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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)

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8 Classic Albums
8 Classic Albums
Price: CDN$ 24.27
32 used & new from CDN$ 8.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Catch this if you can., Feb. 2 2016
This review is from: 8 Classic Albums (Audio CD)
This new release by Real Gone Records is certainly a revelation.Eight of Bert K.'s albums between 1958 and 1962.He was a prolific recorder,song writer and arranger and it is a shame that Real Gone isn't issuing a second,third and more volumes of his albums, which totaled around 55,depending on which country you are in.Bert Strangers in the Night,L-O-V-E,Danke Shoen and so many others.An amazing output for an amazing artist who passed away at the far too young an age of 56.
This four disc set has fantastic sound throughout and sounds even better than the 2003 Dutch two disc set release.There is no booklet enclosed but why include the usual trite background that you can find just as easily on line.Furthermore the outside notes tell from which album and year they are from anyways,so a detailed discography is just superfluous.No biggy.
Bert K. could certainly set a mood with his music and he perfected the song hook.He could seemingly take any music from any country and turn it into a hit.
This set isn't to be missed.

The Martian
The Martian
DVD ~ Matt Damon
Price: CDN$ 10.00
10 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 141min's of boredom and mediocrity, Jan. 31 2016
This review is from: The Martian (DVD)
The Martian(Released Sept/15)stars,among others,Matt Damon,Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels and Sean Bean.Not having seen it during its initial theatrical run I am sure I am not the only one who heard the scuttlebutt on what a "great" movie this was.Not to mention that Damon would be a good candidate for an OSCAR.As has happened so many times in the past,the rumour mill turns out to be just that;thinner than air itself.What a big disappointment this barely a sliver above a turkey was.
The story finds Damon as a botanist,and five other crew,on Mars collecting data on our celestial neigbour.Up whips a huge sandstorm and their spaceship is in danger of toppling.As the crew return to the ship to leave,Damon gets struck by an antenna array and is propelled into the air and out of sight.The on board instruments tell everyone his vital functions are gone.So with danger imminent the order is given to leave poste haste.
Unbeknownst to the crew,Damon is alive,but temporarily not so well.There is a piece of antenna wiring stuck in his stomach,the blood from which most likely saving his life as it sealed the tear in the suit.He hobbles back to base camp,does a little self doctoring and is soon up and around.Now the task begins for him to survive somehow until help arrives.Damon proves resourceful and devises a way to grow potatoes inside the habitat to extend his food supply.One day he comes upon a solution to contact Earth.By this time,however,NASA has already detected him and when they finally connect,the rush is on to get him back home.
The crew of the returning ship,after three months,is finally made aware of the situation.After a supply ship to Mars,which is hastily put together,blows up after launch,NASA devises a plan to slingshot the returning ship around Earth,pick up supplies(from a joint U.S./China project)in orbit,and head back to Mars.This is accomplished, but once in orbit the return ship is still too far away to get to Damon.His ship(a de-constructed supply ship sent to Mars ahead of a future mission)is tumbling over and over far below.The captain of the rescue ship is on an EVA seat stretched as far as the tether will take it.Damon in a desperate move cuts his suit around his wrist and uses the escaping air to propel himself to the captain.Damon is saved.
As the film ends we find Damon is now teaching up and coming astronauts.
Yes the S/FX are very good and director Scott does manage to imbue the film with moments of tension and suspense.But the outcome is telegraphed long before the picture ends,so it is just a matter of wading through over two hours of long,drawn out and quite boring scenes involving either Damon's activities on Mars or the NASA gang on Earth doing their "we're very concerned and worried" routine.The outdoor scenes of Mars itself were totally unconvincing to this reviewer.The were of course just computer enhanced Earth scenery, but it LOOKED like computer enchanced Earth scenery(we're not supposed to think that while watching,as it kinda spoils the believably ya know ).And speaking of unconvincing,Damons transformation from full weight to a walking skeleton near the end of his rescue was just as unbelievable.What caused this severe weight loss was his having to ration his meager supplies.However when the producers showed an obvious double from behind-only to emphasize his wasted phsyique,they forgot when they showed his face that it too should have looked as gaunt.It looked as full as it did in the beginning of the film.And if he was that emaciated how did he ever have the strength to do the things he did to get rescued.Just asking.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include a gag reel,featurettes and the trailer.From what I understand the original cut of this film came in around 2hrs.45m.I would expect that version to be released sometime in the future.
All in all a darn long and boring film.While it tried to be something grander,all it succeeded in doing was trying my patience.Do not believe the hype folks or you will be sadly disappointed.2 1/2 stars.

The Honeymooners : Lost Episodes 1951-1957 (The Complete Restored Series)
The Honeymooners : Lost Episodes 1951-1957 (The Complete Restored Series)
DVD ~ Jackie Gleason
Price: CDN$ 101.81
21 used & new from CDN$ 92.17

5.0 out of 5 stars "Lost"is a misnomer,but historically signifigant?.....YES!, Jan. 28 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like the three disc Jack Benny-The Lost Episodes set,this 60th Anniversary set of the Honeymooners-The Lost Episodes is a misnomer.They were never lost at anytime.Jackie Gleason himself had the foresight to put his shows to Kinescope;a process whereby a a camera is pointed at a TV set and laid onto(in this case)16mm film.He did this from 1951 when he was on the Dumont network and then did the same from /52 to /57 on CBS.From here he stored them properly in air conditioned vaults until he released them in 1985.Like the Benny's these kines were remastered by the UCLA film and TV archive in California.The picture and sound quality vary from ep to ep of course due to the film and sound quality(or lack thereof).I think though it is the best we're going to ever get for these shows.I for one am just grateful The Great One had the means to preserve these shows.Personally,considering each entire show is preserved in toto,I would like to have see them in their complete form.However beggars can't be choosers.
This set contains 15 one sided discs all in snug plastic holders,with the entire set done in book-like form( disc on one side of the "page",turn the "page" and there's another disc on the opposite side,then over to the next page,turn over for the next,etc.,etc.).It contains a nice informative booklet explaining what the history of the "lost"eps is about and a detailed listing of each ep c/w air dates.The 15th disc is chock full of extraordinary extras,including featurettes,rare clips relating to Carney/Norton and two radio performances of the Honeymooners.
Being live television anything could happen,and in these eps you will see and hear many a flub.Props that don't work,Carney and Gleason both taking tumbles,surprise special guests and general faux pauxs by all the cast and supporting players.They don't happen that frequently but when they do,be prepared for even bigger laughs.The /51 season starts off with Pert Kelton as Alice, and you will find a more harsh relationship between the two characters.When Audrey Meadows comes in for the /52 season onwards the harshness slowly diminishes over time.As the actors/characters develop their chemistry and dynamic, the magic that we all know and love from the Classic 39 starts to peek through and flourish.By the time /54 rolls around it's all there and it just gets better and better.Come /57 and Gleason jumps into eight musical Honeymooners.Watch them for the comedy,you bet,but also marvel at his supporting players,the extraordinary June Taylor dancers and the musical geniuses of Jerry Bressler and Lyn Duddy who wrote the music and lyrics,and conductor Ray Block who puts it all out there with his orchestra.
In conclusion, for the Honeymooners fan in your life there is no better gift than this 15 disc set.I got this as a present from my daughter for Xmas and I have laughed my way through every precious second of these shows.These are historically important pieces of video,which should also interest those who love old TV programming.A big thanks to The Great One for being who he was(he had an enormous impact on my life),who brought together and surrounded himself with some of the best talent on the planet, and who left us an unparalleled TV legacy that now,more than 60 years on, we can look back at and enjoy,be entertained and above all laugh at,until the tears start to flow.

The Laurel and Hardy Movie Posters Book - Volume Two
The Laurel and Hardy Movie Posters Book - Volume Two
by Greg Lenburg
Edition: Paperback
2 used & new from CDN$ 99.12

1.0 out of 5 stars No real research and cheaply done, Jan. 15 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Released the same time as the re-released Vol#1(Jan.10/16), we have yet another nice mess author Lenburg has gotten himself into.With roughly 94 actual pages showing posters,this volume is as cheaply made as the first.The posters reprinted herein are sometimes washed out.Pages 6-10 are prime examples.Many others look like poor scans from even poorer sources.Having said that,I think this volume's reprints do look a little better/clearer overall than the first.
As I stated in my review of the first one,the author wants you to believe these are rare or rarely seen posters.Nothing could be further from the truth.I had seen all the ones printed in Vol#1,and I was hoping to spot something new/old in this bunch.....nada.
I am also glad the author didn't insult our intelligence in this one like he did in the first.In that he included a a solo work section and pathetically could only come up with two Roach's for Stan, and the Fighting Kentuckian for Babe(!?).
In conclusion I do not believe the author has done the REAL necessary research to do a proper work on the subject matter at hand.Like the first it has been done cheaply and quickly(as the technology of our times allows many to do)with no thought to fans of Laurel and Hardy.Novices to the team MAY find it of some value,but to those of us who have been around the Laurel and Hardy block more than few times,it is old hat.Chances are they already have or have seen most if not all the posters/one sheets,etc. reprinted here.Save your money on this over priced "book".

The Laurel and Hardy Movie Posters Book - Reprint Edition
The Laurel and Hardy Movie Posters Book - Reprint Edition
by Greg Lenburg
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money on this over priced "book", Jan. 15 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Hot off the presses,January 10th,2016 to be exact,comes this poster book dedicated to the greatest comedy team of the 20th century.There have been countless reprints of posters by this team over the years,in books as well as magazines.And that is this books downfall....comparison.I have some of these one sheets and lobby cards and many a book and magazine with which to compare, and this very short volume(92 pages of actual posters) comes up wanting.
Colours are very poor in some cases and the quality/clarity of these reprints are acceptable at best, and poor in the very least.Not to mention the fact that this volume's paper stock is cheap which doesn't help the end product one iota.
The author wants you to believe you're getting some rare and rarely seen posters here.There isn't one I personally haven't seen and countless more he has left out;and that goes for the foreign reprints also.As far as solo work goes,there are actually just two Roach's here for Stan(Sailor Beware which is included has Hardy in it,so it is not considered solo work) and no Rock's at all(!?).As far as Babe goes there are NO solo posters at all pre-teaming;and there are a heck of a LOT of those available,considering the number of films he co-starred in.The two posters he has included,unbelievably, is from the very common Fighting Kentuckian.
All in all,while novices to the subject matter at hand might find this a bit interesting,any L&H veterans out there are going to wince at what this book presents.It is cheap all around,some of the reprints look like poor scans,and others still look like they have been lifted off of the VHS covers of the L&H silents issued some years ago.Thing is,THEY looked better! This book would be better priced at $5.00.L&H fans,save your money.

Thunderbirds: Complete Series - The Gerry Anderson Collection
Thunderbirds: Complete Series - The Gerry Anderson Collection
DVD ~ Alexander Davion
Price: CDN$ 41.00
22 used & new from CDN$ 41.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thunderbirds will always be"Go!" for me., Jan. 6 2016
The Thunderbirds, which ran from late /64 to /66(depending on your locale in the world),is now brought back to life for all to enjoy with this new set by Shout Factory.While SF can be iffy at times,they have proven what they can do when they do things right.All the original eps are here and they have been remastered beautifully in both picture and sound.
When I look back at this show when it first premiered in Canada,as with all the Anderson's efforts up to that point,I found them to be intelligent shows and not one that was made for the juvenile set with hokey plots and on screen production.They didn't talk down to kids;they actually assumed we had some grey matter up stairs.Another strong point of this shows was the production values and attention to detail,which really made TB's as good as it was.And mention MUST be made of Barry Gray's fantastic contribution in the music department.He is as important to TB's overall success as the Anderson's were.Of course there were the odd on screen faux paux's with animals not behaving as they should,puppets not responding on cue or wheels,those pesky vehicle wheels not turning consistently when needed.
When all is said and done I think of all the Anderson shows the Thunderbirds were the peak of their creativity.They pioneered a form of puppetry and miniature work that stills stands the test of time.And along with a BBC documentary on the show in this eight single sided disc set,you will find it back in all its glorious action.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (Bilingual)
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Tom Cruise
Price: CDN$ 15.00
10 used & new from CDN$ 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Action movies don't get any better than this., Dec 28 2015
Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation(released July/15)stars,among others,Tom Cruise,Jeremy Renner,Simon Pegg,Rebecca Ferguson,Ving Rhames, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin.This newest of the MI franchise is a fantastic action packed ride,full of enough twists and turns to make your head spin.
The story finds the MI crew in deep trouble.Renner is the group liaison and he is being told by a Senate sub committee and the head of the CIA(Baldwin)that the organization has itself been the creator and perpetrator of many a covert operation against the government and their allies,and they must be shut down.Cruise is convinced that there is another rogue operation out there that has nothing to do with the MI group and sets out to prove it.On his journey he finds that Harris is the man he is looking for and he becomes involved with a British MI-6 operative(Ferguson) who is also trying to get close to Harris.The two work together,and eventually they gain possession of secret data that implicates Ferguson's boss as the man behind Harris' financing.In the end they capture Harris and expose her boss.Hunt has saved the day and the MI force.
This is a great adrenaline filled ride that has Cruise and the rest of the cast at the top of their game.There is little let up throughout and it is the kind of edge of your seat action that I love.
Technically speaking the film is its a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras.
All in all a highly recommended action ride that is non stop from start to finish.Cruise and company are on top of their game and you cannot do better in the action genre than this.

Brazil (The Criterion Collection Single Disc Edition)
Brazil (The Criterion Collection Single Disc Edition)
DVD ~ Jonathan Pryce
Price: CDN$ 32.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 19.79

5.0 out of 5 stars "We're all in it together", Dec 28 2015
Brazil(released Feb/85)stars,among others,Jonathan Pryce,Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond,Ian Holm,Bob Hoskins and Michael Palin.Ex Monty Python-er Terry Gilliam directs this dystopian nightmare designed to shock and awe throughout.The Monty Python troupe often railed against the establishment in their works and this is that taken to the extreme.
The story finds Pryce in a hum drum position within the government.In a Walter-Mitty-ish behaviour, he often dreams of conquering a giant samurai and rescuing a beautiful girl.One day he literally sees his dream girl in real life and realizes the only way to find her is to take a promotion to a higher department.That higher department it turns out is also looking for the girl.When he finally does meet her the two try and break away.He takes her to his mothers house and returns to his work to delete her off the files so they won't look for her.When he returns his peers come looking for her and both are taken in to custody.Pryce is interrogated by a good friend of his,but it is interrupted by an outside group who rescue them. They flee and live in an idyllic abode way in the country,but this scene is cut short as we find Pryce is really back in the interrogation chair.As the film ends he is oblivious to all around him,and enjoying his new reality and humming the title song.
Was the entire film just a dream of Pryce's mind?Or was it a dream from the interrogation onward?The film is open to many interpretations,and symbolism and sly movie and literary references are everywhere.Terry Gilliam himself makes a brief cameo as what modern X-Files fans would call,Cancer or Cigarette man.The phrase"We're all in it together" that DeNiro speaks and is on a poster, is oh so true of our world.Pryce's dystopian world is not far removed from our own;that is the film's raison d'etre.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 1:78:1 and is clear and crisp.This is the single disc 142 minute version.I have seen this film many times in its truncated form on TV ,but this director approved version is by far the best and most comprehensible.
All in all a great and different film from the delightfully twisted mind of Terry Gilliam.Not originally a hit here in North America, I think it can now be fully understood and appreciated like never before.Everyone will see their own world in this film.Highly recommended.

Wild Geese
Wild Geese
DVD ~ Richard Burton
Price: CDN$ 19.98
16 used & new from CDN$ 11.80

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 70s equivalent of the Expendables., Dec 28 2015
This review is from: Wild Geese (DVD)
The Wild geese(released Nov/78)stars,among others,Richard Burton,Roger Moore,Richard Harris,Stewart Granger and Hardy Krüger.This film is the 70s equivalent of The Expendables today and still packs a punch.
The story finds Burton playing a mercenary-for-hire colonel.He is recruited by a high British official to extract Limbani,the former black president of an African country and bring him back to London.Burton gets his old buddies together and off they head.Harris is the brains behind the plan and all goes well until Granger makes a secret deal with another Black African leader,and the plane pre-planned to extract the group instead flies off without them.From there they are forced to run south where they eventually find a plane of their own to use.However they are now being pursued and as they are leaving most get cut to pieces,including Burton's close friend Harris.
Back in London Burton confronts Granger and kills him.The film ends as Burton stands with Harris's son,whom he promised to look after should anything happen to Harris.
The film comes in around 130 minutes and unfortunately can be slow in some spots.However it is solidly acted throughout and when the story starts to falter the star's talents keep it all together.There are many nice touches such as when South Africaner mercenary Kruger finally gets close to Limbani and dies trying to save him.There is is also an oh so brief scene where Burton's personally chosen drill sergeant calls out Burton's first name as he goes down in a hail of bullets;the first and only time he did so.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.An excellent print.Extras include footage from the film's London premiere,the trailer,interviews with the director,the military advisory and a documentary on the producer.
All in all a wonderful trip down memory lane for me, as I remember it well during its first run but have never sen it since.The film has not changed my first impression, now I have seen it on DVD.It was a bit on the long side then(some judicious editing would have helped) and still is,but the acting was rock solid and the story generally good.Recommended.

A Night to Remember (The Criterion Collection)
A Night to Remember (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Kenneth More
Price: CDN$ 32.20
16 used & new from CDN$ 26.22

5.0 out of 5 stars The most factual film of the Titanic's sinking., Dec 28 2015
A Night to Remember(released July/58)starred,among others Kenneth More,Ronald Allen,Robert Ayers and Honor Blackman .The film was based on Walter Lord's best selling book of the same name.Other than not showing the breaking up of the ship above the water,the film is a relatively faithful adaption of that book and the facts.
The story of course finds the supposedly unsinkable ship foundering after sideswiping an iceberg late on April12/14(It actually sank on the 13th).This movie gets us to the strike rather quickly and settles down for the rest of the film showing us the after effects of it.At first comes the calm and reasoning period as they try and figure out the real damage then start putting people on to the lifeboats.Slowly but surely a sense of urgency descends over the passengers,ultimately making way to out right panic.There are many heroic moments,along with the cowardly.But in the end it is a human tragedy that need not have happened at all had laws been more stringent re the life boats.Not to mention the incomprehensible behaviour of the crew of the Californian,just 10 miles away and which could have saved most of the lives lost.
The film is solidly acted all around and Kenneth More shines as Lightholer,the captain's second and who ultimately survived the sinking.This print(in B&W) is a restored one and it looks as clear and crisp as if it had been filmed yesterday.It is in its original a/r of 1:66:1.Extras are on the second disc which include past interviews with real Titanic survivors, a /93 documentary of the film and an /06 documentary by the BBC.
All in all a fabulous and must have film for those especially interested in the Titanic.Even if you are not a Titanic fan,the tragedy that plays out will keep you riveted to your seat until the end.As usual a Criterion release is a superior release,so you can bet on the highest quality presentation available.Highly recommended.

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