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Reviews Written by
Jane James "homeschoolmum" (California)

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Uncle Buck (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Uncle Buck (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ John Candy
Price: CDN$ 9.99
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.57

4.0 out of 5 stars I want an Uncle Buck!, Oct. 12 2003
Uncle Buck is not your everyday sort of hero. He doesn't look like a hero, and he doesn't act much like a hero. But in his own strange, bizarre way, he comes into the life of his brother's family and fixes all the problems, just like a hero would.
He's really loveable, even in all his rudeness.
This is a really funny movie. We all love it, from the younger kids to the adults in the family.

Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus
DVD ~ Bette Midler
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 20.36
25 used & new from CDN$ 7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, spooky movie that the kids and I just love, Oct. 12 2003
This review is from: Hocus Pocus (DVD)
This is probably the most entertaining Halloween movie I've seen.
The story is a little bit scary - but not gory or too frightening. The bad witches are quite funny and boy, can they sing!
The costumes are wonderful - the music is great. Bette Midler is truly hilarious. (All three witches are hilarious.)
It's much more funny than creepy. Definitely lighthearted fun.
The only reservation I have in recommending this as a family movie, is that the trouble all starts because a virgin lit a candle in the witches' old house, thus bringing them back from the dead. The fact that the boy was a virgin was mentioned a number of times (he was teased about it by his kid sister.) And so, a couple of my kids then asked what virgin means. Which is a question that can come up around Christmastime, too, so it's not really that terrible. But I wanted to mention it so any parents reading this review are aware of it.

A Ring of Endless Light
A Ring of Endless Light
by Madeleine L'Engle
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
61 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Helped me become who I am, Oct. 11 2003
I read this book the first time when I was in junior high school. I loved it then, and read it a number of times.
I recently picked up a copy for my own daughter. I re-read the book, and this happened to be soon after the death of a very important family member. The book explores death and how it affects a family in a very positive way. I found it actually helped me deal with my own grief - not something I expected when I started to read it.
As a child, I adored this book. As an adult, I have an even greater respect for the philosophies in it.
I can see now, from the perspective of a few years, that this book really did help me develop my own spiritual beliefs and understandings. It's a very meaty story, but don't let that deter you. It's easy to read, enjoyable, with engaging characters.
Madeleine L'Engle is one of the best!

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
by Mark Twain
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.29
34 used & new from CDN$ 11.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more reason to love Mark Twain, Oct. 11 2003
This review is from: Joan of Arc (Paperback)
I read a number of biographies of Joan of Arc when I was a child, but I never read a novel based on her life.
This was amazingly well done, but then again, it was Mark Twain who wrote it. I would expect nothing less from him.
The story was very easy to follow, and very believeable. Twain gives us a glimpse of what the daily life of Joan of Arc might have been like. We see her in her vulnerability and in her strength, as the complex individual she must have been.
I really enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to my own children reading it someday.

The Slipper and the Rose (Widescreen)
The Slipper and the Rose (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Gemma Craven
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 139.57
7 used & new from CDN$ 66.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful fairytale, Oct. 11 2003
I love this portrayal of the Cinderella story.
It's a musical - and Richard Chamberlain is really entertaining. The storyline is a bit more complex than the typical Cinderella story, which is nice. There's enough to it to justify an entire movie.
The colors and music and dancing in this movie are very, very beautiful.
I loved this movie as a child, and it's still one of my favorites.

The Runaway Jury
The Runaway Jury
by John Grisham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
166 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Have you seen the movie?, Oct. 10 2003
The book is about the manipulation of jury selection by the tobacco industry, and how that alone has allowed them to slip through legal battles unscathed.
I loved this book. I loved the idea that Grisham would come out swinging at the tobacco industry. I loved the hero and heroine of the story, and I really enjoyed all the twists and turns in the storyline.
I understand the new movie is not about tobacco, but about guns.
I find this highly ironic. A book about how the tobacco industry wields its power to keep itself from losing court battles is somehow turned into a movie about guns...
All I can say is...
Interesting!

The Chamber
The Chamber
by John Grisham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
180 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me think!, Oct. 10 2003
I can't say I "loved" this story. Or that it's a "great" story. It's a very hard book to read - the issues raised are very intense and very difficult to read about. I ended up with questions I'd never had before, which made this book really valuable to me.
The death penalty, racism, hate crimes, family struggles, forgiveness, taking responsibility for one's actions are all covered in this one book - it was truly an intense read.
I cried through a lot of it. This is definitely not escapism, light reading! It's not terribly action-filled - very unlike other Grisham books I've read. But just as good as the other books I've read by him, if more emotional and heart-wrenching.
I am very, very glad I read the book, and I'm very glad my son is reading it. Don't expect to walk away from this one with the same views you had when you started it.

Planet Jive
Planet Jive
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 19.95
4 used & new from CDN$ 15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for the whole family!, Oct. 10 2003
This review is from: Planet Jive (Audio CD)
We've had the pleasure of watching this band perform live on a number of occasions. These guys really play for the crowd! Great showmanship, great music, great lyrics.
Really family-friendly and lively enough to entertain the kids.
This is my family's favorite band - even my kids as toddlers love this music. They have a whole dance routine they created for the son "Planet Jive". And it's great fun for us (the parents) to watch the kids perform, of course.
We have six children, ranging from toddler to early teen, so it's really got to be good for the entire family to all agree on a c.d. as a "favorite"!
And this band has stood the test of time with us - they've been a family favorite for years.
The whole album is lively, upbeat, and fun.
Wholesome enough for the family, lively enough for the kids, entertaining enough for all of us.
Sixteen thumbs up over here!

Mrs. Doubtfire (Widescreen)
Mrs. Doubtfire (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Robin Williams
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 19.86
18 used & new from CDN$ 6.25

4.0 out of 5 stars fun, wholesome, family entertainment, Oct. 9 2003
This review is from: Mrs. Doubtfire (Widescreen) (DVD)
This is great family movie. It's a funny (with Robin Williams and Sally Fields, how could it not be?), sweet, make-you-cry-at-least-once, kind of film.
All my kids love this movie (they range in age from toddler to pre-teen).
The values stressed in the movie are really great to see. The importance of love, the importance of forgiveness, the importance of families of every kind, are really explored.
I love this movie. We've seen it a few times, and I have no qualms about recommending it as a good family movie.

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
by L. Ron Hubbard
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from CDN$ 28.13

5.0 out of 5 stars fairy tale meets science fiction!, Oct. 8 2003
Johnny Goodboy Tyler is a true hero -- we don't find him weakened by internal struggles or suffering much. He knows exactly what the right thing to do is, and he just does it.
The villains are really horrible - no bones about it. You just want to watch the hero wipe 'em all out, with no second thoughts.
These elements are really pretty fairy-tale-ish. Most modern-day books don't have such black-and-white heroes and villains, and I found it a refreshing change.
Our hero is larger than life - the story is larger than life. It's really HUGE! It's a fast, action-packed story, highly entertaining. Once I picked it up, I truly could not put it down. This was actually a bit of a struggle for me, since the book is over 1,000 pages and can't be read in a day.
I found the story slowed down towards the end, as the fast paced action gave way to the subtleties of diplomacy. I've read this book a couple of times (I always re-read my favorite stories), and the first time I really didn't enjoy this part of the reading at all. The second time through I found myself enjoying it much more. Perhaps with age I've learned the importance of diplomacy, so it just made more sense to me. When Johnny Goodboy Tyler perfects his diplomacy, I find he's even more larger-than-life than before.
This is a great story if you're looking for a book with big, heroic heroes, and villians you can really hate, and a great, big, huge action tale!

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