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Reviews Written by
Matthew Tundermann (Jacksonville, FL USA)

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Black Hawk Down (Bilingual) [Import]
Black Hawk Down (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Josh Hartnett
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 12.42
85 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared for Graphic violence, July 26 2002
Black Hawk Down is no kids movie. I would even hesitate to call it an action movie because it really is more of a historical drama. The scariest thing that goes through my mind when I watch this movie is that these events really happened in all their gruesome, vivid imagery, and the director does not try to spare you from the horrors of the events in Somalia. Much like Saving Private Ryan, you are along for the ride into the Hell which those Army Rangers found themselves engulfed in.
The acting is for the most part pretty good. The action is brutal and there is one scene in particular that can really gross you out. But the movie needs scenes like that to really help you understand what the fighting in Somalia was all about. The movie is tragic and uplifting at the same time. I actually liked the movie a little better than the book (though the book was very good) just because the movie imparts a little more emotion than the book. Just be careful when you watch this movie. You'll need a steady stomach for violence and gore.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (Two-Disc Widescreen Theatrical Edition)
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (Two-Disc Widescreen Theatrical Edition)
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 15.37
65 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book first, July 26 2002
I am a huge LOR fan. I have read the books like three times and I know that makes me look like a dork, but when you like something, what can you do. And no movie will ever come close to what the books have, because the books just have so much detail. But this movie did a damn fine job of covering the really important and entertaining parts of the Fellowship of the Ring.
I would like to point out how [angry] I got sitting in the theators and listening to people here and there complain either about how long the movie was, or just not getting the storyline. Well of course you don't get it, it's based on a very long and complex book with an enormous cast of characters and plotlines. If you're not a science fiction/fantasy fan then obviously you won't like this movie. But if you are or if you're very open minded and like to see fantasy based action movies, this is definitely a must-see. The only complaint that I have about Fellowship is that I wish more of the story could have been put into the film but that would have made the movie obscenely long, which I would not have complained about but some people might have.
Seriously folks, pick up the book, give it a read, then watch this movie. You'll enjoy the film that much more. Even the small story changes are forgivable and make the movie more entertaining. The cast is amazing, the battle scenes will blow your mind, and the flow of the movie will just keep you engrossed. But you have to like fantasy. Just a reminder there.

Shrek (Two-Disc Widescreen & Full Screen Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
Shrek (Two-Disc Widescreen & Full Screen Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Mike Myers
Price: CDN$ 29.99
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Instant classic....too funny, July 26 2002
What can I say about this movie? Shrek is highly original while spoofing several fairy tales and intermixing a lot of modern day jokes into the fairy tale background. The story line is very fluid and almost seems to fly by too quickly. Each of the main characters is extremely funny and they all interact well with each other. I loved this movie from the start and never grow tired of watching it.
My favorite special feature to the dvd is the Shrek Karoake Dance Party. It's very very funny and kids and adults would both love it. The character interviews however are very contrived and boring. After watching them once, you probably won't want to see them again.

Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae
Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae
by Steven Pressfield
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.39
94 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely detailed and interesting story, July 26 2002
I want to preface my review by saying that to like a book like this, you need to like historical fiction, specifically greek/roman oriented stories, and you need to be able to appreciate a lot of historical detail, which can be very graphic at times.
Now that I've said that, this books is extremely detailed in how it describes the Spartan army and its practices, and it is very detailed in how brutal the world was back then. There are instances of rape, widespread murder, and brutal carnage. Yet the story also includes very interesting descriptions of how the Spartan society functioned and interacted with other Greek city-states.
Intermixed with these broad descriptions of the Greek world is the story of a young man who is orphaned and eventually finds his way to Sparta and into the service of the Spartan army. The story has a series of flashbacks that describe this boy's development into a man under the Spartan society while the story is moving ahead to the climatic battle of Thermopylae where the Spartan army, with a few other Greek armies, are attempting to slow a Persian advance into Greece to buy time for their countrymen to mobilize and organize a defense.
The book is very well written with a great deal of broad and narrow views of several characters while also maintaining a good flow in terms of the main character and the build up to the actual battle. A very worthwhile buy.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Widescreen) [2 Discs] (Bilingual)
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Widescreen) [2 Discs] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Haley Joel Osment
Price: CDN$ 5.97
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars The movie just never ends, July 26 2002
Once I start watching a movie, I cannot stop, no matter how much I hate it. I wish this was not so because I really wanted to stop watching this movie after a half hour. Now I'm a pretty big Kubrick and Spielburg fan. But this movie made me feel like I was dying slowly.
The story has an interesting premise to it. But the cinematography and acting is so disturbing that after awhile the movie just becomes painful to watch. The movie really feels like two movies in one and the point in which the directing duties changed from Kubrick to Spielburg are so obvious. The camera angles and special effects change as if someone had just snapped their fingers.
I major complaint is that the movie is just sooooo long. I don't know why Spielburg kept running with the plot but it just keeps going. The entire end of the movie is completely unnecessary and really contrasts with the main body of the story. Just drags on with no end in sight.
If you want a very different movie to watch or something that gives you the creeps, then by all means, give AI a shot. But if you're like me, and I consider myself to have wide variety of tastes, you're going to kick yourself for spending the time to watch the movie, unless you're not like me and you just turn it off. Good luck in any case.

Red Dragon
Red Dragon
by Thomas Harris
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.99
84 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A definite winner, June 5 2001
This review is from: Red Dragon (Mass Market Paperback)
Red Dragon is another great suspense crime story following the hunt for a serial killer who murders entire families. Will Graham, a former serial killer investigator, gets pressed into service against his wishes due to his uncanny sense for what a serial killer thinks.
The reader follows Graham through his investigation as he races to find the killer before another family is murdered. Throughout the investigation, Graham has to deal with his own personal psyche and try to maintain a grip on his emotional state. Part of his investigation also brings Graham face to face with Hannibal Lector, a serial killer that Graham personally tracked down and who has a grudge against Graham. This meeting is the first time readers will meet Hannibal Lector in a Harris novel.
Red Dragon will keep you on your toes and also make you feel for Graham, who's personal problems are always keeping him under pressure. Incredibly enough, you also begin to feel for and understand the killer as the story progresses. Harris is excellent at developing his characters throughout his novels and holding the reader's interest. Red Dragon is no exception.

by Thomas Harris
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.39
146 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, June 5 2001
This review is from: Hannibal (Mass Market Paperback)
In Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, you meet Hannibal Lector behind bars, locked in an insane asylum. In Hannibal, you see Hannibal living in society according to his tastes and lifestyle. Harris gives you such an incredible in-depth look into Hannibal's psyche, including a look at a very frightening part of his childhood. The detail that Harris uses to describe Hannibal's mind, especially his extraodinary memory, is captivating. I had to reread that part twice because it was so unique.
Harris' other characters receive equal attention, including Clarice Starling, one of Hannibal's objects of interest, and Mason Verger, one of Hannibal's victims and now out for revenge. Each character is equally unique and emphasize different personality traits.
What stands out the most to me in this book is the ending. While I won't give it away, I will say that the ending is not what you would expect and certainly surprising.
I think you'll find yourself glued to Hannibal's pages and its great plot. The book is a credit to Harris' ability to follow his own characters throughout their lives as if he (and the rest of us) are right there with them.

Bedazzled [Special Edition] (Widescreen) [Import]
Bedazzled [Special Edition] (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Brendan Fraser
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 25.19
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining but not a blockbuster, June 5 2001
Bedazzled is a cute movie. I enjoyed it because Brendan Fraser plays a lonely guy who wants to turn his life around and just get the girl of his dreams, something a lot of people (myself included) can relate to. He's looking for something better in his life and wants to be someone special. After saying the magic words "I would give anything", along comes the very beautiful Elizabeth Hurley, aka Satan. She promises to give Fraser everything he wants in return for his soul.
The story moves on from that point through all of Fraser's attempts to wish himself a better life. The movie gets pretty predictable at that point and you'll get frustrated with the stupid situations Fraser keeps getting himself in. The ending is pretty predictable too.
I still enjoyed Bedazzled but its not something I would add to my permanent DVD collection. The movie is good for some laughs and is a nice comic parody involving the Devil, but it's certainly not a classic.

NEW What Lies Beneath (DVD)
NEW What Lies Beneath (DVD)
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 12.21
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Suspenseful, June 5 2001
This review is from: NEW What Lies Beneath (DVD) (DVD)
I put off seeing this movie because I had my doubts about it. I had heard a lot of opinions about Harrison Ford's character being hard to accept. I finally broke down and rented WLB and I'm not sorry that I did.
I really couldn't stand Michelle Pfieffer's character, who is a bored little homemaker with too much time on her hands and a very nosy disposition. However, my reaction to her character was due to some good acting on her part. Pfieffer really did a good job bringing out her character's more annoying and compulsive behaviors.
Harrison Ford's character is a departure from what he usually plays and may be a little hard to swallow but who says he always has to play the hero or adventurer. He wasn't great but he wasn't bad either. Just have an open mind.
The plot itself was pretty good. When the supernatural things start happening, the movie gets pretty freaky. All the ghostly apparitions are not in your face but more concentrated in things you hear or "sense". They'll keep you on your toes. The movie will set the kind of atmosphere where you can grab someone sitting next to you and scare them out of their shoes. The story really didnt' start moving for a while so you may be pretty bored halfway through the movie but give it a chance, the plot picks up and has a pretty good ending.
I'm not going to give away the ending, but look for something in the ground in the final scene as the camera pans back; it's pretty freaky and will give you a real chill.

Fight Club (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Bilingual)
Fight Club (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by bobinzuks
Price: CDN$ 65.47
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.62

5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant movie, June 5 2001
Fight Club is a totally unique, underrated movie. I rate it one of my personal favorites, especially the dvd version which comes with so many special features.
The movie itself is so incredible due to the plotline, which has you moving in one direction and then throws you such a curve that you'll be blown away. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are incredible opposite each other, complimenting each other's different characters. Norton portrays a bored man living a mundane, routine life that he desperately needs to escape. Pitt's character provides Norton with that escape, but you'll never guess the way the movie will go once the action starts building. It'll catch you when you're not looking.
Fight Club is one of those movies that you'll need to watch again just to go catch some of the little things you might have missed the first time and help you enjoy the depth of the movie's plot. With some dark humor thrown into the mix and plenty of action, I think Fight Club is a real winner. It also features one of the best fight sequences in movie history.

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