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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)

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Killer Elite / Tueur d'élite  (Bilingual)
Killer Elite / Tueur d'élite (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: CDN$ 6.98
21 used & new from CDN$ 1.95

4.0 out of 5 stars This puts the lot, in plot!, Aug. 4 2013
Killer Elite(released Sept/11)stars,among others,Jason Statham as Danny Bryce,Clive Owen as Spike Logan,Yvonne Strahovski as Anne Frazier and Robert De Niro as Hunter.This film is certainly a wild ride and it has its characters jumping back and forth between the Arabian desert and London,England on a regular basis.It also has a LOT of PLOT.They say the devil is in the details,and if you can hang on for the ride,in the end it will be worth it.
The story finds Statham as an elite assassin who comes out of retirement in order to rescue his ex partner DeNiro,who is being held by an Arabian Sheik.In exchange for his ex partners freedom,he wants Statham to kill the three ex British SAS soldiers who killed his three sons.Statham agrees and he starts down a long,long path of revenge for the Sheik.Statham gets his contact info from a travel agent,who in turn gets his from a covert government agent.
Statham assembles a small group together to tackle each job.They either work in tandem or separately.But all hits must have proof on film of their confessions and subsequent death.Each hit takes a lot of prep time and one by one they reach their third victim.By that time a group of ex SAS men,led by Owen,has been hot on their trail and Owen has already done one on one battle with Statham.Owen's group is called the Feathermen,and he reports directly to a hush hush group of individuals high up in government circles.As the heat rises the group start gets cold feet and eventually Owen finds himself alone and rogue.
Statham finishes the last man and he reports to the Sheik and it all ends.He heads back home to his girlfriend and De Niro is free and he also heads homeward.All is well until one night Statham receives a call saying the job isn't finished.It seems there's one more to go;a man who is writing a book,which contains the name of the real killer of one of the Sheiks sons.To put the point home the caller tells him to check his girlfriend,if he has any doubts.He goes upstairs to find her quite well,lying in bed,but quickly retrieves an unspent bullet from behind her head,on the pillow.Realizing he has to go this alone,he takes her with him to Paris.He contacts DeNiro who comes back to watch his girlfriend for him,though DeNiro pleas to go along with him.
Statham attends a book signing of the author,who he must off.However it is all a clever trap to get Statham,by Owen.Statham gets his man and evidence and flees,but is eventually caught.Statham agrees to tell Owen exactly what has been happening in exchange for his freedom.But in walks the secretive government man who has been dishing intel to Statham's contact/travel agent.He tells them the government wants the oil rich land the Sheik owns and that they were both set up from the start.A fight ensues with the G-man going down and Statham fleeing.
Next we have Statham and DeNiro back in Arabia,with Statham about to walk in to hand over the evidence.Something is amiss though,as Owen has gone in ahead and handed it over,ahead of Statham's arrival.Not only that but Owen has killed the Sheik and Owen has had to flee for his life.Statham and DeNiro take care of the Sheik's men and they stop Owen.Deniro takes some of the pay money for his own expenses,but Statham refuses any of it.DeNiro leaves the rest for Owen who he says better use it well,because the government man he killed,plus his ex bosses of the Feathermen,will be coming after him.They leave Owen to his own devices and Statham and DeNiro return to their own lives.
The film is based on a true story from the /91 book called Feathermen.The author laid it all out there,but of course the British establishment denied everything from start to finish.My storytelling of this film which lasts a good two hours,is far less than a Reader's Digest version.I make the first three killings within a paragraph and those hits took over an hour of film time. As I said there is a LOT of plot,and so many twists and turns and intrigues,that one could really never do justice to it all.Just trust me,that if you just hang in there,you will be rewarded.The film does have a tendency to drift a little,such as their traveling back and forth between desert and civilization constantly,and who is on the hit list next,can get a little overwhelming.But the makers somehow manage to keep a straight heading throughout.
Technically speaking the film is clear and crisp in its 2:40:1 original a/r.There are cast interviews and 13 deleted scenes.
All in all a whopper of a story to tell,but based on true incidents.Statham is on game and as intense as always.DeNiro,while not having a significant role to play is also on target as is other star Clive Owen.Recommended.

I Am Legend / Je suis une légende (Bilingual) (Widescreen)
I Am Legend / Je suis une légende (Bilingual) (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Will Smith
Price: CDN$ 7.49
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tepid futuristic film, Aug. 3 2013
I am Legend(released Dec/07)stars,among others,Will Smith,Alice Braga and Charlie Tahan.This is a film that should have been better than it was,but it's slow pace and erratic plot coupled with computer generated zombies that look TOO phony,all work against it.
The story finds Smith as a doctor who lives a solitary existence in New York City,along with his German shepard,Sam.Through back story telling we find he had a wife and a daughter.He was one of a team that were responsible for developing a cancer cure.Much of the human population was inoculated,only for most to come down with a deadly virus that killed them.The others that weren't killed turned into light sensitive zombies,who came out at nightfall.Smith has been continuing to work on a cure in his basement lab,but with no success.His daily routine is monotonous,as his search pattern spreads out little by little each day through the city streets.He also makes his usual rounds to pick up necessities at various spots.
One day comes which changes everything.His dog runs into a darkened building in which he has to enter to get him.With zombies inside waiting for the dark,he barely manages to escape with Sam alive.He captures one and takes it back to his lab for testing.The next day he discovers a dummy from a store he frequents,sitting down at the dead end of an entirely different street.It is a trap,and before he is able to respond he is suspended above the street by a trip wire.The sun is going down and he finally manages to get loose and fall to the ground,but accidentally impales himself on his knife.Before he can reach his car he and Sam are attacked by zombie dogs which bite Sam.
Back at Smith's home and lab Smith injects Sam with a relaxant,but Sam soon turns.Smith is forced to kill his companion in his arms.Wanting revenge Smith deliberately heads out in the dark and confronts the zombies at a pier.He manages to take down a few,but he is soon overpowered.He is upside down and helpless in his car when a bright light illuminates the area.He is rescued by another survivor with a child.They return to Smith's place.The new survivor wants Smith to come with her to a place she has heard is not infected,but he remains adamant to stay and find a cure.Checking his captured zombie he finds he has finally found the cure,as the zombie's symptoms are slowly disappearing.That night the zombies come a calling right to Smith's house and they storm it.Smith and company are forced into a sealed glass area at one end of the basement,but the head zombie deliberately,and with a purpose Smith had heretofore denied,continually slams against the glass,trying to break it.Smith sends his two new friends out through an escape tunnel,while he stays to deal with what lies ahead.
The zombies finally break the glass and just as they enter,Smith lets go with a grenade which completely destroys everything.The film ends as his two new companions finally make their way to the safe haven that was mentioned earlier.The vaccine Smith created was given to her and she hands it over to the heads of the population within the walled city.
One point that bothers me about the film is that Smith never acknowledges or seems to realize at any time,that the zombies are actually more than air heads.He never cottons on to the fact that the zombies could think,let alone seek revenge as they started to do when they trapped him by enticing him with a dummy he encounters everyday.He never asks who moved it or why.It never seems to occur to him the reason the zombie behaviour changed so drastically was because of his capture of the mate to the leader of a group of them.For a supposedly smart guy,he was pretty dumb.That said,Smith does have some good acting moments,especially his killing of his beloved Sam.It just wasn't enough however to elevate this film to anything than average,at best.The CGI zombies just look too phony.I think the film makers spent most of their budget on their star and had to resort to CGI instead of prosthetic make up.The whole feel of the film would have been far superior had the zombies been real people,ala Resident Evil.Emma Thompson has an all too brief cameo as a doctor being interviewed on a TV screen at the beginning.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Since the film is descended from the comics,there are four animated comics included with the DVD.
All in all the film is a slow moving one,with CGI zombies that look so phony,one cannot suspend their disbelief for any more than two seconds.Smith tries his best,but what should have been a home run,turned into a walk to first base.

The Island / L'Ile (Bilingual)
The Island / L'Ile (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Ewan McGregor
Price: CDN$ 7.49
6 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Logan's Run meets Coma meets Fallout, Aug. 3 2013
The Island(released July/05)stars among others, Ewan McGregor as Lincoln Six Echo/Tom Lincoln,Scarlett Johansson as Jordan Two Delta / Sarah Jordan,Djimon Hounsou as Albert Laurent,Sean Bean as
Dr. Bernard Merrick,Steve Buscemi as James McCord,Michael Clarke Duncan as Starkweather Two Delta /Jamal Starkweather,Ethan Phillips as Jones Three Echo and Brian Stepanek as Gandu Three Echo.This is a film that has a mixture of themes in it from Logan's Run and Coma to a vid game such as Fallout.The special effects are good and the action moves pretty well throughout.
The story finds McGregor working and living in small cramped quarters,with thousands of others like himself.It is a very sterile environment for all,with each having their specific work assignments,closely monitored at all times by "big brother".They all work toward the day when they may be taken to"the island",which unlike the immediate outside environment(so they are told),is completely clean and livable.
McGregor has slowly been starting to question the why and wherefores of his environment and it has gotten the attention of his superiors.One day he makes an excuse to go into a maintenance area where he talks with a friend of his.While there he finds a moth which he takes back to his room.Meanwhile we are given insight into the operations of this facility.People come to the facility to invest in the companies product,which is growing non self realizing human like entities from which the buyers can harvest organs that they may need at some future date.At least this is the story they tell their clients.In reality the facility has gone the extra mile and are using the donors DNA to fully clone,bring to life and teach the clones how to function.They have created a self sustaining environment,using the clones as slave labour.The older clones help maintain and grow the up and coming ones,unbeknownst to the former.
One day McGregor re enters the maintenance facility and follows a ladder upwards.He discovers an entirely "new" floor he never knew existed.There he learns the truth of what has been going on.Unfortunately his presence there has alerted the authorities downstairs and he is now a fugitive.Before they can get him he gets his girl friend(Johansson)and both return to the upper floor and find an escape route to the outside world.They are smack dab in the middle of a desert area and they run as fast as they can away.They find a small bar and McGregors friend from the maintenance room.He tells them they are clones and the news doesn't sit well.They then decide to find their DNA donors,and he agrees to help.They get to L.A.,but the corporation running the cloning facility is right on their tails.They have hired a private security firm to find them and to return them before news of their existence leaks out.
McGregor manages to find his donor.After an awkward meeting the donor agrees to help him.However McGregors girl friend thinks the donor is lying and tells him to be careful.Sure enough,the donor has notified the company and a chase ensues.It all ends in a crash and the donor pointing a gun at McGregor.The security people don't know who is who,so McGregor slips his identity bracelet on his donor and they kill him.Meanwhile McGregor's girl friend has been captured and returned to the facility.McGregor takes on his owner's identity and after the company contacts him wanting another DNA sample to regenerate another clone,he too finds himself back there.However the company,realizing the danger McGregor and the extant clones possess,are planning a mass extermination of them all.
McGregor manages to sabotage a holographic terminal which keeps the facilities windows darkened to the outside surroundings.When it is gone the extant clones all rush to the surface and see the uncontaminated world outside for the first time.Fade to black.
The film has many a good high adrenaline chase scene.The part where the two are fleeing the security forces in L.A.has particularly alot of nail biting moments.The film's over 130 minute length doesn't seem like it,and that is a good thing.I am glad they kept Johansson's part down to a minimum,as her "acting' may have spoiled an otherwise pleasant film.The film,as I said,is a mixture of different other ideas,so it doesn't earn marks for originality.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include commentary and a featurette.
All in all a decent,fast paced film,with many chase scenes and good S/FX.Recommended.

The Desperate Hours (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
The Desperate Hours (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
3 used & new from CDN$ 19.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Petrified Forest comes to suburbia-3 1/2 stars., Aug. 2 2013
The Desperate Hours(released Oct/55)stars,among others,Humphrey Bogart as Glenn Griffin,Fredric March as Daniel C. Hilliard,Arthur Kennedy as Deputy Sheriff Jesse Bard,Martha Scott as Eleanor Hilliard,Dewey Martin as Hal Griffin and Gig Young as Chuck Wright.Veteran director William Wyler is at the helm of this mid 50s thriller,with the pairing for the first and only time of thesps Bogie and Fredric March.It is the Petrified Forest meets suburbia.While Petrified had enough eccentricity in its characters and plot to keep you glued to your seat,this one doesn't have near the same dynamic at all.Wyler's direction is good and all actors apprise themselves with surprising hutzpah,but I was expecting a little more tension and twists.It's not bad,it's just could have been much better.
The story finds Bogie as one half of the Griffin brothers,along with an overgrown child/convict as their tag along.They have just broken jail and are looking for some place to crash until they're able to get out of town and slip through a dragnet the police have thrown up in the area.The police know they're somewhere nearby but they don't,as the film opens,know exactly.We are introduced,next,to the Hilliard family,with March as the head of the household,who has a wife,a teenage daughter and a young son.It's Father Knows Best,typical suburbia of the 50s time.Bogie and his entourage of course pick the Hilliard home as their hide out when everyone but Mrs.Hilliard is out.
One by one each member of the household make their way back home throughout the day the day to find their new guests.Bogie of course has to get tough not only with the Hilliards,but his accomplices also,who both balk at their having to stay so long.After a few confrontations and close calls,the family tries as they might to act normally to the outside world,but the longer it goes on the more"cracks" appear in the veneer.Eventually Bogie gets in contact with his girlfriend,who agrees to come a fair distance to deliver some money.However she is caught by the cops for running a light in a small town and never makes it.
No longer able to act normal,with things getting so desperate,Mr.Hilliard finally sends a note to the police.The police cotton on to his problems after a while and show up just as he is returning with the cash Griffin wanted;sent in the mail.The police at first refuse to let Mr Hilliard return home,but an FBI agent on scene over rules everyone and allows him to go back.Hilliard takes a revolver with him,but with no bullets.Griffin has threatened to kill family members if the police show up,and it is a tense moment for Mr.Hilliard as he re enters his home.Hilliard distracts/tricks one accomplice,who wanders outside only to be picked off by the police.Griffin hears the commotion and takes Hilliard's son as hostage.But Griffin has the gun without the bullets and Hilliard tells his son to run.He gets the drop on Griffin and Griffin is forced to go outside,where he too is gunned down.The film fades to black as the family finally reunite...all safe.
I found there were a little too many moments where any one of the Hilliards could have blown the whistle during their normal routines.As it turns out in the end,Mr.Hilliard did just that and everything turned out all right anyways.Of course there wouldn't have been a movie would there?Then there is the teacher who comes a calling on her pupil to see if he is alright.Mr.Hilliard comes home with one of the accomplices who,when he sees the teacher,makes a sudden turn and walks back out.Then March pretends the man is someone whom he met at a bar.Then just as the teacher,uncomfortably,starts to leave with a notebook of Hilliard's son,Mr.Hilliard takes it from her.He reads inside the notebook only to discover a note his wife has scrawled to her asking for help.The teacher,now even more confused,leaves.It's a very awkwardly played scene and it didn't ring true.Then there is the continual coming in and out of the teenage Hilliard's boyfriend.He eventually becomes a real pest as far as the plot goes,which we could have done without.One moment I did find quite good,was the one where the trash collector is being taken for a ride out to the boonies.As they come down the final road where he knows certain death awaits,you can see the absolute terror,confusion and desperation in his face.
By the way the teacher is none other than Beverley Garland,in an uncredited role.Watch for the man who Griffin's brother gets a ride with when he leaves.It is Joe Flynn,also in an uncredited role.You may better know him as Capt.Binghamton of McHales Navy.The Hilliard son is none other than Richard Eyer,who was quite the good little actor.You will better know him from the 7th Voyage of Sinbad as the Genie of the lamp.And oh yes,Alan Reed,the voice of the future Fred Flintstone,is one of the detectives...see if you can spot him.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 2:35:1.This print does how some wear,especially in the first reel,but gets better as it goes along.Generally though it is clear and crisp.There are no extras in this B&W film.
All in all this is a film which should have been better than it was.The film relies too heavily on Bogie's menace of the Petrified Forest vein,but the plot holes work against much of the film and weaken it.As I said it is not a bad movie,just one that should have been better,considering the talent on hand. 3 1/2 stars.

Crank / Crank 2: High Voltage (Double Feature)
Crank / Crank 2: High Voltage (Double Feature)
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: CDN$ 12.98
7 used & new from CDN$ 12.03

3.0 out of 5 stars Neveldine/Taylor-the dynamic duo, July 28 2013
You know,its really nice writing a review about films and film makers that come along every so often with a fresh and dynamic approach to their work.Such it is with Crank(released Sept/06) and Crank 2(released April/09).The dynamic duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor seem to look at things outside the standard Hollywood box and I must say,they don't disappoint with these two movies.Although,let me clarify that.Crank is the better of the two films here,while the N/T team seemed to have let their guard down and went just a little over the top with Crank 2.
Crank stars,among others,Jason Statham as Chev Chelios,Amy Smart as Eve Lydon,Jose Pablo Cantillo as Ricky Verona,Efren Ramirez as Kaylo and Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles.Statham is a killer for hire and a Hispanic gang leader hires him to kill the rival leader of a Triad gang in L.A.The resulting fallout from the Chinese gang leaves Statham betwixt and between and he is set for termination by the Hispanics.A member gives him a Chinese poison concoction,but it doesn't quite take.Statham awakes and from then on,with the advice of his doctor friend Yoakam,must try and keep his heart stimulated by any means necessary.While this is going on he is constantly on the prowl for the guy who drugged him and the man responsible for the hit's inception.It is later revealed that Statham did not kill the Chinese leader after all,knowing what the consequences could be.He told him to stay low for 48 hours.At a finale rooftop meeting with the Hispanic gang and its leader,the Triads show up also and a gun fight breaks out.Statham and the Hispanic gang member who drugged him end up struggling in a helicopter high over L.A.The two plunge to earth and Statham bounces off the roof of a car and lands facing the camera,on the pavement.With a quick blink of an eye,the camera fades to black.This film is just full of an eclectic mix of satire,drama,high adrenaline action and straight up comedy that comes at you at lightning speed.Little touches like the video game references,those moving pictures on the sides of walls as Statham passes them,his attempt at "stimulation" out in public in L.A.Chinatown with his girlfriend,his standing in amongst a group of folks watching the TV coverage of his antics,in a hospital gown and with an erection,and so many more.It is a fabulous movie and the N/T team were on game on this baby.4-4 1/2 stars.
Crank 2 stars,among others,Jason Statham as Chev Chelios,Amy Smart as Eve Lydon,Efren Ramirez as Venus,Dwight Yoakam as Doc Miles,Reno Wilson as Orlando,Art Tsu as Veng and Clifton Collins, Jr. as El Huron.The film starts where the first left off.We see his fall onto the car roof and his landing near camera and his eye blink.Suddenly several men pour out of a van that drives up,they literally scoop him up(one with a shovel)and take him away.Next thing Statham's getting his heart removed by some back room Chinese doctors.One gang member named Vang,eagerly awaits its removal and puts it into a small cooler,which he then leaves with.They install an artificial heart,then when he awakes three months later,they discuss what organ to remove next;oh yes,his penis.Well Statham says nada to that one.Off Statham goes again,to find the Chinese F#@##! who took his"pumper".He learns he may be at a "social club",which is just a bawdy house.There he just misses him but learns from a hooker,who falls for him,that Vang may be at a strip club.In he goes and he finds his girlfriend now stripping to make a living.They both exit the club and his next lead is at the Hollywood Racetrack.There he and his girlfriend repeat their previous Chinatown performance for the patrons of the track.Vang barely escapes and just as security are about to apprehend Statham,the Chinese boss of the Triads reappears in a limo and whisks him away.Statham learns the Triad big boss,a centenarian,asked for Stathams heart to replace his ailing one.The discussions don't go too well and Statham has to kill everyone in the car and escape.He commandeers an ambulance to get a new battery pack for his artificial heart.Then spying Vang he flies out and chases him down,only to find out Vang doesn't have his heart in the cooler,but some other disgusting body part.In mid interrogation a shot kills Vang,but it's not by Statham.He gets knocked out and is awake and being dragged across the bay to Catalina Island.Once there he is brought before the Ferret,the Hispanic leader who wants revenge for Statham's killing of his two brothers in the first film.In the meantime Yoakum has acquired his heart from the old Chinese boss,and when Statham cleans up things on Catalina Island,is back on the mainland and getting his heart put back in.The procedure goes on through the end credits and at first it doesn't seem the heart replant takes,but like the last film,the camera comes slowly in to Stathams face and an opening of the eyes confirms his life is back.
This film,as you can see from the wide ranging plot,is just far too much and extraneous information.The N/T team unfortunately took a big step backwards.Brevity,as they say,is the soul of wit and Crank 2 did not have it...unlike the first one.There are sudden flashbacks to Statham as a boy on a talk show with his mom(Spice Girl Gerri Haliwell) and other such stuff which needn't have entered the film in any way.It started out great but with about a 1/2 hour left,the circumstances just get far too bizarre and they seem to be grasping at straws,plot wise,in order to get Statham from A-Z in some fashion or other to the end.There are one heck of alot of tie ins from the first also,like Statham's look alike brother who shows up looking for revenge.But after awhile it becomes too much and too cliched.Watch for David Carradine as the old Chinese boss and John De Lancie as a TV reporter.3 stars.Thankfully the N/T team nailed it again in their next project,Gamer.
Technically the films are in their w/s a/r of 1:85:1 nd clear and crisp.there are no extras.
All in all while Neveldine and Taylor "got it" with the first Crank,but Crank 2 is a disappointment.It comes unraveled about 3/4 the way through the film,and as filled with unnecessary information overload. 3 1/2 stars.

Xena: Warrior Princess - Season Four
Xena: Warrior Princess - Season Four
DVD ~ Lucy Lawless: Renee O'Connor
Price: CDN$ 26.99
5 used & new from CDN$ 11.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning to all that may purchase this set, July 25 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is not too often I see this,but when it does it is a sad thing indeed for the buyer,and for the distributor.I thought you all should be the first to know what I found out,the hard way.
This set appears to have a continual batch manufacturers defect in it.
I originally bought a set back in early March of this year.The 2nd and 4th discs had marks on them and play was effected.I returned that set and by the end of March I had a replacement.That too had defects more or less the same. said they would pull the sets off and look at them.So at one point,no one had the ability to purchase them.I got a refund for my set.
Eventually they came back up for sale and a while later in late May my wife ordered a set for my birthday.To make a long story bet,ANOTHER dud of a set,with mark(s)on the same disc(s).I talked to the Amazon operator who was very sympathetic,and even though I was way out of the time limit for a refund,under the circumstances,they gave me a refund.I cannot fault at any juncture as they have always been #1 in my books for service.The fault is not at Amazon of course but with the manufacturers of this set.I have seasons 1-3 of Xena so far and none have had any defects whatsoever.
I had emailed Universal after I got the 2nd set,but of course it is rare the big boys,in this case Universal Canada,ever have the courtesy to respond;and they didn't.This situation not only burns the customer but Amazon also,which is wrong on so many levels.So there you have it.If you buy this set,Caveat Emptor....buyer beware.

Sea Hunt Complete Season Four [Import]
Sea Hunt Complete Season Four [Import]
Price: CDN$ 23.34
19 used & new from CDN$ 12.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Sea Hunt-cut off in its prime, July 23 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is Sea Hunt Season Four;its last season.It went out with a bang,as this one was one of the best of the bunch.Along for the ride,among many other stalwarts,were Beau Bridges,Kenneth Toby(starred in the original The Thing),Victor Buono,Ted Knight,Sue Randall,Bruce Dern and on the last ep Jack Nicholson.Also I MUST give mention to an actor who appeared on this show more than any other,yet someone I have neglected to give a shout out to in previous season reviews.His name was Ken Drake.You will know him as a guy of average height but skinny.He played everything from villain,to good guy,from farmer to swamp man.He did it all and was a valuable asset to the entire company and the quality of the shows.
As I said the shows just got better.Lloyd Bridges played a double of himself in one,and there is another where the show spoofs itself.Within this particular ep Lloyd is watching a show called Dempsey of the Deep.It is a corny soap opera that features a scuba diver who fights crime.Of course it has the usual stereotypical soap opera music playing along with it.Very funny.It is ironic that in its day Sea Hunt was described as just that;a scuba diver who fights crime.But that couldn't have been farther from the truth.Lloyd's character Mike Nelson was always on a job either at home or far away,working privately or a government.It was usually circumstances he had no control over that drew him into conflicts with others,that he would have to resolve.Also this last season saw Lloyd's character fleshed out even more as we see him alot as a Commodore in the Coast Guard reserves.It also saw the program being filmed alot in Nassau,and Lloyd doing more and more of his own work underwater.
Lamar Boren is the man responsible for the great underwater photography and Ricou Browning and Courtney Brown were the guys responsible for overseeing the underwater sequences;the latter usually subbing for Lloyd when required.
Watch for some eps in this set when they fade to what would originally have been a commercial.You will see the faint lettering of"place commercial here".
Technically speaking the picture quality is spectacular,but there are,like other seasons,sound drop outs occasionally.I don't know whether this is a manufacturing problem or inherent in the master tapes used.Most come and go so quickly it usually doesn't affect things too much.Like the other seasons there are no extras.
In conclusion this is the last season of a show that I recall with great fondness.Lloyd Bridge's great acting and affable personality sold this show for four long years.Sea Hunt did more than any other show before or since,in getting folks interested in the recreational hobby of scuba diving.Safety was always front and center in this show,without ever being preachy.I can remember when the last ep,those many,many years ago,saw Lloyd sailing away from my viewing experience for what I thought would be the last time(home video and DVDs were far,far into the future).It was like saying goodbye to an old friend.Now,with the "miracle" of DVD,I can return to those memorable days anytime I want.Thank you Mr Bridges....wherever you are.

Oz The Great and Powerful / Oz le magnifique (Bilingual) [DVD + Digital Copy]
Oz The Great and Powerful / Oz le magnifique (Bilingual) [DVD + Digital Copy]
DVD ~ James Franco
Price: CDN$ 13.88
7 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great and Powerful......disappointment!, July 22 2013
Oz the Great and Powerful(released Feb/13)stars,among others,James Franco,Mila Kunis,Rachel Weisz,Michelle Williams,Zach Braff,and Bill Cobbs.Walt Disney once again takes a crack at the Oz franchise and once again comes up short.It has a weak and meandering plot and an even weaker leading man.
The story finds our wizard as a side show entertainer in a circus,who longs to be more than he is.He is a magician whose bag of tricks are getting very old,very fast.He is good with the ladies but does not want to be pinned down by any one in particular,even one who would like to marry him.One day the circus strongman comes after him and he hops aboard the circus balloon to save himself.However this results in his balloon getting sucked into a passing tornado.
When he lands on the other side he is in the land of Oz.The first person he is greeted by is a good witch named Theadora.The two hit it off,as the wizard turns on the charm,and the two end up practically engaged;at least in Theadora's mind.When they reach the Emerald City,Theodora's sister Evanora is there waiting their arrival.His presence has alerted the entire kingdom and the prophecy of the returning wizard,they think,is apparently being fulfilled.Evanora tells him the kingdom is his to rule when he destroys the wicked witch who resides in the dark forest.
The wizard leaves for the dark forest with a flying monkey called Finlay he met on the way to Oz,and along the way he picks up another traveling companion,a cute little china doll.When they reach their destination they find their quarry and plan to just steal her wand and break it.Their plans go awry and they come face to face with her.As it turns out it is Glinda,the good witch of the south.
Evanora has tricked both the wizard and her own sister Theodora.Evannora,to retain an ally,shows her sister the goings on with Glinda through her crystal ball.It makes Theodora enraged.She gets so mad she takes a bite of an apple Evanora gives her,which turns her into a hideous green skinned evil witch.
The wizard meanwhile has been introduced to a variety of Oz inhabitants by Glinda,including Quadlings,Tinkerers and Munchkins.The wizard and Glinda concoct a plan to attack the Emerald City.The first attack is by robotic scarecrows through the poppy field.Glinda lays a low"fog"over the poppies to hide them and as the flying monkeys descend down to field level,they almost all fall asleep.However two grab and whisk away Glinda.The wizard now has to hatche a further plan to get Glinda back.He has a balloon float seemingly away from the city with the him aboard.The balloon is destroyed by Theodora,and the bait is taken.The wizard reappears courtesy of a holographic like projector with smoke,which he uses to intimidate the two witches.Theordora flies off on her broom,while Evanora flees into her castle.There she and Glinda have it out and Glinda defeats her,but Evanora is taken away by two flying monkeys.
The film comes to its conclusion as the wizard presents his friends with gifts for their support and he takes Glinda behind his curtain for a romantic kiss.
The leading character in a film like this, would have to have been played by someone with good acting skills,and with charisma and panache,as that is who this movie revolves around when all is said and done.Franco was terribly miscast.His acting is weak and he looks terribly uncomfortable in his role.This undermined,for me,the entire movie,despite all the good special effects this movie spewed forth.Any moment of pathos,drama or comedy were severally weakened by his inability to "bring it".He couldn't even come up to the level of his fellow players,and as a result dragged many of them down with him.
As with many a Sam"Evil Dead"Raimi film,the director once again cast his old friend Bruce Campbell in a small supporting role.He is the guard at the gates of the Emerald City who gets hit on the head by Finlay(Mr.Campbell I'm sure could make much out of that!).I bring Bruce's appearance up for one reason:THAT is who should have been cast in the lead role.Bruce Campbell could have given that character exactly what the role called for;a depth and humour Franco couldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.
This film is kind of a prequel to the Oz books themselves,but it does mention characters like Quadlings,Winkies,and others that appear in the original books but have never been mentioned on film before.The film also has the odd salute to the /39 film.
Watch as the wizard leaves the Emerald City.In the background in a field,is the"horse of a different colour".The best part of the film,I found,was the china doll character;CGI created at that.
Technically speaking the film starts out in black and white,in a square box,center screen.Then when the wizard reaches Oz,the screen expands to a 2:40:1 a/r and colour.The picture was clear and crisp.As with many Disney one disc DVDs,there are no extras.
All in all with a weak plot and an even weaker leading man,this film was doomed to fail.I couldn't get behind or believe Franco's role for one second.The special effects are good but it is not enough to make up for its other shortcomings.Barely three stars.

Esther Williams Collection (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet)
Esther Williams Collection (Bathing Beauty / Easy to Wed / On an Island with You / Neptune's Daughter / Dangerous When Wet)
DVD ~ Esther Williams
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 58.72
22 used & new from CDN$ 44.67

4.0 out of 5 stars "Esther Williams? Wet, she's a star. Dry, she ain't.", July 14 2013
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This was stage and screen superstar Fanny Brice's assessment of Ester Williams,and frankly,I couldn't agree more.Like many other athletes plucked from the sports ranks,Ester had obvious physical appeal and knew her onions underwater.However,up above her acting chops were quite "shallow".MGM built her up around her strong points and surrounded her,out of necessity,with some good talent from their vast lot.The result were films that were pure escapism,with convoluted and hair brained plots,but the public for the most part took to Ester like a duck to water.
This is a 5 DVD set and the first entry is the film that started Ester on her way,Bathing Beauty(released July/44).This one has Red Skelton as a composer and Ester as a school administrator.The two are to be wed,after which Red will retire from writing music.However Basil Rathbone,a musical producer,gets wind of this and kyboshes the ceremony by sending over one of his female assistants to say Red and her are already married.Ester returns to her work and Red follows,enrolling as a student in a bid to get her back.Eventually Rathbone agrees to make Ester the star of his next production,which Red agrees to write.All's well that ends well.The plot is so see through it is almost transparent,and it is a plodding one.The picture is generally clear and crisp and is,like all the others,in colour.Extras include an interview with Ester,a cartoon and a war time short.Highlights are the music of Xavier Cugat and especially trumpet great Harry James.3 stars.
East to Wed(released July/46)has Ester as a spoiled rich girl.Her father Cecil Kallway is suing the local newspaper for libel.The editor Keenan Wyn is about to be married to Lucille Ball,but drops things to get the suit settled.He calls in an ex employee,Van Johnson,to work his old charm on Ester.However Johnson has a tough go of it,until the end when Ester finally gives in and the lawsuit is dropped.The film is a real mix up of a plot.MGM figured the more complicated the better....wrong!Extras include a cartoon and a Pete Smith short.This film is the worst of the set and it needs a good remastering.The highlight includes a totally right on the money performance from Lucille Ball,who manages to upstage and steal the entire movie away from everyone.Not an easy feat. 2 1/2-3 stars.
Next is On an Island with You(released May/48).Ester is a film star making a picture in Hawaii.Jimmy Durante is the producer and he hires Peter Lawford as a technical advisor.There are two people in love with Ester;her co star Ricardo Montalban and Lawford.Ester apparently visited an island Lawford was on during the war to entertain,and Lawford was the one chosen to come up to dance with her.To complicate matters,Esters friend,an almost unrecognizable Cyd Charisse,is in love with Montalban.Lawford,works away at Ester until the film ends and he gets his girl,and Montalban gets Charisse.Not a bad trade off.Extras include a Pete Smith short and a cartoon.The saving grace of this film are some songs by legendary Jimmy Durante.He brought back alot of fond memories.Lawfords performance was completely forgettable;a leading man he wasn't.2 1/2-3 stars.
Neptunes Daughter(released June/49)has Ester as a designer of a swimsuit company,with her partner Keenan Wyn.Esters man crazy sister falls in love with a visiting polo player,but gets the wrong guy in Red Skelton.The real polo player is Ricardo Montalban and he falls for Ester of course.The inevitable mix up leads to lots of trouble,but it all gets straightened out in the end.Another inane plot and with the comedy totally forced.Skelton was not as his best in this one.Extras include a short and a cartoon.Highlights include an appearance by voice man supremo Mel Blanc.Cugat is on hand again to provide the music,but he makes me yearn for the person they SHOULD have had in his stead:Carmen Miranda.2 1/2 stars.
Finally we have Dangerous when Wet(released July/53).Ester is the member of an Arkansas farm family.All are health nuts from her brother and sister,to her mother(Charlotte Greenwood) and father(William Deverest).Along comes miracle in a bottle salesman Jack Carson,who persuades the family to swim the English channel,using his company as a sponsor.While in training Ester meets a Latin Fernando Lamas,who is French(?).The two fall in love,but when the swim committee disqualifies her family,Ester swims the channel alone.Ester barely makes it,but she and Fernando get wed.Extras include an outtake,some rare recordings of composer Mercer singing his own songs for the movie,a cartoon and a short.The big highlight here is stage and screen veteran Charlotte Greenwood doing one of her patented eccentric dance numbers.2 1/2- 3 stars.
Ester Williams fans will enjoy this set immensely.You know my thoughts on Ester's acting,and the film plots are all terribly lacking in originality and in depth.The more/complicated is better concept just does not cut it.The average rating barely makes a three on all five films,but I have added an extra star for the wonderful extras and the special highlights,mostly provided by stage and screen veterans.

Mary Pickford Rags & Riches Collection [Import]
Mary Pickford Rags & Riches Collection [Import]
Price: CDN$ 37.24
15 used & new from CDN$ 22.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Mary Pickford fans and all silent film buffs, July 8 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Mary Pickford Collection was released last year and it is one gem of a DVD collection.Included in this three DVD set are four films that I think are a good opening starter and representation of Mary and her works.They are all historical treasures and it brings back to the fore that peerless talent that was Mary Pickford.She could make you laugh and cry all within the span of a few seconds.Many people think Mary's films are sweet,soppy and overly sugar coated films of a by gone era.Nothing could be further from the truth.She had a way of creating characters that spoke to each and everyone in a theater seat.Everyone could relate to and probably knew many of the character types in her films.There was also a dark undercurrent and/or very realistic tone running through them all.And these four films more than show that concurrent running dark side:she is either in the "thick of it" and trying to cope with the situations as they present themselves,or she is initially above it but ends up tumbling into reality,picking herself up,and learning along the way a valuable life lesson/compassion.Comedy,drama,pathos and so much more are all part of Pickford's artistic canvas,and she used them like no other artist before her or since has.
It is a shame that when she retired she felt that the public at large did not care for her films and/or saw them as totally antiquated celluloid.It is shocking to day to think that could have been the case,but I have the very issue of Life magazine in the early 40s that showed a picture of a happy Mary strolling beside the young girl who took her crown away from her in the 30s,Shirley Temple.The title reads:"A Couple of Has Beens".Both had been tremendous stars with unprecedented box office appeal/receipts,but this is what they had been distilled into.Well,luckily there were those who saw the value of Mary's contributions,and we have a good portion of her work still with us, but sadly not nearly all of it.And we have The Mary Pickford Foundation in Los Angeles to thank along with Milestone Video for their tireless efforts to make these major releases of her wonderful works.
The Poor Little Rich Girl(released March/17)has Mary in the title role as a rich girl who has everything,but the love she so yearns for from her parents.She is not allowed to play outside and she is literally brought up by one servant or the other.One night when one servant wants to go out to socialize but cannot because of her duties,she over drugs poor Mary,who almost dies.But there is a happy ending when her materialistic and selfish parents finally see the light.There is commentary included and a very special piece of historic film.Some home movies at Pickfair featuring Mary,Douglas(Fairbanks) and Charlie Chaplin!
The Hoodlum(released Aug/19)has Mary as a rich and spoiled teenage girl living with her grandfather.As her grandfather plans a European trip Mary's father enters the picture.She decides to stay with him and they both end up in a seedy part of New York City.She is quickly forced to adapt.Her grandfather disguises himself and comes to live in the same tenement building as she and her father.Thrown into this mix is some intrigue her grandfather,a wealthy and stodgy businessman,pinned on an innocent ex employee who Mary falls in love with.The extra on this disc is Mary in the 1910 Biograph short Ramona.Mary plays a Spanish girl who falls in love with an Indian.The film follows the persecution of the two and its unhappy consequences.
Sparrows(released May/26)has Mary as a young girl on a baby farm in a swampy part of the countryside.It's owner is a snide,morally corrupt and all around nasty character,who will buy or sell children at will,just to make money.He relies on Mary to look after his charges,but gives Mary little in the way of food or proper living conditions with which to do a proper job.When one of her precious babies dies,Mary ends up leading the rest out of the swamp to freedom.This film has commentary,an interview with the now grown up daughter of the baby who died in Sparrows,three film tests of Mary in the barn loft holding the dead baby in her arms as an angel comes to take the babies' soul away,and an extra special item:the TRAILER for the film.I have never ever seen a silent film trailer at all and this was quite the revelation for me.
Technically speaking the films are presented in their original aspect ratios.The films on your set are surrounded on all four sides by black.The film doesn't fill the screen.The films have the usual visual specks and defections associated with films of this age,but they generally look very good.All have been tinted(except Ramona).What also makes this DVD set special is that The Mary Pickford Foundation has included as an intro and outro,if you so desire(it is optional),i.e.,vignettes with young teens coming to the attic of one of their friend's grandfather.He explains who Mary was,the process of film making in the "silent" era,the camera's,and on and on.These DVD's have been designed to give a new and younger audience a heads up and hopefully create a new generation of not only Mary Pickford fans but of the art of silent film in toto.I can say I was duly impressed.This wasn't some cheesy production at all and I thought the impression it gave came across as great food for thought for younger budding film and Mary novices.
In conclusion this set is a grand introduction to the world of,I believe,the greatest actress of her or any other generation.Mary was ahead of her time and accomplished what few actors of any genre have ever accomplished.Kudos to Milestone and The Mary Pickford Foundation.Let us hope this is just the start in a long line of Mary Pickford releases.

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