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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)

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Highway Patrol: Complete Season Three [Import]
Highway Patrol: Complete Season Three [Import]
Price: CDN$ 30.71
15 used & new from CDN$ 15.77

5.0 out of 5 stars If you care to drive,drive with care!, April 6 2014
Highway Patrol,Season Three is back and it continues in the high quality fashion of the first two.The picture is wonderful for a show of this age,/57-/58.Sayings such as The careless driver isn't driving his car,he's aiming it,No Matter how new,the safest device in your car is you,Leave your blood at the red cross or your community blood bank,not on the highway,If you care to drive,drive with care,or It isn't what you drive but how you drive that counts.
Broderick Crawford turns in another season of his fast talking,tough guy with a heart.He not only gets the bad guys but his sensitive side comes out in various eps with children or the bereaved.Crawford is helped out in his endeavours by the likes of Harold(spelled Herold)Goodwin,good friend and co star with Buster Keaton in many of his films in the 20s and 30s,Bobby Jordan from the Bowery Boys/Dead End,East Side Kids,Kurt Russell's father Bing,Ken Drake,a regular on Sea Hunt in an uncredited role,Charles Maxwell,Vance Skarstedt who not only wrote eps but co starred also,and many others.You will notice in the credits a costume supervisor Tommy Thompson.He went on to produce the Lucy Show in the 60s.
These eps were written with brevity in mind but to pack the biggest punch in the shortest time possible.And they succeeded brilliantly,despite the short shooting schedule(usually about three days!).TGG has done a great job transferring these onto DVDs.Like the previous season there are the odd sound drop outs,which I can only put down to audio track damage.These are after all almost 60 years old.

Escape Plan [Import]
Escape Plan [Import]
Price: CDN$ 18.55
30 used & new from CDN$ 3.47

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sly does it again., April 4 2014
This review is from: Escape Plan [Import] (DVD)
Escape or Escape Plan(released Oct/13)stars,among others,Sylvester Stallone as Ray Breslin,Arnold Schwarzenegger as Emil Rottmayer,Jim Caviezel as Willard Hobbes and Sam Neil as the doctor.Ever since Mr Stallone's tragic loss of his son he has thrown himself into his work with a vengeance,and so far he created some wonderful cinema.His latest entry is this film in which his main co star is Arnold.Now before I hear the guffaws and giggles on how old these two screen vets are,I ask you to watch this film.Stallone is in great shape and Arnie is slowly getting back to his old self.Both come across as vibrant, kick butt actors and this work is as good as anything both have done recently or in the past.
The story finds Sly as a gun for hire.In this instance he is a man sent into maximum security prisons to test the prisons security and if possible,escape.He is paid very handsomely for his work.As the film begins we are witness to his prowess in escaping.After that job he is given a new assignment by a lady from the CIA.They have a secret off the grid prison they want him to try and escape from.The payment is double what he has received before.His boss OKs the plan,as does Sly.
Sly dutifully waits at the rendezvous point and is taken aboard a van.However they guards inside remove Sly's tracking device,so his compatriots back at his office cannot track him.He comes to in a plexiglass cubicle surrounded by several like cubicles.It is a humongous facility the likes of which he has never encountered before.He will have to use every thing he has ever learned and then some to extricate himself from this situation.
He soon becomes friends with Arnie.Arnie is a high profile inmate whose boss,a Victor Manheim,is someone the prison warden(Caviezel)wants to know more about.It seems there are people willing to pay big bucks for that information.Sly has given the warden his secret code for release but the warden has refused to acknowledge it.So Sly and Arnie create a diversion and end up,purposely,in solitary.Sly uses a metal piece from the floor Arnie grabbed while being interrogated in the warden's office earlier.Sly manages to pop floor rivets and escape the room.Down he goes and then up.He ends up outside but it is not where he expected to be.He is on a huge ship in the ocean,location unknown.Sly returns to the room.
Sly informs Arnie of their situation and they enlist the help of a Muslim inmate,Javed.The ruse Javed will perform is to get the warden,in exchange for information on the inmate's doings,to allow him to do his prayers in the open air,or close to it.The ruse works and he is able to get put into a cargo hold with a view of the sky.Little does anyone know he carries a home made sextant which will tell them roughly where the ship is.Back down in the common area Sly retrieves the sextant and learns they're along latitude 30 degrees.He guesstimates it is somewhere off the Moroccan coast.
Back at Sly's office two of his compatriots have been working feverishly trying to discover Sly's whereabouts.The only thing they have found is he is in a prison called the "Tomb",but do not know its location.They also find out that a $2 million cheque has been frozen.They go to the boss but he tells them not to worry,it's "the government".
At the prison Sly is now feeding the warden false info about the mysterious Manheim.The day he finally gives the warden a "location" where Manheim can be found is the day Sly,Arnie and Javed decide to break out once and for all.They start a huge fight.Arnie has made contact with "people" outside who will be able to help them off the ship once they're out.At first all goes fairly well until they reach the hatch Sly originally climbed outside of.The warden has gotten wind of the break out attempt and has locked down all hatches.Back down they go and they get into a firefight.Jared is ultimately killed while Sly disables the power long enough for Arnie to escape.
Arnie's "people" arrive in a helicopter and he keeps the armed guards at bay,waiting for Sly.But Sly has been unable to escape the normal way and has locked himself in a tank of water.Knowing the rebooted system will fill the tank back up and flush it,he waits and is sent out beneath the ship.He comes up just as Arnie in the chopper has left the ship.They spot him and lower a ladder to pick him up.The warden has spotted them and is taking pot shots their way.Sly sets some flammable containers ablaze which also takes care of the warden.
On shore Arnie and Sly are greeted by Arnie's rescue party.It turns out to be the CIA agent who came to Sly's office in the first place! She also happens to be Arnie's daughter,and Arnie is the mysterious Manheim!She also reveals that Sly's boss did a runaround on both him and her and in order to keep the $5 million for himself,had Sly sent away"permanently".
Sly gets back home and his partners have been informed of their bosses double dealings.The film ends with the boss,his SUV with him in it,locked in a cargo container on a freighter bound for......?
The film is tension filled throughout as the camera gets in really close with a you-are-there feel to it.The socko ending really catches one off guard.As Sly says when he learns that Arnie is Manheim,"Gee,I didn't see that one coming".Neither did we.Both Arnie and Sly work well together,playing off one another.Faran Tahir as Javid also manages to do a very credible job and holds his own with the two main stars.Caviezel is one twisted son of a gun of a warden.The S/FX are good as is the action,which ebbs and flows at just the right moments.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 1:77:1.Extras include commentary and a featurette.
All in all chalk this up as another winner for Mr.Stallone.He is on a definite roll of late and we can only wish for better things to come.Arnie is certainly"baaack" as he and Sly play well off of each other.4-4 1/2 stars.

welcome to the jungle dvd Italian Import
welcome to the jungle dvd Italian Import
DVD ~ jean claude van damme
Offered by Vecosell
Price: CDN$ 13.78
2 used & new from CDN$ 13.78

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected-Office Space meets Lord of the Flies-, March 28 2014
Welcome to the Jungle(released Feb/13) stars,among others, Jean Claude Van Damme,Adam Brody,Rob Huebel,and Kristen Schaal .This film,while not wildly funny,has some moments here and there.It's the type of film that you have to overlook the plot holes and let reality take care of itself.
The story finds a group of dysfunctional advertising types in your typical dysfunctional advertising setting.There are two rivals,Phil,a pompous exec,and Chris a guy with more talent than Phil, but with way more ambition.Comes a day when they have to pitch a product to a must have client and Phil steals Chris's idea for his own.The Boss next day calls everyone together to announce they are all going on a bonding and teamwork experience to a deserted island.Their "guide" will be JCVD,who is posing as an ex military guy,but who is in reality a para wanna be and very much off the wall.
Next day they fly to a tropical island,and as JCVD is showing them around two girls report seeing a tiger.They look and don't find it.While standing near a rocky precipice overlooking the sea,and explaining the impossibility of a tiger being there,JCVD is jumped not once but three times by the animal.The third time they both fly into the drink and disappear.
As time goes on and the panic subsides the group divides into two factions, with the most going to Phil's side,while Chris has three with him.Chris soon shows that he knows more about survival than anyone and his group gets along pretty well,while Phil's degenerates into a one man God show.Chris finds out he needs the radio from the plane they came in, but Phil's group guards it.They also come across a quite wounded JCVD and nurse him back to health.JCVD cannot walk, so they are forced to wheel barrel him around the jungle.JCVD lays-guard as Chris and his buddies go for the radio.Phil's group ends up capturing Chris's group,while Chris manages to escape.
Just as one of his friends is about to be executed,Chris swoops down with some home made wings.Phil and Chris go toe to toe.Just as Chris has won, Phil is about to sneak a cheap shot at Chris when JCVD comes out of no where to do a flying kick on Phil,in a send up from Bloodsport.As this has been happening, a ship finally has come into view,the group gets its attention,and they are saved.
JCVD gets arrested by the authorities for impersonating a military man(and who goes under at least three different aliases).Chris and the group go home.Back at the office Chris gets the promotion he has always wanted,but realizes his experience has taught him that he doesn't want a career there any longer,and quits.The film ends as Phil is alone on the island writing a "hate" letter to Chris.
JCVD does have some cute comedic moments such as his tiger attack,his playing of his character at the end like he is some needy child,his Bloodsport take off,his animal warning calls during the radio steal and others.JCVD has always said he'd like to do comedy,and here we are.As I said you have to over look alot plot wise,like how in the world did the group get to a deserted tropical island so fast,where did the tiger come from,how does JVCD move around so well when he's so wounded and others.Don't ask just go with the flow.His real life son Kris and daughter Bianca also make appearances.JCVD comes and goes and surprisingly the rest of the cast make up well for his lack of screen time.Finally I have to comment about the trailer for the film,showing JCVD's tiger attack.This was a good gag that should have been kept out of the trailer.As a result I was waiting for it to happen in the movie and when it did it the punch was completely gone.BAD move.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras.
All in all a better film than I expected.It's an Office Space type environment meeting Lord of the Flies,with wild card JCVD thrown in for good measure.

Highway Patrol: Complete Season Two [Import]
Highway Patrol: Complete Season Two [Import]
Price: CDN$ 30.45
8 used & new from CDN$ 21.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highway, March 28 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is Season Two of Highway Patrol ,starring Academy Award winner Broderick Crawford.Crawford had a long and varied career in Vaudeville,the stage,radio and in films,all before 1940!During the war he was heard as part of Glenn Miller's broadcasts from Harvard University as part of the Air Technical Training Command,doing short skits for the Army Air Corp to bolster enlistment./49 saw him grab an OSCAR and then in /55 he was offered a part in Highway Patrol.Still making films during his time on Patrol,the grind of churning out the TV shows took its toll on Crawford.His voice can be heard to be quite raspy at times and he looked tired.(This may also be due sometimes to his drinking).
Season Two starts in 1956 and goes to /57.Crawford always had a by-line at the end of each show.This Seasons lines were:It isn't the car that kills,its the driver and Leave your blood at the red cross,not on the highway.Crawford had a distinctive rapid fire delivery and as a result the pace of the show was notched up all due to him.This led to a fast editing which in turn started a new industry standard.Stars in view this season include,Bing Russell(Kurt's father),Ruta Lee,Gene Roth(3 Stooges),Ed Nelson,Bowery Boys alumni Stanley Clements and Bobby Jordan,Rhodes Reason(This Island Earth),Barbara Eden(I Dream of Jeannie),Stuart Whitman,and Harold Goodwin, who appeared in many of Buster Keatons films,spelled here Herold,among others.One writer to become really famous was Gene Roddenberry(Star Trek) and later TV producer Quinn Martin is here as a sound supervisor.
The discs come in two keep cases,one with three discs and one with two.All are one sided.Both are in a thick box.The shows themselves have been transferred,like Sea Hunt,with great care and look as if they were filmed just yesterday.Beautiful to look at.
There are a few sound drop outs throughout this series and this season is no exception.I can only imagine the audio tracks were slightly damaged over time.
All in all it is an absolute delight to see these fast paced wonders back on the small screen for everyone to enjoy again.They look even better than I recall,and that's not having seen them since their debut on a small,snowy b&w TV set.Thank you MGM and TGG Direct for releasing them.

Homefront (Bilingual)
Homefront (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: CDN$ 8.88
8 used & new from CDN$ 5.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice made-for Statham vehicle, March 21 2014
This review is from: Homefront (Bilingual) (DVD)
Homefront(released Nov/13)stars,among others,Jason Statham,James Franco,Winona Ryder and Clancy Brown.This is a taut,well edited film with a screenplay by Mr.Sly Stallone that leaves little room for chaff,and gives you all the wheat you could ask for.
The story finds Statham as a DEA undercover cop who,with his colleagues,manages to take down the head of a notorious biker gang in a big drug bust.Unfortunately the biker's son dies in the take down and vengeance is now on the menu.
Fast forward two years and Statham is living on an old plantation with his soon to be 10 year old daughter;his wife having past away a few months before.He makes a living now doing house renno's.One day at school his daughter is forced to punch out a bully and he,along with the bully's parents, are summoned to the school.The bully's parents are not too happy,and in fact the mother is overly upset with Statham.Outside the father attempts to teach Statham a lesson but he is taken down in short order.
The mother is not finished yet,as she goes home and enlists the help of her brother.He happens to be the area's king pin drug maker/seller.While Statham and his daughter are out riding he enters their house and finds some incriminating files linking Statham to his DEA days and the take down of the aforementioned biker gang.Before he leaves he slashes a tire,takes their cat and leaves a now-messed up stuffed animal hanging in a tree.
The drug dealer,knowing the gang and their connections,tries to leverage a bargain with them.In exchange for the location of Statham,he wants to be given total distribution rights for his drugs in that area.The gang arrives but aren't too interested in the drug dealer's bargaining rights.They want and get the location of Statham.By now Statham has been put on the alert as to what might be coming and he and his daughter are packing to get away from their home.Before they can they are jumped and a gun fight ensues.Statham's daughter has alerted the cops by cell phone and by the time they get there Statham has all but finished them all off.However his daughter has been captured by the drug dealer's moll and she is heading back to the dealer.When she arrives back at their hideout he is none too happy that she would bring the girl with her.
When Statham realizes where his daughter may be commandeers a police car and races to the scene.Before he can get there the drug dealer's sister(the one who set his involvement in motion in the first place)has arrived.When she throws on the lights to the hideout the light bulbs,which had been previously sabotaged by Statham,explode and set the place alight.The sister struggles to take the girl from her brother and he shoots her by accident.He takes the girl in his pick up and he lets out just as Statham comes in.Statham pursues him onto a moving bridge over a river.Statham has flipped his police cruiser and as the drug dealer approaches he is still trapped.As Statham's daughter's pleads for him to let her father go,Statham becomes free.He takes down the dealer once and for all,as the police look on,on shore.The film ends as Statham and his daughter finally settle in to their new life.However Statham pays a visit to the biker he took down those many years ago,in prison.The biker is speechless as Statham tells him when he gets out,he will be waiting for him.
The film moves along very well and there are very few let ups any where,as each plot detail dove tails into the other.Mr.Stallone and Statham have become very good friends since their collaborations on the Expendables,and this movie was certainly tailor made for Statham.Statham has all his usual moves you come to expect and he even has some chance for some dramatic moments.That being said,I found that Statham seemed to be looking a little,ummm,tired...if that's the word? More times than not it seemed like he was going through the motions.But the plot and editing being what it was,nicely glossed over any weaknesses.Winona Ryder plays the drug dealers moll/girlfriend.I didn't even recognize her right off and cannot say I was particularly impressed by her acting at all.Finally I must mention Clancy Brown's nice turn as the town sheriff.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras,which I thought was somewhat of a cheat.I'm sure there must be some interview material with Mr.Stallone and Statham somewhere that could have been included.
All in all a nice dramatic piece.It is full of action and tension and Mr Stallone has written a nice screenplay,tailor made for its star.

gravity dvd Italian Import
gravity dvd Italian Import
DVD ~ sandra bullock
Offered by Rarewaves-CA
Price: CDN$ 13.67
5 used & new from CDN$ 13.66

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This isn't THE "Gravity" is it?, Feb. 28 2014
This review is from: gravity dvd Italian Import (DVD)
Gravity(released Aug/13),stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.With the unprecedented super hype and press push by both its stars,and it's endless comparison's to other past Sci-Fi films,in particular 2001:A Space Odyssey,you would have thought this was a film for the ages! Let's clear something up,shall we? Firstly,this film does not come anywhere close to the epic classic that was 2001,in plot nor style.Secondly,it is a simple and mundane film that I am sure looked impressive in 3D and on the big screen.An honest to goodness good picture however,especially one made in 3D, has to have some substance to it.It must strike a balance between a good and decent story and it's eye popping visuals.This one is just too long on S/FX ,coming up far too short on its delivery.It's a terrible waste of two good actors who mostly,it looks like,did their things in front of blue screens,hanging off wires.
The story finds Clooney and Bullock as two astronauts outside a space shuttle orbiting the earth.Bullock is concentrating on getting a communications array up and going,while Clooney is playing cowboy by doing mini orbits in his space suit around the shuttle.Suddenly they receive a warning to abort the mission.It seems the Ruskies have shot down one of their own satellites and the subsequent debris has had a domino effect.It is slowly but surely taking out the majority of other satellites orbiting the earth.Before they can re enter the space shuttle,huge debris hits them,destroying the shuttle and killing the rest of the crew.The only two left alive are Clooney and Bullock,after a hairy rescue of Bullock by Clooney.
The two's only hope of survival is to reach the International Space Station,which has been abandoned due to the dangerous debris.Clooney gets a bead on it and they head for it.As they approach Clooney has no more propellant left in his suit to break with,and the two tumble over and around the station.When their tow line breaks it is Bullock that now rescues Clooney.Bullock has a tenuous hold on Clooney who tells her to let him go lest they both perish.When she refuses,he unbuckles his line and puts himself adrift.
Inside the space station all isn't good.After a while the station catches fire.Bullock escapes into the only life pod left,which cannot make it back to earth because of damage to the outside.Inside the capsule she fires it up,but cannot escape the station as it is tangled in its' already deployed chute,which in turn is tangled in the station.This forces her to do a space walk to untangle the lines.As she does this, more dangerous debris comes her way smashing the station to bits.
Back inside the pod but free of the station, she drifts hopelessly.She manages to pick up a signal from an Eskimo on the ground,and they briefly talk as her craft flies far over his head,until she goes out of both their ranges.She then turns off her oxygen and prepares to die.In a dream she imagines Clooney is back aboard the pod.He tells her she must use the landing jets to get the craft to the Chinese space station and save herself.She wakes up and it gives her the strength to carry on and get herself to the station.
The Chinese station has also been hit and its orbit has deteriorated so much it is falling downwards,already hitting the earth's atmosphere.She gets inside,manages to jettison away from the station and eventually lands in a lake back on good old terra firma.Not thinking ,she blows the hatch and the capsule starts filling with water.It sinks to the bottom and Bullock tries swimming upwards but the weight of her suit keeps her down.She gets out of it and finally surfaces,drifting to land.It takes her a bit to adjust, but in short order she is walking on her two feet.Fade to black.
The film seems like the present but can't be, the reality is all shuttle missions have been scrubbed.After one gets over the panorama of the earth and their surroundings,you would think the film would pick up momentum and get some decent traction.But for me at least,it never even takes off.The director has not imbued these characters with anything that I can personally empathize with.As distant as they are from the ground,is the same way I feel about the film.It's cold and impersonal.As is the music that accompanies this picture,which detracts more than enhances.Clooney's smiling,devil may care character is just far too cool for school.When Bullock is trying to emote some fear,Clooney,either in off screen voice or in front of the camera, acts like her personal psychologist,telling her its all ok,and to calm herself. It just doesn't sit right.And you JUST knew at least one of them was going to make it back alive.I mean what kind of a film would it have been if they had both died......hmm,maybe better? Finally the film's biggest premise is just not,to me,believable.I couldn't swallow that the two were able to go "station hopping" as it were.Their shuttle gets destroyed,oh I know lets just go over to the ISS,which happens not to be too far away.When that goes chest up,ok let's just go to the Chinese Space station,right over there.It is far,far too convenient and totally unbelievable.Which further deep sixes this picture.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.The DVD doesn't have the extras the Blue Ray has(that's the big boys pushing we the consumers in the direction(s)they want),it has only a short film.The film is part of the picture.It's the viewpoint of the Eskimo Bullock talks to.
All in all a BIG disappointment.The film was NOT 1/10th of the hype they would have you believe it was.And it is certainly not a film you could watch over and over again.The characters have no life to them, and as a result there's just no deep feeling for any of what you watch.It's all too impersonal and far fetched for me.2- 2 1/2 stars.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Bilingual)
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Logan Lerman
Price: CDN$ 4.88
13 used & new from CDN$ 4.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A step up from the original, Feb. 23 2014
Percy Jackson:Sea of Monsters(released Aug/2013)stars,among others, Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson,Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Stanley Tucci and Nathan Fillion.I was very pleased to see the entire production,after the first one,on a much better footing as it ended up being far better.
The story finds us pretty much starting where the last one left off.If you recall, three out of four 1/2 Gods made it into the training camp alive.The one who died saving the rest was the daughter of Zeus,Thalia.What we didn't see is Thalia morphing into a living tree which in turn produced a barrier around the camp which no ordinary enemy could penetrate.One day a young cyclops arrives to join the camp,and it turns out to be Percy's half brother(a cyclops)Tyson.Percy's girlfriend isn't too thrilled as her close friend Thalia died by a cyclops' hand.
A huge brass,mechanical bull arrives to wreak havoc in the camp,penetrating the supposedly impenetrable barrier.After taking it down Luke,Hermes half son,arrives.Luke has poisoned the tree,which explains the bulls arrival.Luke tries to persuade Percy to come to his side,and mentions a quest,before he is rebuked and disappears.Percy afterwards confronts the camp leader about the quest,who sends him to the office attic.There Percy learns that it will be he that leads a group on a special quest.Back outside the camp learns the only thing that will save Thalia is the Golden Fleece.It resides on an island in the Sea of Monsters,located in the Bermuda Triangle,ruled over by the cyclops that killed Thalia,Polyphemus.
To get them to Florida fast,Percy's girlfriend hails the Chariot of Damnation,piloted by the three Stygian Witches.When they profess to having not enough Drachmas to pay the ever increasing cab fare,the witches drop them off in Washington,DC. While there they look up Hermes,who is running a delivery service,OPS(Olympus Parcel Service).He gives them a couple of items that later come in handy to them on their journey.He also asks Percy to ask his son Luke to not be so angry with the world.
Leaving here they make their way to the ocean and hail a Hippocampus,a brightly coloured animal who is a cross between a sea horse and a luck dragon.The creature takes them to the yacht Luke and his posse are using to get to the island.The all get briefly captured, but thanks to the tools Hermes gave Percy,they escape.However,the group get captured in Charybdis's whirlpool(in mythology sometimes just a whirlpool,but here a living creature)along the way,and end up in its huge stomach.While there, the group come upon the daughter of Ares,Clarisse,who was also was trying to get to the fleece,but now leads a motley crew of zombies,piloting a Vietnam era gun ship.They hop aboard and with Percy's help ,manage to free themselves from the monsters stomach.They sail away and find the island with the fleece.They enter caves there and find the fleece,guarded by the cyclops Polyphemus.They manage to wrestle the fleece away and trap the cyclops at the same time.Above ground Luke arrives and fires an arrow at Percy,which is taken by Tyson,who falls away into the water far below.While the despondent group assesses their loss,Luke uses the fleece to revive the bones of Kronos,the father of Poseidan,Ares and Zeus.Luke hopes to control Kronos,but Luke,it turns out,is the first to be eaten by Kronos.The group now must not only deal with Luke's men,but Kronos also.It is a pitched battle but in the end Percy and his friends prevail.Tyson even has come back from the"dead",having been healed by the waters below.The only glitch is Percy's girlfriend,who was struck down and had to be brought back by the power of the fleece.
Back at the camp they cover some of the roots of Thalia's tree with the fleece.Next day the camp is astonished to see that the fleece has not only cured the tree,but brought Thalia herself back from the dead.The film ends as we see Kronos's remains glowing inside the sarcophagus they came in.
This film moves along extremely well and its special effects work for the film brilliantly.There are some wonderful moments,but two humourous ones stand out. First is the cab ride with the Stygian Witches.It's a New York yellow cab,and when it first arrives I thought Buster Poindexter from "Scrooged" was going to stick his face out of the window.Between the three of them,they argue and nit pick while driving with alarming speed on their journey, scaring the bejeesus out of their passengers;all the while either looking with one eye or no eye.The second instance is Nathan Fillion's portrayal as Hermes.His time on screen isn't terribly long but it is very memorable.One of the items he gives the group to assist them in their quest he says is from a favourite show of his that was"cancelled".An obvious in-joke referring to his own classic "Firefly".This film is obviously geared towards a teen demographic,but I found this time around,compared to the first,it doesn't shut out the older crowd as much.It can be enjoyed on many levels by a larger demo.
Technically speaking the movie is in its original w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras on this disc.Another example of the indiscriminate "push" to buy Blu Ray over plain DVD.Reminding one of the change over from VHS to DVD.Do you feel like you have a ring in your nose,and you're being led around a ring by the entertainment industry?
All in all this latest installment in the Percy Jackson franchise(there WILL be more),is a winner from beginning to the end.The script is well written and the acting is top notch.It is far and away a big improvement over the first one,and one can only hope the producers are able to keep up this momentum with the next one.Recommended.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Price: CDN$ 6.88
13 used & new from CDN$ 5.95

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Its the WAY you win that's important", Feb. 15 2014
This review is from: Ender's Game (DVD)
Ender's Game(released Oct/13)stars,among others, Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin
and Ben Kingsley.This Sci-Fi adventure of young teens is a pleasing,fast moving and well played film by all concerned.The "hero" that all cadets in training try to emulate is called Mazer Rackham.It's just,to me,a mix up of Occum's Razor,which is to solve problems succinctly.This is exactly what our lead character does and which makes the film so compelling.
The story finds the Earth in 2136,which went through a terrible battle 50 years before.It barely managed to win a war against an ant like species called the Formic.The hero of that battle is the aforementioned Mazer Rackham.Since that time families usually submit their off spring to training camps so that the Earth may be properly prepared for the inevitable next battle."Ender" Wiggins is just such a trainee.His brother and sister have already washed out of the program,but he shows extraordinary potential. The trainee's commander Col.Graff(Ford),sees the Earth's saviour in him but knows he must bring him along carefully.
After "removing" him from training school to judge his reaction,he is accepted and sent aloft to an orbital facility above the Earth.In his class he stands out and is eventually graduated to a higher level of cadets,the Salamanders.Its gung-ho leader is not too thrilled at his being there and friction develops immediately.In games Ender of course excels.Graff recognizing his ever accumulating abilities, promotes Ender to lead a rag tag outfit "like himself",called the Dragons.The group is made of of former class mates that he has already bonded with.
After a surprisingly tactical win in zero gravity against two other teams,Ender is confronted in the shower by the Salamander leader.It ends up with the leader unconscious on the floor and Ender wanting to quit the program.Ender ends up back on Earth in seclusion.Ender's beloved sister Valentine comes to him and in the end Ender realizes his place is "up there".
Now back in the program,Graf does not waste any more time and sends Ender and his group to a former Formic colony light years away.Here,surprisingly,he meets up with Mazer Rackham,who is very much alive and becomes his teacher.Battle simulation follows battle simulation and in the next to final simulation Ender and his group lose.Next day comes the final "battle" for graduation.All are tense.Ender's first attack on the Formic home world fleet is a success.But nearer the surface the Formics are swarming for an all out offensive.As they attack Ender surrounds their formidable molecular weapon with his drone ships,sacrificing thousands of personnel on other unprotected ships to allow it to get close enough to the home planet in order to fire on it.Once done,the entire planet is destroyed.It is not to long after the battle has been won that Ender and his crew find out they were actually fighting the Formic.Ender takes his loss of crewmen,ships and the destruction of an entire species to heart.He resigns right then and there.
Back in his room on the former Formic colony he looks out to see a destroyed building which had appeared earlier in a simulated game.He goes out and investigates,and meets the last surviving Formic queen.All along Ender has had some kind of psychic connection with the Formic.The queen is dying and there before him is her last egg.Ender tearfully vows to find the baby queen a new home to colonize.As the film ends Ender is dictating a letter to his sister that he has been promoted to Admiral and is searching the known universe for a home for the Formic.
The film is well paced with plenty of action. What is especially compelling is the interaction amongst the cadet themselves.It all rings true:the rivalry and jealousy between Ender and other cadets and Ender's command of tactics,yet awkwardness at his interaction with another cadet female whom he takes a shine to.Ford is on game,and while Kingsley doesn't have a long part,his time on screen is likewise well spent and full of tension.When the final day comes,not only is Ender fooled but we as viewers are also.This film has it all and I liked what I saw.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include commentary and,the trailer and deleted and extended scenes.
All in all I liked this film from beginning to end.It flows well and the acting is top notch.The interaction between peers is typical of what we are as humans,and though it has been handled sloppily in other films,here it is handled with just the right touch.In a neat twist,this is a battle of survival done at a distance:very clean,precise and cold.I think you will like this film too.4-4 1/2 stars.

Enemies Closer (Bilingual)
Enemies Closer (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jean-Claude Van Damme
Price: CDN$ 27.89
4 used & new from CDN$ 4.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A step down from his previous effort., Feb. 14 2014
This review is from: Enemies Closer (Bilingual) (DVD)
Enemies Closer(released in Dec/13)stars among others,Jean-Claude Van Damme,Tom Everett Scott,Orlando Jones,Kristopher Van Varenberg and Linzey Cocker.Van Damme's "epic split"commercial for Volvo was filmed while this was on the verge of being released.Mr.Van Damme has made some very decent films in recent times such as Wake of Death,JCVD,Six Bullets and Assassination Games.We also can't forget his appearance in The Expendables Two.He has also made some mediocre to bad films such as Derailed,Dragon Eyes,Second in Command and his worst,the two sequels to Universal Soldier,which continue to mutate into entities that no where near resemble the originals in any way ,shape or form.Having said that,will Mr.Van Damme's recent reinvigorated career courtesy of Volvo influence the parts and quality of films he is offered? can only hope.
The story here involves a ranger(Scott) on one Kings Island,somewhere just south of the US-Canadian border.Scott is an ex forces soldier/diver who has taken the lonely ranger job to straighten his mind out after his experiences over there.A plane,unbeknownst to the ranger, makes a death plunge into the water near the island.Then he is visited by Jones who is an ex con and brother to a soldier who got killed in Scott's platoon.His idea is to take revenge out on him for his brothers death.As Jones and Scott stand near the water's edge a bright light from a boat shines on the pair.Behind the light is Xander(Van Damme)and his posse,which includes his son Kris.The plane that came down was loaded with 50 bags of heroin and he is there to retrieve it.
Xander is a true psycho path and will stop at nothing,including killing his own men,to get the drugs.In the ensuing fire fight Xander's diver is killed,or more specifically is wounded and wasted by Xander because there's no chance of his survival.From here Scott and Jones must work together to survive Xander's wrath.It is a game of cat and mouse as each of Xander's men try and flush the two out.One by one Xander's men are whittled down.When two police show up Xander dispatches them himself by tracking them in the woods.
Jones and Scott end up in the only house on the island and the occupant there wants no part of giving up.He is in fact too gung ho to give it to Xander and his boys,and he ends up getting killed.The two barely escape that trap, and they lay a trap themselves to capture Xanders last man(Kris Van Varenberg) and get him.They beat a confession out of him as to Xander's reason for being there and his current status.Xander pulls one last trick out of his sleeve.He has as a hostage a girl whom Scott had arranged a date with that evening.Scott into surrenders and makes the dive for the heroin himself.When they go off Jones finds out the girl is actually working for Xander,when she dispatches two police who arrive by boat.
Scott dives and retrieves the heroin for Xander.But he also brings up an automatic weapon and now seems to have the upper hand as they head in to shore.Off the boat Jones has the girl hostage and she screams that Jones is going to kill her.The confusion in Scott gives Xander the chance he needs to escape after a brief fight.Jones wrestles and subdues the girl while Scott is able to grab onto the fleeing Xander's boat.In the ensuing struggle an anchor penetrates a fuel line which drains into the water.Scott is eventually forced overboard, but not before he is able to grab a flare.While he watches Xander's boat drive away he lights the flare and the gas leakage catches fire.Just before the boat blows into smithereens,Xander laughs wildly.
Back on shore Scott and Jones have made up and vow to forget their differences.
The plot is not quite as tight as it should have been.The introduction of the girl into the plot seems superfluous,as does Jone's inclusion.One without the other would have been fine,thank you very much.That scene where Scott floats in the water and lights the gas trail is pretty unrealistic.He would have had to have been at the very beginning of the gas trail in the water,otherwise the gas in front AND behind him would have ignited also.But considering the amount of time it leaked,he was no where near the beginning of it when he hit the water.Also the film leads off with Xander and his boys arriving at a DEA(?)office which monitored the crash of the plane.This introduces us to the character of Xander and his gang(dressed in Mountie suits,replete with horses.....?....seriously?), but it is also,totally unnecessary.We saw the plane go down,so keep us in suspense until later in the film when we find out from Xander himself what he and his posse are doing there.The fact that they all have horses and are dressed as Mounties is a stereotype gone mad.Unless this was set in the 1800s,which it wasn't,the RCMP today ride mostly in cars,thank you very much.
There is a major blooper.There is a shot of Xander patrolling the waters in his boat.As it goes from a close up to a long shot,we see the close shoreline he is cruising by.Watch for a car with headlights facing the camera,which suddenly makes a quick left just before the picture cuts to the next scene.Sloppy.One thing I did see that I liked is Jean's son Kris.His acting chops are getting better every time I see him.Keep up the good work!
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Like most other Van Damme films,there are no extras.This has always been a bug a boo with me.C'mon Jean Claude,let's give out with an interview or two,eh?
All in all ,not what I was hoping for.The plot is unnecessarily complicated and clunky,which weighs the film down when it could have been light,trim and faster on the draw.JCVD's portrayal of Xander was good,but given the aforementioned weaknesses,it's impact was greatly diminished.I am certainly hoping Mr Van Damme's new found status gets him some high priced help in the movie department.He HAS made some good films in recent years,but the majority are,sadly,less than stellar efforts.What Mr.Van Damme himself said about his drug problems, can also be related to his film work of late:he has hooked up with film crews/companies that may be good,but are NOT good for him.And Jean Calude,that hair piece you are wearing of late?.......awful buddy,get rid of it.2 1/2 -3 stars.

NEW Buster Keaton At Mgm Triple Fe (DVD)
NEW Buster Keaton At Mgm Triple Fe (DVD)
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 15.30
21 used & new from CDN$ 15.28

3.0 out of 5 stars So so Keaton entries,in not great condition, Feb. 4 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This release from Warners is the newest rage, that consists here of two DVD-R's(on demand) that have Buster Keaton's Parlor Bedroom and Bath(released Feb/31),Speak Easily(released Aug/32) and The Passionate Plumber(released Feb/32).These are all so-so Keaton entries that,surprisingly today,made money.But that was mostly due to MGMs big promotional machine and their block booking policies with theatres.They are not Keaton's most shining moments on screen,and although there are a few pure Keaton moments,there is very little to shout about.
Parlour,Bedroom and Bath is a farce that has Keaton as a sign tacker who falls for a rich socialite,who he spies wandering around a big estate with other guests.When he is hit by one of the party goers he is put up in the house until he gets better.While there Keaton is used as a patsy.The guy who hit him has been after a girl to marry,but she won't until her hard to catch sister gets married.So Keaton is blown up as this veritable Don Juan to land her.
The film has lots of bedroom farce,faux pauxs and mix ups associated with a story like this.The film was filmed on Keaton's own estate,and magnificent it was.Keaton uses some routines from older films but over all the pace is stop and go,and no gag really builds up much steam.It's alot of running around by all concerned with a twisted and sometimes confusing plot.Besides Keaton the film stars Reginald Denny and old stage veteran Charlotte Greenwood.2 1/2 stars.
Speak Easily is a vehicle for Keaton and Jimmy Durante.Durante is the stage manager of a traveling show and Keaton is a stodgy college professor.Keaton falls for one of the principals when he ends up on the same train as the troupe.On vacation he ends up following the troupe and eventually bankrolls the show onto Broadway.When there,an actress played by Thelma Todd tries to seduce Keaton, but in the end he stays true to his first crush.When Keaton's dough goes poof,the show is almost closed but goes on to become a hit.
This is the best of the bunch as far as these films go.Keaton does have at least some decent gags once in a while.Durante plays himself to good effect.I always found that these two were oil and water.Both were great at what they did,just not together. The plot ,like the others,is weak and it shows its translucence more than once.3 stars.
Lastly is The Passionate Plumber.This is one mixed up whale of a tale.Keaton is a plumber in Paris.His friend,Durante,thinks Keatons invention of a laser sight on a gun is terrific and he tries to help him approach some military folks with his idea.Trouble is when he does he ends up in hot water,having to duel with someone.Concurrently with this is a girl he meets who is getting two timed by a romancing romeo.At first the guy is intimidating and seems on the level that he likes Keaton's girl.But he finds he is also seeing another hot blooded Latin lady.In the end Keaton arranges to have the two meet him at the same time and have it out.The result isn't good for the romeo,but pretty good for Keaton.
This mixed up plot has Keaton and Durante running all over the screen trying to keep up with the ultra weak story line that is THE PP.It is silly and I might even say stupid at times.The running duel gag gets tiresome VERY fast.This film should have been given to a lesser comic with nothing to lose,not a pro like Keaton.1 1/2-2 stars.
Technically the films are in their full screen a/r and are not in as good as shape as one would want them to be.They have done little work on them,just adjusted the contrast and clarity is all I can see.Other than that they are filled with defects associated with films of their ages.
All in all,this two disc set of Keaton films is just filling in the Keaton blanks as far as his MGM output goes.This is really for Keaton compleatists like myself, who want his entire output of films from MGM.They are now thankfully all available,but mostly on these DVD-R's that are Warner's newest hook.Not liking the hook,but I like the bait.

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