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reviewed Dark Empire I (Star Wars). June 30
Dark Empire I (Star Wars)
Now that Dark Horse Comic’s tenure with the Star Wars license is starting to wind down, I wanted to take some time to go back and reread some of the bigger, bolder titles that have seen release throughout the years.  Like many longtime readers, I’m immeasurably bummed about the move of the comics from the Horse to the Mouse House of Marvel (I’m really not looking forward to …
reviewed Classical Guitar. June 22
posted in Music Matters
Classical Guitar
My fingers are short and stubby. They don't seem quite right for a first time learner holding a classical-variety acoustic guitar. The classical acoustic guitar, as per its name, produces a very beautiful sound, but it doesn't leave a ton of room for error. In order to eliminate unwanted twang and feedback, I have to press the strings and hold them completely against the fretboard, and classic acoustic …
Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
MacCulloch's massive one volume history of the religion based on the man and the mission of Jesus Christ is imaginative, insightful, and mostly maintains interest beginning to end.  The interest starts with the intriguing subtitle, as MacCulloch begins by examining the roots of Christianity in the Jewish, Greek, and Roman worlds that the man Jesus bridged.  The collective human and spiritual …
reviewed The Wedding Video. June 02
posted in Movie Hype
The Wedding Video
I consider myself a red-blood American male.  What that means is that I like my films with plenty of action, plenty of excitement, and plenty of machismo.  I’ve never, ever been one for romantic comedies.  It isn’t that I dislike them; rather, it’s just that I rarely see a romantic comedy that actually pairs up two leads in a situation where I’m willing to both …
reviewed Pearl Harbor. May 29
posted in Movie Hype
Pearl Harbor
Will someone please tell me what it is about dangerously stupid military recruits that not only fascinates moviegoers, but allows us to suspend our disbelief enough to believe they basically get in trouble upward? Think of Maverick from Top Gun: If a real life fighter pilot had ever pulled any of the insane stunts as Tom Cruise's iconic character, they would have been given a court martial basically …
Far from the Madding Crowd
Not with any other author, even the inimitable Dickens, have I ever seen the linear progression in maturity and strength of writing as in Thomas Hardy's from his debut through Madding Crowd.  This is his first What a Classic rating from my reviews as I read through his bookshelf in chronological order, earned by his powerful and appealing characters and his unflinching approach to moral issues …
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1
If you search any book buying site you will find editions of Mark Twain s autobiography.   You will also learn that Mark Twain's will called for his autobiography to be sealed for 100 years after his death because of named names and his blunt assessments of fools, knaves, relatives, friends, and politicians.  And you should never believe everything you read on the internet.   …
reviewed Galaxina. April 01
Galaxina
BARBARELLA.  FLESH GORDON.  CHERRY 2000.  HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN.  The more pulpy sci-fi films never shy away from taking advantage of female attributes.  Heck, George Lucas threw in Princess Leia in a metal bikini as a way of paying homage to sci-fi singular fascination with the female form.  Even Walt Disney’s JOHN CARTER didn’t shy away from parading the …
reviewed Robinson Crusoe on Mars - Criterion C.... April 01
Robinson Crusoe on Mars - Criterion Collection
This is no joke: as a huge fan of science fiction films, I’d heard plenty about ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS throughout the years.  The simple truth of the matter is that I’d just never gotten around to watching it.  It hadn’t popped up on my TV guide in years; and although it showed as a title available at my corner video store the flick never seemed to be in.  Perhaps …
reviewed Alpha and Omega (2010 movie). February 18
posted in Movie Hype
Alpha and Omega (2010)
It’s been almost 3-years to the day since the film’s DVD release (1/11/2011) that I finally dug through my animated film queue deep enough to give Alpha and Omega its due.  The reason for the delay? Well for one, abundant negative reviews surrounding this piece.  A quick search reveals no shortage of critics, professional and amateur alike, willing to slam this movie in just …
Star Wars The Han Solo Trilogy #3: Rebel Dawn
Quick, somebody get George Lucas on the phone! It's time to show him how a prequel trilogy is really done.     If you've seen the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, it's pretty easy to nail the supreme mistake: Lucas spent all three movies trying to tie every possible end together that he could, in some cases even tweaking the history of the very universe that he wrote. What we knew before …
reviewed The Demolished Man. February 12
As I’ve opined before, I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but I’d sure like to have more time to do so.  Like most of you, I’m a dreamer with big plans, and one of those plans is to read more books.  I’ve got stacks and stacks of them upstairs, downstairs, in my den, on top of the bureau, etc.  Like Ben Reich – our main character in Alfred Bester’s …
reviewed Ninja Cheerleaders. February 04
posted in Movie Hype
Ninja Cheerleaders
This movie was awful. I was hoping it would be so much better than it was. With a name like "Ninja Cheerleaders" I was thinking it would be a homerun. Also to add to my heartache and dismay, these girls were also strippers. So they were ninjas, cheerleaders and strippers.....and the movie still sucked.      First things first, a pet peeve of mine is when strippers in …
reviewed The Martian Chronicles (The Grand Mas.... January 29
The Martian Chronicles (The Grand Master Editions)
I don’t often re-read books.  Like most of you, I probably have thousands I’d like to read, and rarely do I see the value in perusing something I’ve already perused again.  It isn’t as if the lessons I learned from it might change or that the characters will suddenly become something else … but I’ve always had a deep respect for THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES …
reviewed Mischief Night. December 30, 2013
Mischief Night
Fact: the 1980’s were a tremendous boon for the home entertainment industry.  The explosion of VHS brought an incredible influx of properties to the marketplace, and, despite some of what you’ll read about many of these forgotten flicks of yesteryear, several of them were quite good.  It’s been said that the emergence of the digital recorder will inevitable produce the …
reviewed It's a Wonderful Life (1947 movie). December 27, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
It's a Wonderful Life
I looked up the writers of the classic Frank Capra flick It's a Wonderful Life. Capra's name was among them, and when I did some further-depth research about his own life, I was a little surprised to learn that he suffered occasional bouts of depression during an earlier downswing in his younger years. It seemed odd to me because It's a Wonderful Life doesn't come off as anything that could ever have …
reviewed The Little Mermaid. December 09, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
The Little Mermaid (movie)
Okay, here are things that everyone knows: Disney has the world's strongest animation canon. One day, they might end up relinquishing it to Pixar, but Disney comes packed with so much history and longevity that that day is still a little ways off. For seeming eons, Disney animated films were just about the only game in town. Well, around the 70's and 80's, they got a bit too cocky and began producing …
reviewed Shrek the Halls. December 07, 2013
posted in Pass The Remote!
Shrek the Halls
This Christmas special takes place after the events of SHREK THE THIRD. Shrek and Fiona are happily raising their babies, but Donkey keeps bugging Shrek about getting ready for Christmas. Shrek has never celebrated Christmas before and doesn't plan on doing so until he finds out Fiona is looking forward to it and Shrek unexpectedly promises Fiona a Christmas surprise. Shrek races into town on …
reviewed Broken Flowers. December 04, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Broken Flowers
A man receives an anonymous letter informing him he is the father of a 19-year old son, so he sets off on a journey to visit his old girlfriends to see which one wrote the letter.      Bill Murray stars in this movie which is, at times, funny, pathetic, and shocking but mostly just boring. His character is an unappealing, solitary man who shows no interest or emotion; Murray pretty …
reviewed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (.... November 29, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Prince of Persia Sands of Time
Before seeing PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME for the first time, I was already somewhat familiar with the general premise of the story because I had played a couple of video games the movie is based upon. The movie follows prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhall), the adopted son of King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup). In the aftermath of the invasion of an enemy city, Dastan takes a strange dagger filled with …
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