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Reviews Written by
Luis M. Luque "luquel" (Crofton, Maryland, USA)
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Lovesexy
Lovesexy
Offered by BonnieScotland
Price: CDN$ 5.95
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely underrated!, July 19 2004
This review is from: Lovesexy (Audio CD)
Yeah, sure, we all know, Prince is a musical genius, a modern-day Mozart, the purple prince of pop. Whatever. Yada, yada, yada. The point is: listen to the album! This is nothing short of a minor masterpiece. Alphabet Street, the track that got all the airplay, is probably the weakest on the album. The real gems here are Anna Stesia (one of his least known and best songs ever), Lovesexy, Eye No and When 2 R in Love. Again, listen to the album. You will definitely not be disappointed. Prince could occasionally put out some trash, but clearly he was in the groove here, confident in his abilities coming off of the monster hit that was Sign of the Times. This is Prince just having fun and producing effortless gold. Buy it.

When The Pawn...
When The Pawn...
Offered by @ ALLBRIGHT SALES @
Price: CDN$ 18.84
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars So much anger in such a little girl!, July 19 2004
This review is from: When The Pawn... (Audio CD)
Fiona Apple is pissed off! And that passion comes through loud and clear on tracks like Limp and Get Gone. While most songwriters struggle to be melodic, eloquent, even coherant in their anger and angst, Apple plays these emotions as well as she does her piano.
On the whole this is slightly better than her first album, more exciting and rhythmically interesting, though there are few tracks as good as Tidal's Sullen Girl or Shadowboxer. If you've never bought this because you were afraid it wouldn't live up to Tidal, fear not. Just because none of the songs got that much airplay doesn't mean a thing. This is definitely no sophomore slump. All I want to know is when Apple will release a third album. She is easily one of the most gifted and exciting musicians working today, and a far cry from all the manufactured pop princesses like Britney, Christina, Jessica, Mandy, Hillary and the like. Fiona Apple is above all, writing from her gut and singing from the heart. Don't miss out, buy this today.

Tidal
Tidal
Price: CDN$ 9.33
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Where are you Fiona?, July 19 2004
This review is from: Tidal (Audio CD)
Was Fiona Apple really so young when she released this album? Was she already such a great composer, vocalist, pianist and producer? Amazing! Is there a single song on here that is not hypnotic? Absolutely not! Sullen Girl, Shadowboxer, Criminal -- these are all glorious tracks that should make anyone wonder where this girl came from (and especially where she has disappeared to) and where she developed such a seasoned view. She's like the Rickie Lee Jones or Joni Mitchell of the 90s. Fiona, please come back and give us some more great music.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.50
90 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but way ahead of its time!, July 6 2004
I usually don't expect 150-year-old novels of ideas (and this is the quintessential novel of ideas) to be page turners, but Stowe is to be commended for writing what is first of all a great story. Never mind all the political sermonizing she does here -- and there's plenty of it -- this is above all a gripping story. Every time I expected a chapter to head into tedious territory, I was pleasantly surprised. Even though everyone knows what will happen to Uncle Tom -- this being a slave narrative written before the Civil War, after all, -- I couldn't help but continue wanting to read on. This was the second best selling book of the 19th century not only because it was highly controversial, but also because it's a well-told story, and I say "told" because Stowe herself often claimed that God dictated it to her. And it seems to be more spoken than written, especially with her frequent direct addresses to the reader.
While there may be something to Stowe's claim of divine inspiration given its impact, the book is certainly not without its faults. The character of Eva, for instance, is unlike that of any normal living child. She's a saintly caricature. And her neverending conclusion drips with maudlin sentiment exaggerated to Biblical proportions. Similarly, Uncle Tom doesn't bear resemblance to anyone I've ever met. But most troublesome is Stowe's romanticism of the black characters. She lumps them together and stereotypes them in one way or another. Clearly she means no harm; just the opposite is her desired effect. But it sometimes comes at the price of preachy condescension. They may be positive sterotypes, but they are stereotypes nonetheless, and they weaken her case against slavery.
Having read and enjoyed the highly-acclaimed and abundantly-awarded "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones, it dawned on me that Stowe really had a more thorough understanding of even the most subtle effects that the institution of slavery had on blacks and whites both northern and southern alike even with ideal slave masters. She even appears to foresee the differences of opinion that would later crystallize in Martin Luther King's brand of civil disobediance and the more militant versions advocated by the Nation of Islam and Black Panthers, juxtaposed in the diverging paths of the quiet, pious and tolerant Tom with that of the more directly oppositional George. She criticizes neither, though she seems to favor Tom's path, knowing full well that Uncle Tom is unique, and his abundance of Christian tolerance isn't likely to be found in the general population -- nor is it a path she desires for most slaves. She would rather that slaves simply escaped. She also seems to advocate their creation of a country of their own, taking Liberia as a model.
Still, further, Stowe is an early feminist, and as a result, the characters that are most interesting here are the women. Ophelia comes nearest of all the characters in the book to walking off the page. And Cassie, a finely complex creation, though introduced only in the last 120 pages or so, nearly steals the climax.
And what of the villains? They, too, are caricatures to be sure. To me at least, Simon Legree left something to be desired. He occasionally comes off as more of a buffoon rather than the Satan you know him to be deep down. But Marie St. Claire -- again, the woman -- is as clear a picture of selfcenteredness as Scrooge is of miserliness.
Hemingway said that all modern American literature dates back to Huckleberry Finn, but I think he needed to look about 30 years earlier than Twain to Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin is a masterpiece of American fiction; if it is not the Great American Novel, it is, at least in terms of sales, impact and literary merit, the Great American Novel of Ideas.

Chariots of Fire (1992)
Chariots of Fire (1992)
VHS
Offered by Great Deals 4 U
Price: CDN$ 18.88
8 used & new from CDN$ 4.76

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refined, inspiring, intelligent, July 5 2004
This review is from: Chariots of Fire (1992) (VHS Tape)
Even though this has an air of Merchant-Ivory crossed with Masterpiece Theater, and no genuine movie stars (at least at the time, except Sir John Gielgud), the movie shines from beginning to end.
I saw this in the theater when it first came out and was very pleasantly surprised. It's a true story with a great message that still plays like Rocky with a brain -- exciting, funny, dramatic, well-acted, beautifully photographed. Unfortunately, not everyone will like it, though, because it brings back the days when drama meant dialogue, subtlety and intelligence, not explosions, predictable plots and computer-generated imagery. You have to watch and listen and have an appreciation of history. You can't watch this one and be distracted. Best to watch when you have time and can savor the moments, not when you have a room full of children, for instance.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Carmen Maura
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 54.72
11 used & new from CDN$ 13.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it and tell your friends about it!, July 1 2004
Hollywood sure doesn't make movies like it used to. For instance, screwball comedies that immortalized the likes of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Katherine Hepburn in the 30s and 40s were abandoned after Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder stopped making them in the 60s. But no matter. That grand old wacky tradition continues; it just moved across the Atlantic to get updated with a European facelift at the hands of Pedro Almodovar.
So hop on your motorcycle with your granny or catch a cab, run to the grocery store, grab yourself a glass of gazpacho (hold the sleeping pills!) and watch this hilarious movie. Subtitles be damned, you'll love this no matter what! If you can watch this without huge belly laughs, you're simply not human!

To Be Or Not to Be [Import]
To Be Or Not to Be [Import]
VHS

5.0 out of 5 stars World famous in my eyes!, July 1 2004
Too bad this movie isn't better known than the weak Mel Brooks remake of the same name. Jack Benny as that great, great stage actor, Josef Tura (world famous throughout Poland!), and Carole Lombard are hilarious. Aside from the first couple of minutes, the whole movie is a laugh riot. Amazing how well the script and performances have stood the test of time. Truly one of the greatest comedies of the 40s! Best lines: "So they call me Concentration Camp Airhart, eh?" and "What he did to Shakespeare, we are now doing to Poland." and "To be or not to be ..." Rent it, borrow it, buy it -- whatever you do, watch it. You'll love it.
Time to produce a DVD version with commentary track.

Pleasantville (Widescreen)
Pleasantville (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Tobey Maguire
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 4.87
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Deep in the extreme!, July 1 2004
This review is from: Pleasantville (Widescreen) (DVD)
Who says Hollywood can't make a movie that is both smart and entertaining? Pleasantville is proof that it can. Here is a movie that is an enjoyable escapist entertainment. But it is also a religious allegory similar to The Truman Show, depicting the fall of man and loss of innocence in a variety of forms.
I don't want to connect the dots for you because you need to watch this movie closely and think about its meanings. When is it that people begin to take on color? What causes it for some doesn't cause it for everyone. It is a commentary on everything from the Civil Rights and Women's Liberation movements to Christianity, Genesis and the fall of man. And all of it is dressed up in a clever conceit about the good old days of black and white sitcoms.
Along with The Truman Show, this is one of Hollywood's greatest productions of the decade. One day people will appreciate it for the masterwork that it is.

Truman Show (Widescreen)
Truman Show (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Jim Carrey
Offered by niff78
Price: CDN$ 18.97
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's view of the fall of man, July 1 2004
This review is from: Truman Show (Widescreen) (DVD)
It amazes me that so few people notice that this is a religious allegory. Sure, on the surface this is about how the media have invaded every square inch of our lives, and it is a prescient take on reality television, but more than that, the story is about the fall of man and the end of innocence. If you've seen this before, watch it again and notice the parallels to Genesis, especially near the end where Christof (How obvious the name!) talks to Truman (true man) from the clouds. He even addresses himself as "the creator."
Jim Carrey gives what is still his best performance to date. And the screenplay gives you a great deal to think about. Watch this and "Pleasantville" back to back and notice the theological similarities. The Truman Show is definitely one of the best movies of the decade. And I think years from now, when people really begin to appreciate the depth of the screenplay, they will come to recognize it as the masterpiece that it is.

Bridge To Terabithia
Bridge To Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.31
199 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously sad!, June 24 2004
This review is from: Bridge To Terabithia (Paperback)
This book is hard to describe. I read it before buying it for my niece a few years after it was first published. I thought it was excellent, especially at depicting the mind of a pre-adolescent boy and how he confronts tragedy. Everything about the book struck me as honest, true and insightful at the time. Though looking at it now, some of the author's messages seem to lack subtlety. But how much subtlety do you want in children's literature? Still, I'm sure the author would be offended to hear me call this "children's literature." The fact is it's a great and enjoyable read that will keep your child thinking for a long time. But it's also a book that any adult can enjoy and will also have them thinking as well. If you don't own this one, buy it today.

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