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117 reviews in total 
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Here we go again..., 4 June 2016

This is yet another of the Beeb's badly researched "documentaries", which I continue to moan about; Why can't the BBC, with it's vast archive of news and current affairs programming, get these things right?? Is it because they allow independent companies - usually in the north of England - to make them?? Is it because they allow people who are far too young to recall the era they are making a program about, to make them?? I really don't know. I do know however, that Joe Dolci was at number one during 1981, and not the following year as was stated in this show. And for such a very long programme about the charts, it left a lot out of its 90 minutes, and a lot to be desired. For example, not even a mention of the new forms of music which entered and enlivened the charts back in the 1960s, such as jazz and ska. Or the Glam Rock acts like Suzi Quatro, The Sweet, etc. who all but dominated the charts back in the early 1970s. But as usual with these lazy productions that they make, there was the tedious glorification of punk and brit-pop, which at the times they were around made scant and brief appearances in the charts, and left little if anything of a legacy to music in general, unlike the aforementioned black genres. Actually, near the end the show it even proved that Brit-pop record sales were pretty meagre and disappointing, to all concerned.

Also as a footnote, it has to be said that, Dr. Fox was not the first DJ to present a rival chart show on another station as in fact, the late great Roger Scott presented Capital Radio's chart shows during the week, and for a while back in the early 1980s, Capital even broadcast a chart at the same time as the BBC's Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.

"Lillie" (1978)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not by the BBC, 6 April 2015

Here are just a quick few words in order to correct irish23 above;

This series was NOT made by the BBC but by the ITV (Independant Television) company LWT (London Weekend Television). LWT was a regional independent TV company which was financed by advertising and sales of programmes such as Lillie abroad. It only catered to the London area, but other regional ITV companies provided shows for other parts of the UK, such as Grampian in Scotland, and Tyne Tees in Newcastle. Unfortunately, the Conservatives de-regulated TV in the 1990s, and now all regions come under the "ITV" name.

The BBC, which continues to leech off its licence fee payers for revenue, made a series called The Dutchess of Duke St, about a similar female character making her own fame and fortune, without the aid of the men in her life.

Another ITV series was the far superior Upstairs Downstairs, which I seem to recall being repeated on Sunday nights in place of Lillie.

"Kids" (1979)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Kids! Kids! Kids!, 10 August 2013

I have vague memories about this series, which I think was set in some type of children's home, but certain things about it have stuck in my mind since I saw it in 1979; There was no music in the title sequence, just children shouting the name of the series. And also, a large group of children shot from above, came together to form the word "Kids". Each episode was named after the particular child that was featured in it. It was shown on Friday nights around 9pm, and featured some quite hard-hitting episodes; If I recall correctly, one youth who was in the "home" liked to start fires. I think James Hazeldine was the bearded boss of the establishment.

It was certainly something different, and its hard to imagine such a series being made these days. Personally, I preferred to watch the Professionals on a Friday evening, but that's just me.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic, 21 January 2013

This is an example of a well made documentary, and shows how they should be made. Its charts the rise and fall and rise again of the so-called "new wave" band Blondie, during the late '70s and early '80s - and early noughties too. For those of you that don't know the term "new wave", it applied to any band of the era which supposedly disowned their punk roots and sold out to become rich and famous, or any musicians who simply took the punk stylings but wrote and performed highly commercial songs. At one point, Debby Harry and another member are taken back to the apartment that they rented in a rundown tenement building years before, and recall how the place was rat infested in the days before they topped music charts around the world. They also realise with irony, that a new band starting out would not be able to afford to rent such a place, in the now gentrified area of New York city.

Although this programme was a means of promoting their new releases of the time, one can overlook this as it is very entertaining to watch.

The BBC researchers strike again!!, 19 January 2013

This is yet another of the BBC's badly researched and revisionist "documentaries", which supposedly tells how punk rock saved us from all the bad pop music which was in the charts, during the latter years of the 1970s. But anyone like me who was alive back then, or even watches the repeats of editions of Top of the Pops that are currently being shown on BBC 4, may well see a much more accurate depiction of that era. Because actually, there was some great pop music, reggae music, soul music, disco music, and even rock music in the charts while quite a lot of the punk music was dire and amateurish to say the least.

Programs like this, often depict a very selective, and one-sided view of the past, with very little balance on show to even things up; Not everyone hated Boney M, or Shawaddy Waddy, or The Barron Knights. In fact a lot of people liked those novelty bands, that is why they sold so many records. It wasn't just down to good PR men. And by the same token, not everyone saw punk rock as the saviour of British music. Granted, it was something new and different. But it was also very short-lived and controversial (Try Googling the name Sid Vicious, if you don't know who he was). In fact, the soul and disco bands of the past, have left a much more influential legacy to today's music.

I think it was very remiss of the BBC to broadcast a program which (purposely?) left out the facts, and presented half-truths as being the gospel.

They've done it before, and they'll do it again. No doubt.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Pourquoi?, 1 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pourquoi? Why? That's what I ask myself, whenever I see a film like this; Why do women stay with men who aren't good for them?

In this film, Violette, played by the still ultra-sexy Isobelle Adjani, is in a relationship with Francois played by Jaques Dutronc, who is a major wastrel that cannot hold down a job, and who likes to go shoplifting...among other things. The couple have a young son who is blonde, despite the fact that his parents are not...I couldn't quite understand this, but anyway the film is quite watchable, and the characters are all engaging thanks to the performances of the cast. I have a love for all things French, so, I quite like these types of films, which show how Paris looked in the past. Surtout, dans les années 70. Eventually, Violette participates in Francois' the couple fall on hard times, and surprisingly she enjoys their escapades, until one day when she suffers some dire consequences for her actions.

I quite liked it. See it, and judge for yourself.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Bravo! Trés bien!, 25 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This has to be my favourite French film ever! I recall seeing it's very well dubbed English version on TV in the early '80s. It was remade into The Woman in Red, which was pretty banal in comparison. But thanks to TV5 Monde, I was able to see the original version en Francais.

The film centres around Jean Rochefort, his friends and family. At the start, we see him standing precariously on the ledge of a high building. The reason why is shown at the film's end. (I won't give it away here) This is followed by a flashback. He is a middle-aged some-what bored businessman, who has his head turned one day when he sees a mysterious woman standing under an air vent in a car park. She happens to be wearing a flimsy red dress (hence the US title of the remake) which flutters in the breeze. She seems to enjoy this, and returns to the vent for a second helping. After she walks away, Rochefort tries it out for himself, but the effect for him in his buttoned overcoat is not as sexy to the viewer. Or even him. This is the catalyst for his obsession with the girl, played by Anny Duperey, who eventually turns up at his place of work, much to his surprise.

Meanwhile, his loving and quite attractive wife, is being sexually harassed by a chubby friend of their teenage daughter, this is not to mention the personal problems that Rochefort's tennis buddies also encounter.

This is well worth a look, even for the dubbed version. There was also a sequel made sometime after, but the magic was not there.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Mildly amusing, 25 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The title of my review suggests my opinion of the film. Although to be fair, my french is a bit rusty but I got the gist of it all. I think you have to understand the French social mores of the '70s a bit, as it's quite a dated movie. However, I did like the scenes where the salesman tells his potential customers his problems, in order to make them buy his wares.

It was also quite nice to see a very young, and very sexy Jane Birkin.

The married Jean Pierre-Marielle, always looks funny whenever he appears in his furry overcoat. And his girlfriend on-the-side, who habitually tries to commit suicide, finally succeeds in the end. If memory serves, she dies in a car accident, after three previous attempts to blow herself up with a gas cooker. All this after a saucy sex session in a hotel with the aforementioned salesman, played by Jean Carmet.

There is an appearance by Jean Rochefort, who seems to always have the same laconic expression on his face, in all his movies. He reminds me of a French Robert Mitchum.

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Shown in the UK., 9 May 2010

This series was also shown in England, circa 1981.

I have very vague memories of it being shown by the BBC late at night, with some girls driving around in a van. But, it was renamed as "Have Girls Will Travel" for some reason, that name seems to make more sense. If my memory serves, it was quite watchable nothing to shout about, but like many series of the era, it has been forgotten...

Except by die-hard TV fans.

This series was also shown in England, circa 1981.

I have very vague memories of it being shown by the BBC late at night, with some girls driving around in a van. But, it was renamed as "Have Girls Will Travel" for some reason, that name seems to make more sense. If my memory serves, it was quite watchable nothing to shout about, but like many series of the era, it has been forgotten...

Except by die-hard TV fans.

Why no mention of Cocoon?, 29 April 2010

I've just seen this on the TNT channel, and although it was enjoyable I was a little surprised that there was no mention of the film that he made after Splash, Cocoon. I consider this to be one of his best, even though it was a little too Spielbergy in parts. I wonder why it was omitted.

It's hard to believe that Ron Howard has been in show business for so long, but then again, looking at him it's believable. Sorry Ron, but you are looking your age - and older, but considering that you started acting as a toddler, you've done well. It's easy to forget that he has produced quite an awesome (in size anyway) body of work over the years, not all of which were to my liking. I didn't really think much of Backdraft, or Far And Away, but I don't think I was alone in regard to the latter film.

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