suffered a breakdown must now prove he isn't responsible for a series of crimes. There are a number of aspects that make this utterly ridiculous in my opinion. First of all there is great detail given to the fastidious care taken by the team. They literally wear 'HazMat' suits when collecting DNA and every little hair and fibre is examined with various computer technology. I presume this is to lend credibility and reality to the show. Yet when the 'good guy' is bonked on the head with a crowbar he sustains absolutely NO injury! He miraculously survives a beating and a near drowning and resumes life as if nothing happened! At the end, another bonk with the crowbar on another character also leaves NO BLOOD on the victim! -really? We suffer through all the 'realistic' stuff only to come to this fantasy.

Tom Conti is mismatched with his wife - a sexy runaround. He is super casual and accepting (beyond belief) of her behaviour. Another ridiculous inconsistency is that when a very 'bad' suspect is questioned by police, he has his lawyer present. However when Conti's teenage son is questioned for many hours and days - no lawyer. Too many major flubs - too many 'really?' moments to make this a plausible storyline. We bailed after the first two shows - too ridiculous for words.

Ripper Street: Season One
Ripper Street: Season One
DVD ~ Matthew Macfadyen
Price: CDN$ 14.99
29 used & new from CDN$ 11.49

5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!!!!, Dec 21 2013
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This review is from: Ripper Street: Season One (DVD)
We loved Ripper Street Season One and can't wait to get Season Two. The acting is outstanding and the characters are so well developed. The plotlines are intriguing and reflect the time period of the late eighteen hundreds. While there is a lot of violence, I didn't find it offensive in any way - it wasn't over the top - just enough that was necessary to the plot and I tend to be sensitive to 'gore'. I highly highly recommend this series!

Above Suspicion - Set 1
Above Suspicion - Set 1
DVD ~ Kelly Reilly
Price: CDN$ 39.74
23 used & new from CDN$ 28.36

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!!!!, Sept. 29 2013
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This review is from: Above Suspicion - Set 1 (DVD)
My husband and I love crime/drama/mystery shows and this seemed intriguing. Part of the fun is being able to watch an intelligently presented 'puzzle' and figure it out. Now we come to Above Suspicion - get the barf bag! From the instant it begins, there are graphic and disgustingly realistic imagery of death and decay. It is almost as if the writers don't really care about the script, plot or mystery, but rather they prefer to show off their expertise in replicating true life autopsies and decomposing bodies. The woman detective - new to her job - does the typical 'vomit' scene when she views the victim - green goop flowing out of her mouth - are we supposed to be impressed with the special effects department? We turned it off halfway through the very first episode ...what a total waste! I find these 'over the top' violent, graphic shows insulting and downright offensive. They do not entertain nor do they stretch one's thinking. They certainly don't reflect any kind of subtle sensitivity to actual victims of crime but rather in a macabre way exploit them. Above Suspicion is all about shock and awe and after a few minutes we'd had more than enough.

Bleak House [Blu-ray]
Bleak House [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Anna Maxwell Martin
Price: CDN$ 43.60
17 used & new from CDN$ 18.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST!, Sept. 29 2013
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This review is from: Bleak House [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Loved this production of Bleak House. Dickens' novel is given careful attention and development. The story ( which IMO is one of Dickens' best works) is a complex mix of characters centered around one main plotline - the settlement of a WILL. Of course there are subplots and twists and turns - a murder - and the final resolution. The acting, settings, costumes and script are all five star and well worth the time. We enjoyed this over several nights of viewing and were sorry when it ended. It is not always evenly paced - some parts slower while others full of action, but this is Dickens at his best and the DVD does him justice. I highly highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy English Classics!

Injustice
Injustice
DVD ~ James Purefoy
Price: CDN$ 39.74
25 used & new from CDN$ 17.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clever - keeps you on your toes!, Sept. 29 2013
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This review is from: Injustice (DVD)
We really loved this 'series'. It is cleverly done. There are actually two plots - one revolves around the murder of an animal rights activist, while the other focuses on the strangulation of a young secretary. However the two plots - which are very clearly and carefully depicted - interwine. The writing and acting are superb - does Anthony Horowitz (writer of the brilliant series Foyle's War) ever do anything sub-par? - I doubt it! It is a real puzzler and highly enjoyable. We watched it over a period of a few days after dinner. We couldn't wait to see each new episode and only partially guessed what was going on. I'd highly recommend it.

Falcon
Falcon
Price: CDN$ 39.74
25 used & new from CDN$ 22.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, Sept. 29 2013
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This review is from: Falcon (DVD)
Based on the positive review, we purchased this 'movie'. It was a huge disappointment so we only watched one of the two discs. The first story revolved around detective Falcon's personal journey from his childhood and how this all connected to the case 'du jour'. Sounds interesting but wait - Falcon, despite being a detective, has a remarkably hazy memory of his own past, his father and mother and their convoluted relationship which is connected to his current murder case. His sister on the other hand has some very important information but he only seeks her out towards the end of the story. The gory death scenes, chases and close calls, are over the top. Falcon plays the role (even seducing the first murder victim's widow - how implausible is that?) half asleep - brooding and doing all kinds of 'cool' and 'hip' things like taking drugs and flirting with women all the while trying to be serious in the police department - come on!!! The one star goes to the city of Seville which is a beautiful backdrop. Both my husband and I found the entire long drawn out episode we watched to be gratuitously violent yet strangely at the same time, downright silly. I would not recommend unless you don't mind stretching your imagination and engaging in lots of deep, dark, black undertones of nonsense.

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