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JAllen (Canada)

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Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years
Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years
by Roy Thomas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 35.99
40 used & new from CDN$ 32.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, dire., July 29 2015
I was really looking forward to this book, but as with the other 'Celebration of 75 Years' volumes, this one is a disappointment -- perhaps the most disappointing so far (I can't say for sure, not having seen the Flash's yet). Roy Thomas admits that 'considerations of space' prevented them from including DC Special #29 (misidentified as #20 in the text), but that's hardly adequate explanation for leaving out what would have been the single best story in the book, particularly in light of the often unnecessary stuff we DO get, such as Thomas' own somewhat interesting but frankly inferior version of the JSA's origin. Paul Levitz's very interesting work with Joe Staton appears to be given short shrift here on account of Roy Thomas' legendary and laudable love for the geriatric superheroes, and it's a terrible mistake. The worst problem is the apparent need to give equal weight to each decade in which the JSA were active: frankly, a single example of their historically important but mostly awful 50-plus page adventures published in the '40s would have been more than adequate, and could have been nicely supplemented with two or three page excerpts from, for instance, their admittedly lame actual first meeting, which is instead omitted entirely. Meanwhile, we are given the second half of a two issue team-up with the JLA. Worst yet, we now know why there's a new trade paperback of Thomas' America Vs. The Justice Society: because it isn't in this book, where it damned well belongs, pushed out by... well, this other stuff. Yes, it's 160 pages long, but so much that has been included here could easily have been cleared away to make room for it. But that's the problem: from their very first appearance as the first ever superhero team, the JSA's adventures tended to be really long -- often just to allow everybody on the team a few pages in the spotlight, but sometimes because their historical appeal brought out the ambition in former-fans-turned-authors. Clearly the latter occasions are where things become interesting, but because they tend to run even longer than usual they are also the very stories sacrificed due to 'considerations of space'. So what we get is a balanced selection, from all decades, of second rate material...

As for the contextualizing text pages, there aren't nearly enough of them, and they should at least have accompanying cover reproductions. For that matter, why not a chronological cover gallery/checklist detailing every appearance of the Society in a wide variety of titles? Probably because to include it would inevitably raise questions as to why so much more interesting material was passed over in favour of so much less interesting material.

In short, disastrous. I can't help thinking that this book represents a compromise that wouldn't satisfy even Roy Thomas, whom it appears to favour.

Also, DC are still gluing the spines of their hardcovers rather than sewing them, which means we can look forward to these fat books eventually falling apart. I've always been a DC guy, but in this department Marvel -- who sew their hardcovers -- badly outclass them, which is particularly embarrassing in regard to these 75 Year Celebration volumes.

And when are DC going to toss out these awful Archive Edition pages and get some genuine curation of their own history going? They keep porting over the same horrible computer ruined hatchet jobs with the destroyed art and colour, apparently worked up from microfiche or something, rather than doing the work and going back to the comics themselves. Old comics were coloured with dots, kids, and if you aren't seeing them, chances are very good that you aren't seeing the lines in the original art, either, but someone else's inept tracing of a really poor photocopy. What is it DC, don't you want to scan your valuable vault copies? Because the sad thing is, the original comics never looked this bad. What's wrong with dot colouring?!

When Cowboys Were King: 8 Movie Collection [Import]
When Cowboys Were King: 8 Movie Collection [Import]
Price: CDN$ 26.63
18 used & new from CDN$ 16.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Collection of eight westerns., April 9 2015
Titles included: "Boss of Bullion City" (Johnny Mack Brown, 1940), "Feud of the West" (Hoot Gibson, 1936), "Pocatello Kid" (Ken Maynard, 1931), "The Lion's Den" (Tim McCoy, 1936), "Romance on the Range" (Roy Rogers, 1942), "Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm" (Gene Autry, 1937), "Tex Rides with the Boy Scouts" (Tex Ritter, 1937), "Thrill Hunter" (Buck Jones, 1933).

Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years
Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years
by Various
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 35.99
41 used & new from CDN$ 29.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad selection and pathetic binding, Sept. 5 2014
Roughly half of these stories are undistinguished, largely because DC also wanted to do a companion volume featuring the Joker, and therefore made the incredibly stupid decision to leave him out of THIS book entrely. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the very best Batman stories involve the Joker, making this 'Celebration' a horribly diluted and unsatisfactory one.

Also: glued binding. I'm not a Marvel guy, but they certainly have the advantage where hardcovers are concerned, not on account of content, but by virtue of sewn bindings.

What the hell is wrong with DC that they consistently allow Marvel to embarrass them in this way?

I'd skip this one. Oddly, their Joker Celebration manages to be just as disappointing. Two bad books instead of one good one. Skip 'em both.

Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [Import]
Sword in the Stone 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [Import]
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 40.06
12 used & new from CDN$ 17.34

1.0 out of 5 stars Worst blu-ray mastering ever?, July 24 2014
Whatever your feelings about the film itself, the mastering on this Blu-ray is the worst I have yet seen from a major company supposedly dedicated to preserving their film heritage. Anyone who has ever used Photoshop will recognise the fact that every line in the line art in this film has been smoothed and blurred, which is particularly destructive in long shots where characters' facial features disappear altogether! All of the natural grain has been sacrificed in favour of something that now looks like it was Flash animated on a computer three years ago.

Anyone who purchased this travesty is owed a refund. I'm not sure who Disney thought this botched job was going to please: after all, kids weren't going to be bothered by the grain, and blu-ray fans were going to be looking to make certain that it was present and accounted for. Shocking, really.

Another Earth [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]
Another Earth [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]
Price: CDN$ 15.99
30 used & new from CDN$ 11.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous, June 13 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is intense and intensely quiet film making: if you need something to compare it to I'd say it would sit very nicely on a quadruple bill with Hal Hartley's The Unbelievable Truth, Soderberg's Sex, Lies and Videotape, and Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice.

If you ever thought about making a movie you're going to want to see this: there are likely others I've missed, but Another Earth is the first real evidence I've seen of the New Cinema I've been anticipating since prosumer cameras put movie making in reach of the people who should be making them.

The Ruined Map: A Novel
The Ruined Map: A Novel
by Kobo Abe
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.68
46 used & new from CDN$ 5.53

1.0 out of 5 stars I'd love to be able to review Abe's novel.., June 4 2014
... but I'm reduced instead to reviewing the wretchedly opaque 'translation' by E. Dale Saunders, which is so poor you must fight it every step of the way to get even a fuzzy approximation of the narrative. If you read this edition you will find yourself retranslating in your head nearly EVERY sentence, trying to dope out what Abe was attempting to convey through the thick mist imposed by Saunders' impossible prose, so poor and disconnected it rather closely resembles something spit out by automatic translation software. It simply amazes me that the publishers would go to press with this mess. I truly hope that whoever cleared it for publication got fired, because it is eminently clear that this text doesn't even rate as a first draught, and any editor who even glanced at it would have realised that while Saunders may be able to read Japanese, he can't write English.

A new translation, from scratch, is called for. This one is, no exaggeration, stunningly, unerringly inept, requiring the reader to put in all the work the translator and publisher clearly did not. Mr. Abe deserves a lot better, and so do you, dear reader.

Godzilla - The Complete Animated Series
Godzilla - The Complete Animated Series
DVD ~ n/a
Price: CDN$ 13.99
25 used & new from CDN$ 5.18

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a buy! Two seasons for $12! And the quality is excellent., May 17 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The best thing about the new Godzilla film coming out is that someone finally saw fit to release this spin-off of the last American stab at Godzilla. I was a bit disappointed to find that this long awaited release was from Mill Creek, but though there are ten episodes on each of the four discs, the quality is very, very good -- at least on the first disc. I haven't watched the entire set yet, but so far I am EXTREMELY pleased. Mill Creek is transforming from a bargain label into a VERY interesting company on its way up -- and wisely keeping their prices rock bottom low while they do so.

Now how about giving us Men In Black: The Animated Series, also by Raynis, Kline & Co? With its gorgeous artwork and excellent character design, MIB was even more fun than this show, and both the MIB and Godzilla series were better than the films that inspired them. In fact, the animated shows ultimately made me more amenable to the films, neither of which I was a fan of at the time.

At Mill Creek prices I would definitely double dip and pick this set up AGAIN if they were to release it on blu-ray, hint hint.

Elementary: Season 1
Elementary: Season 1
DVD ~ Lucy Liu
Price: CDN$ 23.99
26 used & new from CDN$ 18.00

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Blu-ray? No sale. Too bad. Excellent show., Aug. 30 2013
This review is from: Elementary: Season 1 (DVD)
Wow. No Blu-ray, eh? The people who market this stuff apparently have no clue who their audience is. It's a great show, and I was looking forward to the release of the first season, but I'm damned if I'm going to get stung by a Blu-ray release six months down the road.

Riders of Death Valley [Import]
Riders of Death Valley [Import]
DVD ~ Dick Foran
Price: CDN$ 39.45
19 used & new from CDN$ 27.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WATERMARKED print is unacceptable, June 25 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A VCI watermark pops up at very short intervals throughout what would otherwise be an excellent print. Wanting to protect your print from video pirates like Alpha is one thing, but doing so by ruining the print with an incredibly distracting watermark is simply idiotic. Bad enough if the thing was present for the duration, but to have it blink off and then blink back on again a minute later means your attention is continually drawn to the thing, making it impossible to forget that it's there.

We buy commercial prints specifically in order to be able to watch a good print of a film, uninterrupted by advertising or watermarks. This is a disgrace.

VCI, you don't distinguish yourself from your competition by ruining your own product. Let the quality of your reputation and your prints speak for themselves: sadly, your watermark mars both, and I will be researching anything I contemplate purchasing from you in the future to be sure I don't get stung again.

Mischievous Moon
Mischievous Moon
Price: CDN$ 20.00
16 used & new from CDN$ 8.95

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Took Me By Surprise' is, bar none, the best song of the year, June 14 2011
This review is from: Mischievous Moon (Audio CD)
The showstopper is the wonderful 'Took Me By Surprise', which should have been the first single, as it's the best song of the year. The rest of the album can't quite match it, but, then again, nothing on any other album recorded this year does either. So I'm giving it 5 stars to make up for the review from Edmonton.

Too bad Amazon doesn't have a sample you could listen to...

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