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film fan (Kent, UK)

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Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]
Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]
DVD ~ Orson Welles
Offered by MusicaMonette / CD-DVD-Blu Ray-Karaoke / from Canada
Price: CDN$ 49.99
20 used & new from CDN$ 7.22

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favourite film of all time. This film is genius., July 23 2010
When this film came out originally in 1941 it courted a lot of controversy because Orson Welles based Charles Foster Kane on William Randolph Hurst, the newspaper magnate. But what Orson Welles did with this film was create a masterpiece and added a couple of strokes of pure genius into the mix. What you see in the whole of the film is that everything in foreground and background is in focus. A camera technique that hasn't been done before or since. Also, the use of the editing and music is masterful. When Orson Welles made this phenomenon of a film he was only 25 years old and this was his directorial debut.

It tells the story of a journalist (Joseph Cotton) who goes round interviewing the people who knew Charles Foster Kane professionally and personally to find out what sort of a man he was to work with and live with. And also it's his mission to find out the meaning of the last word 'Rosebud' uttered by Charles Foster Kane on his deathbed. What happens next is that we go back to flashbacks as each person tells their own story to the journalist and recants to him all they know about the mysterious Citizen Kane.

Orson Welles, with this his first feature film, created a work of, in my mind, masterful brilliance. The techniques he used at the time were revolutionary and what some directors take for granted today. This is story-telling of the highest order and as far as I'm concerned possibly the best film ever made. This is a wonderful film on so many levels. I mentioned the camera technique used in this film. I mean it's staggering that a 25 year old first time director asks his director of photography if he could make everything in shot foreground and background in complete focus. Also his use of the music along with the editing and sound is exemplary. That's what I mean about genius.

I can sort of understand the negative reviews of this film by a lot of the reviewers. But compared to quite a lot of the sub-standard dross that gets churned out nowadays this film is very special and quite possibly an inspiration to some directors.

The special features disc on the British version of this 2-disc special edition includes a look at how the film came about and features a whole host of special features looking at the making of a classic amongst others. A truly spectacular piece of pure cinema.

De Retour a La Source
De Retour a La Source
5 used & new from CDN$ 45.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and enchanting album by Isabelle Boulay., Oct. 31 2007
This review is from: De Retour a La Source (Audio CD)
I purchased this album today on a day trip to France and have already listened to it twice and have found it to be a beautiful and sensational album. It was not what I was expecting at all and I was pleasantly surprised.

There is a lot of great stuff on here and each track on here is worth listening to. Her voice is like liquid chocolate and pours over the songs with such grace and wonderful timing. I don't have a particular favourite on here so I would have to choose the whole album.

I am glad I came across this astonishing artist with such a beautiful singing voice. I first saw this album back in June when I was on holiday in Canada. Now I've capitalised on my misfortune and feel satisfied with myself that this album is a knockout. This is full of excellent arrangements and sung so beautifully. A must have.

Oh My Nola
Oh My Nola
Offered by InMusicWeTrust2016
Price: CDN$ 8.15
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.74

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry's amazing tribute to New Orleans on superb album., Oct. 13 2007
This review is from: Oh My Nola (Audio CD)
I picked up this album on a holiday to Canada at the end of June and since returning back to the UK, have listened to it a number of times. There are a lot of styles on this album ranging from jazz, soul, R&B and a little bit of funk.

One of the standout tracks featured on here is 'All These People'. The song he wrote after visiting the aftermath of what happened in New Orleans that fateful day. It's a powerful track and he's very well supported by Gospel singer Kim Burrell. Another standout for me is the funky version of 'Elihah Rock'. I found this song fun to listen to.

Although I enjoyed the whole album and his excellent arrangements on the standards including 'Working In A Coalmine', 'Sheik Of Araby' and 'Careless Love' make these songs come alive and there's a new lease of life thanks to the effortless vocals from Mr Connick Jr and the superb playing from his band and accompanying orchestra.

As far as I'm concerned, this is one of Harry Connick Jr's best and finest albums to date. There's almost a heartfelt feel given to the tracks on here as if they've been lovingly brought back to existence. A great album then.

Young Bloods
Young Bloods
Edition: Paperback
3 used & new from CDN$ 0.69

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and beautifully written. A great start to this series., Aug. 3 2007
This review is from: Young Bloods (Paperback)
This book is the first in a series of four books entitled 'Revolution'. Here we take a look at two very different men who grow up at the same time but in different lands. One is Arthur Wesley (Wellesley later Wellington), from Ireland, and we follow him as he persues two different careers from musical sensation to the army and also his unwavering desire for the girl of his dreams, Kitty. The other is Napoleon Bonaparte, from Corsica, as we follow him from his home land to the fruits of France as he rises up through the ranks in the French Army to Artillery Commander. We also follow his knack for leadership among his men impressing his superiors.

This is a thoroughly gripping and, at times, very fascinating read as we follow these extraordinary men on their quest to impress their superiors and their partners and comparing their leadership qualities in their different battles and trying to hold some civility with their own families. Wesley trying to make a name for himself so his family could be proud of him and Napoleon hoping to do similar only wanting to lead an army.

Simon Scarrow, the book's author, does a splendid job with the material he's researched and though some of it is fictional, the main part of the story, including the battles, are real. This is a great start to the 'Revolution' series that continues with "The Generals". One of the best historical fiction novels I've read.

Walk the Line (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
Walk the Line (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Joaquin Phoenix
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent and dazzling portrait of the Man in Black., July 12 2007
I saw this outstanding and honest film about Johnny Cash's life at the cinema with my parents. When we left we realised that we saw something amazing. A film that had the viewer transfixed to the screen by its raw power and energy. This was a very special film indeed.

The film is topped and tailed by Johnny Cash's performance at the Folsom Prison in the early part of the 60's. In between these two scenes, we are shown the main story of Cash's childhood upbringing, his reaction when his brother dies in a freak accident, his leaving home to start on a singing career, get in trouble with women relationships and drugs, up to the moment when he meets and falls in love with June Carter who does her painstaking best to get him off the drugs and to clean his act up.

There are some stunning and memorable scenes in this amazingly realised film and there are some powerful scenes too like the one where we see Cash collapse on stage from a drug overdose. I thought this scene was handled brilliantly.

The performances from the two lead actors Joaquin Phoenix and Reece Witherspoon are two of the best performances that I've seen. Joaquin Phoenix gives Johnny Cash a ruggish charm and makes him someone to relate to and to gain some kind of inspiration from. I felt he should have won the Oscar for his magnificent portrayal. Whereas Reece Witherspoon did win the Oscar for her tremendous and scintillating performance as June Carter. She is utterly believable in the part. Her part had Oscar written all over it.

All the singing throughout the film were by Joaquin Phoenix and Reece Witherspoon. They spent six months rehearsing and getting their voices right and to be honest I thought they sounded damn good! In my view, this film is possibly one of the best biopics of the modern age. A definite must see.

La Fille sur le pont
La Fille sur le pont
Offered by FranceCinéma
Price: CDN$ 48.00
3 used & new from CDN$ 26.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical and delightful film., July 10 2007
This review is from: La Fille sur le pont (DVD)
I fell in love with this whimsical and delightful film the first moment I saw it. Since then I have purchased it on DVD and watched it again. The same feeling came over me. What a gem.

The plot is engaging enough. A girl (Vanessa Paradis), who feels her life isn't worth living anymore, is standing on the edge of a bridge contemplating suicide when a stranger (Daniel Auteuil) comes along and rescues her from her fate. He turns out to be a lonely knife-thrower looking for an assistant who will join him as he performs across Europe. They strike up a strange and remarkable friendship. They both give each other luck and they are very successful. But when they go their separate ways, they find themselves lost and abandoned realising that they need each other more than ever and there's a spark when they're together. Cause when they are alone their luck dissolves into nothing.

It's a magical and delightful piece about companionship and always trusting the one who cares the world about you. Held together by two mesmerising performances from Vanessa Paradis and Daniel Auteuil, this is one film that only the French could pull off so well. If Hollywood had made it I feel it would have been a disaster. The French seem to have a knack for making films like this. They do it so well and they manage to pull it off with assurance. This film is a lovely French gem and I should add that it works rather well in black and white. A french beauty.

I would like to finish by saying that this is possibly my favourite foreign language film I've seen.

Half The Perfect World
Half The Perfect World
Price: CDN$ 23.79
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madeleine Peyroux's exquisite vocals shine on tremendous album., July 6 2007
This review is from: Half The Perfect World (Audio CD)
I believe that this is Madeleine Peyroux's best album to date. I own all of her albums and I think that her voice shines through on here. There are some well established standards on this brilliant cd which Madeleine Peyroux makes her own.

I couldn't really choose a single favourite on here so I will have to choose the whole album. The classic song by Nilsson, "Everybody's Talking At Me", is given a wonderful twist which works extremely well and she sings it with great finess. Another one is "River" which she sings as a duet with kd lang. A gorgeous song that is exquisite in its delivery. Then there's the closing track "Smile" written by Charlie Chaplin. This is beautifully sung and is a perfect end to a triumphant album. Her vocals are smooth as silk on all the tracks on here and breathe a new lease of life to them.

This album is one of my favourite jazz albums and any Madeleine Peyroux fans out there should own a copy. Her previous albums are excellent also and well worth owning but for me, this one really shines.

The Very Thought of You
The Very Thought of You
Price: CDN$ 16.75
10 used & new from CDN$ 13.26

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful and enchanting album., July 6 2007
This review is from: The Very Thought of You (Audio CD)
I bought this album on a recent visit to Canada. I wanted to buy a Canadian artist to take back home to the UK where I live. I saw this on the shelf and thought this could be quite good. In fact, when I played it on my hi-fi, I was blown away by its quality and excellent arrangements. The gorgeous string arrangements and the sound of the band give the songs an extra fizz and energy.

There are high quality songs on this superb cd and my favourite tracks, if I were to pick any, are "The Very Thought Of You", a terrific opener that sets the mood of the album, "What A Little Moonlight Can Do", "Lex Yeux Ouverts", a lovely French rendition of Dream A Little Dream Of Me, "O Pato (The Duck)", a wonderful bouncy and joyful track and "So Many Stars".

Given that I loved all the songs on this amazing cd, I choose not to choose specific tracks but the whole album. Anyone interested in the jazz genre should own a copy of this enchanting album. This is a real gem.

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