Profile for Matt Barnes > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Matt Barnes
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,138,773
Helpful Votes: 0

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Matt Barnes

Page: 1
pixel
Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Si
Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Si
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 46.54
5 used & new from CDN$ 26.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful...and cheap!, March 18 2001
This is a very good recording, and phenomenal considering how it costs half as much as some others. My only complaint is that the famous "Largo Al Factotum" sung by Figaro wasn't done as well as it often is. But it certainly is sung decently. Ausensi(Figaro) does sing everything else very well(the duet between Figaro and Rosina is excellently sung).
As a reviewer has already said, the virtuoso aria "Cessa di piu resistare" is not cut as it often is. It is included about 2 minutes into track 15 of CD 2.

Richard III (Widescreen/Full Screen)
Richard III (Widescreen/Full Screen)
DVD ~ Ian McKellen
Offered by dbfradin
Price: CDN$ 68.97
6 used & new from CDN$ 68.96

1.0 out of 5 stars What was butchered worse: Richard's Army or the Bard's Play?, Dec 28 2000
Well, 2 stars might be more accurate, but given the large number of 5 star reviews this horrible adaptation has already garnered I think a 1 star review is warranted.
Annette Bening, and most of the other actors, deliver their lines in this film so atrociously it is a wonder they were paid in dollars and not rotten tomatoes(no more needs to be said of the acting, it's just that awful). While I don't question the amount of Shakespeare they cut from the script, I do think they could've done much better in choosing which lines to cut).
This adaptation also, like many better films, transcribes Shakespeare into a more modern setting. However, the Naziesque setting has the filmakers selected has no point. Zero. Why bother putting Richard in a tank? Take Branagh's Hamlet and compare it to Gibson's. The late 19th Century costumes and palace that Branagh's Elsinore has is a tremendous aesthetic improvement to the drab, yet historically accurate, Elsinore of Gibson's adaptation. This new Richard III on the other hand, is no improvement at all upon Olivier's. Another Shakespeare adaptation, Titus, gets away with a very crazy modernization because the director was actually competent.

Ninety-Three
Ninety-Three
by Carroll & Graf Publishers
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 2.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Not Hugo's best, but mediocre Hugo is pretty damn good., May 29 2000
This review is from: Ninety-Three (Paperback)
I admit, I prefer Les Mis and Notre Dame de Paris to 93. First, I expected something different than what I got. 93 is about the Marquis de Lantenac, his nephew Gauvain, and Cimourdain, Gauvain's childhood tutor. Gavain and Cimourdain are on the side of Robespierre and the Revolution, the Marquis is definately not. The ideals of the revolution clash with neccesity, and this makes the Civil War we hear little about extremely brutal(one side uses the motto, "No Quarter", the other uses "No mercy"). At any rate, along with a great deal of wonderfully detailed descriptions of a cannon rolling around on a ship in a storm, the tumultuous Convention hall, and a few other things, there are also a great deal of clever sayings. The dialogue between Robespierre, Marat, and Danton is wonderful, though I wished and expected them to be the main characters...they weren't.
This is a step up from "A Tale of Two Cities" when one is considering historical context(Tale of Two Cities is nearly totally one sided in it's opposition to the Revolution, not describing the tremendous danger to Paris posed by Berlin, London, and rebels in Normandy). However I suppose Tale of Two Cities is a step up as far as literary merit.

Confessions (Oxford World's Classics)
Confessions (Oxford World's Classics)
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifique, May 29 2000
Very entertaining journey into the life of Rousseau. I can(and I think most people would) identify with a great deal of what Rousseau says. Granted, some of Rousseau's confessions are a bit bizarre, but considering how decadent most "literature" is these days, you shouldn't be too appalled. Despite Rousseau's occasional lapses, his insights into human nature are certainly worth a look, whether or not you ultimately agree with them.
At any rate, the Oxford World Classic series, is once again, your best bet as far as translations are concerned. Very helpful notes at the back of the book explain obscure allusions and correct the record of Rousseau's life(he is not entirely accurate).

The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides
The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides
by Aeschylus
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.83
101 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars So what if he borrowed from Sophocles?, May 8 2000
Yes, Aeschylus borrowed from Sophocles when he abandoned the idea of having only 2 actors speaking at once, Aeschylus is even better writing with a third actor. I suppose Sophocles and Aeschylus need me "reviewing" them about as much as Shakespeare or Leonardo da Vinci do. At any rate, the Oresteia is an excellent piece, and who else but Robert Fagles to translate them? Fagles makes a readable translation, with a lyrical quality at times. Buy this book, you won't regret it. If you have read the Theban plays(Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone), and liked them, then you will feel right at home here. If you haven't read the Theban plays(by Sophocles BTW), do so, Fagles translated those as well.

Page: 1