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reviewed A Laodicean (Penguin Classics). November 12
A Laodicean (Penguin Classics)
In a retrospective edition of his collected works near the end of his life Hardy classed A Laodicean as one of his "Novels of Ingenuity" and not one of the "Novels of Character and Environment."  Without condemning Laodicean too harshly, Hardy certainly categorized it correctly for it is precisely in the areas of character and environment that this effort falls short of his …
reviewed The Core. November 11
posted in Movie Hype
The Core
            Pigeons gone loco, people mysteriously dropping down dead, storms like you've never seen tearing up the heavens. The reason: the earth's core has stopped spinning.       If that sounds like a silly premise to you, that's because "The Core" definitely is, without a doubt, a silly movie.    …
posted a Quick Tip about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. November 05
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millenium
I really enjoyed this one as it reminded me of the intrigue of the Collins family in the old Dark Shadows series.  The two follow-ups, though necessary, were not nearly as good.
posted a Quick Tip about The Fifties. October 02
The Fifties
My favorite time and the best rock and roll music. Elvis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, need I say more?
reviewed The Fifties. September 24
The Fifties
My title for this review works both ways.         Halberstam writes in classic narrative history style when tackling a subject as a broad as a decade.  He doesn't limit his topics to politics, wars, economics or "great people" biographies, but tells the history of the decade in stories about television (then reshaping marketing. news and entertainment …
posted a Quick Tip about Swan Peak, James Lee Burke. September 01
Swan Peak, James Lee Burke
Not only excellent suspense but well developed characters and vivid descriptions.
reviewed Milk (2008 movie). August 23
posted in Movie Hype
MILK image
We just returned from San Francisco and visited the Castro section of the city which is known for being the center of the San Francisco gay rights area in the late 70s.      Watching the movie, Milk, about the life of gay activist, Harvey Milk, was all that more powerful after seeing the Castro section in today's times.      Sean Penn did an excellent job …
reviewed The Captain's Peril. August 19
The Captain's Peril
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much going into William Shatner’s CAPTAIN’S PERIL, but it might not be for the obvious reason.  Bill gets a lot of negative press about how (A) his books are vanity projects so they can’t be all that good and (B) he doesn’t even write them (it’s been disclosed that they’re heavily ghostwritten by Judith and Gar …
reviewed Star Wars: Dark Empire II. August 01
Star Wars: Dark Empire II
Erm … it’s a bit difficult to figure what to make of Dark Horse’s DARK EMPIRE II.  Rarely does a title seem so entirely unnecessary much less a crass attempt to cash in on a middling first entry (namely DARK EMPIRE) but that’s honestly about the best I can figure come the “big finish” … which isn’t so much a “big finish” as it is a …
reviewed Wicked Prey. July 16
Wicked Prey
I'm a fan of John Sanford and am always entertained with his stories. "Wicked Prey," continues the enjoyment I've had from his books.      The 2008 Republican National Convention arrives in Minneapolis Minnesota. It brings a group of robbers who have already murdered two armored car guards in New York. To complicate matters, a crazed man in a wheelchair arrives …
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 …
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