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James O'Blivion (Nowhere)

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Halloween Triple Feature [Blu-ray]
Halloween Triple Feature [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Jamie Lee Curtis
Price: CDN$ 15.00
4 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Series Fans, June 3 2010
Let's be clear from the start: Could these movies look better? Yes. If they were remastered, and each was presented on its own disc in 1080p, they could look better.

But let's also be realistic: That's never going to happen.

So what do we get for our money with this set? A massive improvement over the DVD counterparts for these films, in terms of picture quality and audio quality. And in all likelihood, these movie will never look better than they do on this reasonably-priced set, so I recommend getting it while the getting is good.

H6 is presented in 1080i, with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is practically indistinguishable from its native ratio of 1.85:1. A side-by-side comparison of the DVD and BD demonstrates that the BD features slightly MORE information on all sides of the frame, so this isn't a crop-job...Alliance has simply lifted the mattes back just a bit so that it will fill out the screen of a 16:9 television. The print is not pristine, and you'll probably note spots and flecks popping up throughout the film's runtime, but these never become a real issue. Overall, the transfer is quite solid, and a huge improvement over the old DVD, released in 2000 with a letterboxed (not anamorphic) transfer. Despite being a convoluted mess in story terms, this is one of the better looking films in the series, with strong seasonal atmosphere, and the bold colors and deep blacks of this transfer represent that visual style very well.

H20 is also presented in 1080i, in its native aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Again, there is some noticeable dirt on the print, though not as much as with H6...and since it doesn't upset the viewing experience for its predecessor, it's certainly not a problem here. H20's cinematography is a bit bland, compared to that of H6. The focus is softer, the colors are not as saturated, and the blacks are not as deep. This is not a fault of the transfer, however, as it is an accurate representation of the way the film was shot. This transfer looks precisely like the film did in the theater back in 1998, and I can't imagine it will ever look better (if it's ever even released on BD in any other form). As with H6, when this was released on DVD in 1999, it was given a letterboxed transfer, so this anamorphic transfer alone makes it worth the upgrade. In spite of its rather bland visual style, H20 has a nice pared-down story that stands in stark contrast to the convoluted - often incomprehensible - absurdity of H6, and stands as one of the better sequels.

H:R is a terrible film. I can't say it any plainer than that. In my personal opinion, it has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The story is awful, the acting is pathetic, the characters are painfully two-dimensional, the direction is a bore, the mask looks ridiculous, and the visual style is just this side of Direct-To-Video. So it's somewhat mind-boggling to see that it's the only film on this set presented in 1080p, rather than 1080i. And like H20, it's also presented in its native aspect ratio of 2.35:1. And overall, while I couldn't bring myself to watch the entire film (I've only seen it twice in its entirety...once in the theater, and once on DVD), I did plenty of chapter-skipping, and what I saw looked about as good as the film is capable of looking. Since this is a 21st Century film, it's only natural that the print is in better condition, and I didn't notice much dirt or damage. Lackluster cinematography aside, this is a pretty solid transfer of a truly awful movie.

All three titles appear to be thankfully free of DNR (digital noise reduction), with a fine sheen of film grain left intact. Each title also features three audio options: DTS-HD English, Dolby 5.1 English, and Dolby 5.1 French.

In terms of special features, this set has bugger-all. Not a single extra to be seen. But that's not what you're buying it for. You're buying it to get three movies for the price of one. And on that front, it's worth it. I definitely recommend this to series fans. Even if you're a fan of only one of these movies, the transfer of that film alone will be worth the upgrade. If you're a fan of both H6 and H20, even better. If you're a fan of H:R...well, you haven't got much company there.

BAKUNIN ON ANARCHISM
BAKUNIN ON ANARCHISM
by Sam Dolgoff
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 19.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Starting Point, July 2 2004
This review is from: BAKUNIN ON ANARCHISM (Paperback)
For anyone interested in the philosophies of anarchism, this is the perfect place to start. And for those interested in general political theory, it would be difficult to call your research complete without reading Bakunin's texts. This book contains a truly astounding array of Bakunin's writings, arranged chronologically...from his pre-anarchist texts, to the staple polemics of Bakuninist anarchism, to his final works...with insightful notes along the way, which aid greatly in reading the texts from the proper historical perspective.
I have an old edition of this book from 1972, and I believe it spent well over a decade out of print. Thankfully, AK Press, who can always be counted on to reprint material such as this, have put it back out there, so that a new generation can experience the powerful words of this indispensable political voice.

Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers
Price: CDN$ 11.84
30 used & new from CDN$ 4.20

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best soundtracks ever, but..., April 12 2004
This review is from: Natural Born Killers (Audio CD)
The reason this gets 4 stars, as opposed to the full 5 that it may deserve, is that I felt the album would have been greatly improved had it been released in a 2-disc format...even if only as a Limited Edition. The reason for this is simple...NBK had over 60 songs in it. And while 27 tracks is great in terms of a CD, it seems a bit truncated when one considers that less than half of the songs in the movie made it to the soundtrack album. And since the film itself was so reliant on music, it seems odd that they didn't release a lengthier version of the soundtrack...which would give a perfect picture of the film's mood, even to someone who had never seen it. The music in the film is, after all, practically omnipresent.
Had the NBK soundtrack gotten a Limited release as a 2-disc set, that version of the album would get a full 5-star rating from me. The album, even as it is, stands as one of the greatest (and most eclectic) film soundtracks ever assembled. A lot of the great songs used in the film found their way onto this CD...but some of them failed to show up there. And while that's a bit disappointing, this is still a fine aesthetic journey into the heart of one of the best (and darkest) satires on American culture.

Henry Portrait of/Serial Kille
Henry Portrait of/Serial Kille
DVD ~ Michael Rooker
Offered by niff78
Price: CDN$ 49.97
13 used & new from CDN$ 24.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm..., March 29 2004
Well, a certain "viewer" from Seattle seems to think this is a message board, and has decided to single me out for his flaming. Okay...fine. I have no problem with that. To address his/her/its points:
Movies don't scare me because they aren't frightening. Yes, I can suspend disbelief and immerse myself in the manufactured reality of a film, if the film is good enough. But how am I really supposed to get immersed in the faux reality of movies that don't even pretend to take place in reality? Movies like the Friday the 13th series are self-parody. So are most other horror movies...even if the film-makers don't intend it, the movies still become unintentional self-parodies. There are a few horror movies that manage to escape that stigma. TCM is one of those rare films...The Exorcist is another...Blair Witch was a more recent example. But none of those movies scared me, either...or disturbed me, for that matter.
Henry, on the other hand, disturbed me because it's very close to reality. The cinematic style is minimalist and very naturalistic, as are all of the performances. The dialogue never lapses from conversational into that awful realm of stiffness. There is no central plot...no interconnected series of events that all mount to some inevitable denouement. Essentially, it's just a bunch of things that happened...kind of like real life.
And the subject matter is closer to real life than just about any horror movie you can name. You want to talk about The Exorcist? Find the number of documented cases of so-called demon possession in America in the past 25 years. Then compare it to the number of serial murder cases in America in the past 25 years. If you're walking alone in the city at night...deserted streets...no chance of rescue should something happen...do you think that you're more likely to become the victim of a serial killer, or of demonic possession? I think we both know the answer...and whatever is most likely to happen to you is, by its nature, scarier.
It's okay if you don't like the movie. Some people don't get it and they never will. I understand that...and I really don't care. But if you want to give the movie a bad review...in the future, leave my name and personal insults against me out of it. If Henry isn't your taste, then go watch Freddy Vs. Jason or some other piece of cinematic tripe spewed out by the Hollywood Horror Bilge Machine. I couldn't care less.

Scarface
Scarface
DVD ~ Al Pacino
Offered by Canadiana
Price: CDN$ 36.95
15 used & new from CDN$ 25.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but I'd like to add..., Oct. 2 2003
This review is from: Scarface (DVD)
Some people have incorrectly stated that this is a remake of the 1932 version "in name only"...this is not true. The entire film is based along the same outline as the 1932 film with Muni. Little guy gets in with a big guy, decides to make a name for himself, screws the big guy over, steals his woman, ends up having the world at his fingertips, goes nuts when he finds out his right hand man is all over his sister, dies a violent death. That, I think, is a good capsule review of EITHER version of the film. And each was the most violent gangster movie of its respective decade.
This is a great movie, just as the original was great in its time. And the two films are, I think, much more similar than either the fans of the '32 version or the fans of the '83 version generally admit.

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed
by Patricia Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover
75 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

1.0 out of 5 stars Forcing me to give this a whole star is a sin, May 20 2003
When this book was first released, Cornwell was plugging it on 20/20. I happened to catch the show, and watched the interview. And I must say...I laughed quite heartily at what I heard. Watching her talk as if she were the first person to build a case against Walter Sickert was hysterical. Theories that Sickert was Jack the Ripper have been floating around for over a century...how very innovative of her to jump on the bandwagon.
Her claim that the evidence she's collected would be enough to make the Victorians cry "Hang him!" may be true. But consider that when a man named Squibby, who was wanted for nothing more than a petty assault charge, was seen running from a policeman in 1888 Whitechapel, one man cried "Jack the Ripper!" and before you can say "Bob's your uncle," there was a lynch mob, foaming and screaming for Squibby's blood. Despite police efforts to calm the mob and inform them of their mistake, they still howled "Lynch him! String him up!" So you see, getting those Victorians to cry "Hang him!" would be a very easy thing to do. Now, convincing ME...that's not so easy. Why? Because I know too much about the Ripper case to be taken in by this claptrap.
The Ripper letters that she based the whole of her research on were BOGUS. Though they were signed Jack the Ripper, they were not written by the killer. In fact, the ONE letter that was most likely real WASN'T signed Jack the Ripper at all. Why didn't she test that one, instead of testing letters that every Ripperologist in the world regards as frauds? Maybe because if she had, she would have come up with no "evidence" to link Sickert to the murders, and this preposterous best-seller of hers would have never seen the light of day.
All in all, the unoriginality of Cornwell's theory, coupled with the overwhelming lack of evidence to support her overblown, self-agrandizing claim that she's solved a case which has remained open for nearly 115 years, make for a wholly uninvolving and repugnantly arrogant reading experience.
Don't believe the hype. Cornwell essentially knew nothing about Jack the Ripper before she undertook this project. And so, even setting inaccuracies and outright deceit aside, this just isn't a good or competent Ripper book on ANY LEVEL. Pick up Donald Rumbelow's "The Complete Jack the Ripper" (AKA "Jack the Ripper: The Complete Casebook") instead. At least he knows his facts.

And the Ass Saw the Angel
And the Ass Saw the Angel
by Nick Cave
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 33.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Well well well..., April 8 2003
I've already reviewed this book here (back when I was known as nucleardriveby), so I won't go into what I think of the novel itself...I'll let the five stars I've given it do the talking. I just want to say that I'm truly glad that someone finally started reprinting this book. It had been out of print for far too long, and when I heard that it had been reissued, I said to myself "I bet 2.13.61 picked it up." And I was right. Henry Rollins and Nick Cave go way back and are actually very good friends. So it's no surprise that Hank wanted to reprint Nick's epic novel. He's already made King Ink and King Ink II available to us...not to mention the photo book entitled Fish in a Barrel. Now, he's finally gotten ahold of the rights to ATASTA...and so a new generation of readers who may not have the time to seek out, or the money to purchase, old hardback copies of this book can get their hands on the fresh new paperback at an affordable price.
Thank you, Henry, for making this amazing book readily available to the public again. If I'd known that this was going to be reprinted...oh, who am I kidding? I still would have shelled out the [$$$] that I paid for my unread British first edition. But I'm a Nick Cave fanatic...so that's just me. If you don't feel like spending that kind of money for a rare out-of-print book, definitely pick up this new paperback. But either way, do yourself an extreme favor and READ THIS BOOK.

Anthology
Anthology
Offered by marvelio-ca
Price: CDN$ 19.08
5 used & new from CDN$ 19.07

5.0 out of 5 stars I don't just hand out five star ratings..., March 15 2003
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
For fans of the original Irish punk rock legends, this three disc set is the Holy Grail. For the first time, all of the singles and b-sides are together on one collection, with a bonus live disc culled from a Fingers show at Brixton Academy. This is the most thorough chronology any SLF fan could ever ask for. It delivers on every level.
For those who are unacquainted, the Fingers formed in 1977 in Belfast, an Irish city torn apart by political turmoil. The Fingers took the Sex Pistols' theoretical anarchist viewpoint and went them one further, applying practical politics to their songs. Whereas Johnny Rotten was wailing somewhat vaguely about Anarchy in the U.K., Jake Burns was making real sense and espousing serious subversive politics in songs like Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster. The Fingers were, to my mind, the first incarnation of the full-fledged socio-political punk band. And their stuff is golden.
Nothing can touch vintage SLF. Wasted Life, Gotta Getaway, At the Edge, Nobody's Hero...these songs are immortal. Frank and outspoken, with a serious message to offer anyone who listens...not to mention full-on punk rock power. Stripped to the bare bones, this stuff will blow your mind AND your speakers.
That's what you'll find on Disc One and the first half of Disc Two...every single and every b-side from the early days of SLF. The band split somewhat unpleasantly in 1983...but by 1987, they were at it again...reunited and touring, much to the delight of their fans. In 1991, they released their first album as the new incarnation of SLF...Flags and Emblems. This album contained the now infamous single Beirut Moon, immediately banned in Britain for its severe criticism of the British government, who refused to intervene and rescue English journalists who were being held hostage in Lebanon. Beirut Moon is, of course, included on Disc Two of this set, and is one of the band's finest songs. It certainly established that they were back, and back for good. Other highlights from the latter SLF catalogue include Can't Believe In You, Shake It Off, and Harp, the tale of an Irish immigrant in America...another of the band's best songs to date. These songs are more mature in their lyrical sensibilities, while retaining the feeling that is classic SLF.
Then there's Disc Three...a selection of some great Fingers tunes performed live at Brixton Academy. These include some songs which are featured on the previous discs, as well as others which were never released as singles or b-sides, such as Love of the Common People, Fly the Flag, Barbed Wire Love, and their great cover of the old Irish folk tune, the Wild Rover. All in all, a great live set which would be worth buying on its own. And the Fingers are amazing live, so you definitely get what you pay for with this.
All told, this is an incredible collection of songs from some true punk rock pioneers. These guys have had a strong influence on a lot of bands who have come since, but they haven't really gotten the recognition they deserve. This collection is a goldmine for the die-hard SLF fan, and if you've just started to get into the band, I can't think of a better way to jump-start your Fingers collection. This is, and I'm sure that it always will be, the most complete Fingers anthology available. It's not just a bunch of songs thrown together and marketed to the people who happen to know who this little Irish punk outfit are. It's a musical history of one of the greatest punk bands ever. And it's pure gold, from the first track to the last. This set has my highest recommendation. Any fan of serious socio-political punk is guaranteed to love it.

Nocturama
Nocturama
Price: CDN$ 16.97
17 used & new from CDN$ 6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Dazzlingly dismal, March 10 2003
This review is from: Nocturama (Audio CD)
I downloaded all of these songs before the album was released, so I knew what I was in for when I bought the album. But listening to them on my PC and listening to them in their intended order on the CD are two completely different things...to me, anyway. As they are presented on the album, these songs are, for the most part, astounding. I was also unaware of the bonus DVD, which contains the fifteen minute video for "Babe, I'm On Fire"...very cool.
Aurally, this album stands apart from much of Cave's previous work. In a way, it's very different (sonically) from the Seeds' previous outings. And in another way, some of the songs are a mixture of the Seeds' earlier offerings and some of their latest fare. "Bring It On," probably the strongest song on the entire album, has a sound to it quite unlike anything the band have done before...and it works uncannily well for them.
The strongest songs on this album are in its center, flanked on either end by the first and last three songs. The four songs from "Bring It On" to "There is a Town" are truly amazing. "Wonderful Life" has really started to grow on me, as well...particularly the second verse. And "Babe, I'm On Fire" is a fun romp. It may seem long, but let's not forget "O'Malley's Bar"...Nick's OTHER fifteen minute song. And I'd say that "Babe, I'm On Fire" is just as good as "O'Malley's Bar," if not better.
The only song on this album that I've not yet grown to love is "Right Out of Your Hand"...Nick pushes the limits of sappiness on this one, and I really can't listen to it.
As for the block of brilliance in this album's center, "Bring It On," as I've stated, is the most sonically original song on this album, and really is astoundingly good. "Dead Man in My Bed" is straight-up rock and roll...something that we don't get as often from Nick. It's a loud, fast, shouting good time of a song. "Still In Love" is hauntingly beautiful and sad...very, very moving. And as for "There is a Town"...the way the drums, piano, violin, and guitars interact on this song is mind-blowing. The music in this song practically hypnotizes me. Unbelievable.
At any rate, this is not the best Bad Seeds album, and I won't try to convince you that it is. But it's still a great album and well worth the price...especially with that bonus DVD. Nick still has yet to disappoint me, and considering the fact that I own everything the Seeds have ever released, that's saying quite a bit.

Evil Dead 2
Evil Dead 2
VHS
5 used & new from CDN$ 6.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series, Dec 27 2002
This review is from: Evil Dead 2 (VHS Tape)
Okay...to clear it up. "Evil Dead 2" is a SEQUEL...not a remake. The first part of the film is a recap to get you up to speed on what happened in the first movie. The story is simplified (this time only Ash and Linda go to the cabin...no sister, no other friends) in order to fit the constraints of a quick recap without losing the audience. And it works just fine. I wonder why no one ever mentions that the exact same thing happens at the beginning of "Army of Darkness" when it recaps both of the previous movies. Also, it's odd that people think this is a different Linda. Sure, it's a different actress...but who cares? I mean, Bridget Fonda played the same part in "AoD"...so what? Oh well, no matter. What matters is that this is a sequel, even if it does have a slight case of amnesia when it comes to certain facts portrayed in the first movie.
Now, with that out of the way...time for the actual review. I'd say that this is the best entry in the series, without doubt. Hilarious, surreal, and very violent, it's exactly what a horror-comedy should be. My only problem with it is the green slime that spurts out of dismembered demons. I much preferred the sickeningly realistic blood in the first "Evil Dead" movie. I guess that this time around, Sam was looking to get an R-rating...so he figured that too much SLIME wouldn't get him an "X"...which, at the time, was still a rating...and one that an overenormity of blood could land a feature film. This was, after all, still in the days before the "NC-17" rating.
So, slime instead of blood...my only complaint. Though there is still a great deal of blood in this movie...particularly when Ash removes his right hand with a chainsaw. This is one of many incredible sights that you'll be treated to when watching "Evil Dead 2"...check it out. It's one of the few horror flicks out there that get the full 5-star rating from me. "Evil Dead 2" is indespensible, and a truly unique film. You'll never see anything else quite like it.

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