DIE NIBELUNGEN (Eureka). Fritz Lang’s grandiose Teutonic epic in two parts – the death of Siegfried and the revenge of Kriemhild – is one of the great silent German films (1924). Slow and ponderous, the pantomime acting (those made-up eyes!) can seem a bit comic today but the tableaux and the spectacle are undeniably impressive; and for those who have sat through Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Lang’s mere five hours shouldn’t be a problem. Paul Richter’s Siegfried was the ideal Aryan youth for Nazi propaganda purposes.
THE FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE (Revolver) is a Chinese, acrobatic, computer-generated, martial arts action thriller. Who are the goodies? Who are the baddies? Your guess is as good as mine. It’s impossible to follow the story. The proper way to see it would be in 3D and at an IMAX.
THE PENGUIN KING (Kaleidoscope) is narrated by David Attenborough. Penguins are excellent parents. You may feel, however, if you saw the excellent documentary about emperor penguins, The March of the Penguins, that you don’t really need see a film about king penguins as well. This one attempts to tell the story of one family by using a number of different penguins to play mum, dad and chick and always feels very contrived. The predatory giant petrels are particularly nasty.
WHERE DO WE GO NOW? (Revolver). A Lebanese film is set in a remote village where Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for centuries. The men are liable at any moment to start fighting each other. Nadine Lebanki’s comedy, simplistic, broad and naive, but with its heart in the right place, preaches that if only women were left to run things there would be an instant end to senseless sectarian killing.
7 UP 56 (Network). Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man. Michael Apted’s long-running documentary series, which started in 1964, is a unique and fascinating commentary on a Britain which is fast disappearing. As we get older the seven years seem to pass quicker and quicker. Will the series go on until none of the participants is alive?
or to purchase any of the DVDs Robert Tanitch has reviewed, click on the title of the film.
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs - 25 November 2013
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs - 18 November 2013
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs - 11 November 2013
Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs - 04 November 2013
Campaigns & Issues
Councils ‘in impossible position’ over council tax support – response to NAO report
Responding to the National Audit Office’s report on council tax support, Cllr Sharon Taylor, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Finance Panel, said:
“All councils introduced the new council tax support schemes on time which, as the National Audit Office says, is a considerable achievement.
Let’s revive the spirit of Christmas this year
While millions of families and friends gather together to celebrate Christmas this year, nearly half a million of our oldest citizens will be spending it on their own with just the television for company.
Now campaigners have called upon the public to play a part in making sure that the oldest and most vulnerable members of our society feel included in what can be the loneliest time of the year.
Competitions & Fun
Theresa Fisher reviews the Amplicomms PowerTel 980
The PowerTel 980 is a large, robust home phone set, with a lovely optional wrist watch style device which enables you to have an emergency button and know when there is an incoming call – all rolled into one.
Everything is so simple – each piece is packed individually so all you’d need to do is lay everything out in front of you and plug it in. The instructions are printed clearly in large text, which are easy to follow with distinctive pictures for different settings and functions.
The pictures, however, do seem to be easier to see printed in the instruction manual than printed on the handsets themselves. And there are a lot of pictures. And a lot of functions.
Win one of 31 fabulous travel treats from Silver Travel Advisor this December
Enter now and you could win one of the 31 travel treats from our Christmas Stocking.
Silver Travel Advisor is a friendly website packed with advice, tips, information and honest reviews written by and for silver travellers (aged over 50). A team of advisors are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
Health & Wellbeing
Preventing dementia through exercise
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) welcomes today’s government announcement of the doubling of funding research into dementia.
The government committed to spend £52 million in 2012 to 2013, and up to £66 million by 2015; the ambition is now to double public, commercial and charitable R&D in dementia in the UK by 2025, supporting leading scientists, universities and other institutions in seeking the next breakthrough.
Property & Finance
MGM Advantage responds to FSCP annuity market findings
Andrew Tully, pensions technical director, MGM Advantage commented: "The annuity market is not working as well as it could for many people who retire each year.
"Too often we see people take the pension with the company they have saved with, without realising the benefits of shopping around, not only for the best rate but also the right shape of annuity, particularly taking into account health and lifestyle.
Leisure and Lifestyle
Softly Does It
If Mature Times readers were asked to list the criteria on which they based the buying of their last car, I wonder what the most important factors would prove to be. My guess is that performance and style would both figure in the list, but way down below the likes of fuel economy and comfort. And for many owners that last quality is the make or break decision. Can you put up with the feel of the seats and suspension?
Ask anyone about softness or hardness related to a car’s ride, and they’ll talk about the suspension. Traditionally there has been something of a nationalistic flavour to that, with German cars being the hardest and French ones the softest.
"I'm a pensioner, get me out of here!"
Today's pensioners may not have to endure daily Bush Tucker trials to top up their shopping baskets but for almost 70% of people surveyed by the deVere Group, cost of living is the primary concern about retiring in the UK.
According the results of a recent survey of 1,231 over 50's questioned by the international financial consultancy, cost of living is the primary motivation for quitting Britain with almost half (49.5%) stating that they have 'seriously considered', 'are thinking about', or 'would be tempted' to live overseas during retirement.
Obviously as Editor you will have had many letters of thank-you's and well-done's, so please count this as one more from a convert to your excellent paper.