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Amanda (Maine)

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Liz Phair
Liz Phair
Price: CDN$ 12.92
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars She's Just Your Ordinary Average Everyday Sane Psycho, Aug. 3 2003
This review is from: Liz Phair (Audio CD)
I'm not too familiar with Liz Phair's music - the only other CD of hers that I own is 'Whitechocolatespaceegg' - but I am guessing the music heard here on her self-titled CD is not your typical Liz Phair stuff. I should start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed 'Whitechocolatespaceegg' - but not nearly as much as I'm enjoying this one.
I bought this primarily because I liked her last CD, so I figured this couldn't be all that bad. Despite not having heard any tracks from it, I spent good money on it anyway, figuring I probably wouldn't be too disappointed. And I wasn't. In fact, 'Liz Phair' is currently not only the greatest CD I have purchased in a long time, but it is also the only one I'm listening to at all. I'm guessing for her long-time fans, this album may sound a bit more pop than her past ones, but not by much. It is hardly anywhere near the transition Jewel made a couple of months ago, in her attempt to appeal to Britney Spears fans. Despite a lighter sound, Phair still has her trademark way of putting a lot of emotion into her songs.
For instance, "Little Digger" is a sweet song, which I am guessing has to do with a child dealing with the divorce of his parents, or at least dealing with the thought of a father-replacement. Either way, Phair sings it beautifuly, and it's just a great ballad.
The track that is the most fun is "Favorite", in which Phair compares her guy to her favorite pair of underwear. It's a light, fun song to sing along with, if you can get over the silliness of singing "Oh baby, you know what you're like? You're like my favorite underwear. It just feels right." In addition to those two tracks, the whole CD is great, but my other favorites are "Extrordinary" (most likely a song about unrequited love), "Red Light Fever", "Why Can't I?", "Good Love Never Dies"...oh, what am I saying? Every song on the album is great.
Has Liz Phair sold out? If she has, who cares? If this is what "selling out" sounds like, I wish more artists would do it. I will admit that more than a few times during my first time listening to it, I kept thinking I was listening to Avril Lavigne, but to me that's okay, since I love Lavigne's "Let Go". This is not to say that if you hate Avril Lavigne's music, you will also hate Liz Phair's - it just gives me something to compare it to. But the bottom line is, this is a great CD. I think the critics are being too hard on her. What's so wrong about a singer changing her tune a little bit? Why should we expect her music to always sound the same? That would get boring after a while, I would think. So my advice is to ignore the critics who have trashed this album. If you're looking for some great summer music, this is it.

South
South
Offered by @ ALLBRIGHT SALES @
Price: CDN$ 32.80
11 used & new from CDN$ 3.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner!, July 26 2003
This review is from: South (Audio CD)
I've loved Heather Nova's music since 'Oyster' ("Walk this World" is one of my favorite songs). Since then, I bought her live album "Blow" and her 1998 follow-up to 'Oyster', 'Siren'. I even purchased the latter without having heard any song on it, and I wasn't disappointed. That's how great Heather Nova is. You don't have to hear her music to know it's good.
This past Christmas, my boyfriend bought me her recent release, 'South'. I never really got around to listening to it, so I didn't know if I liked it or not. At first, what I'd heard of it, I decided it wasn't as good as her others. But then a couple of months ago, I was watching an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and there was this song playing in the background. It sounded familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. From what I could hear, I liked the song and I asked myself who the singer sounded like. And then it hit me - I owned the CD that contained that song! The song was "It's Only Love", and the CD was 'South'. Well, after "Buffy" was over, I put in the CD, and sure enough that was the song. I listened to that one song and liked it, so I decided to finally sit down and give this CD a chance. I am so glad I did. 'South' is just as good as 'Oyster' and 'Siren', if not better. Even though the latter two each had one particular song that I loved the most ("Walk this World" and "London Rain"), 'South' doesn't. But whereas there were only a few songs on the other two that I would listen to, most of the tracks on 'South' are great. "It's Only Love" is the ballad that is equivalent to 'Siren's "What a Feeling" and 'Oyster's "Maybe an Angel". Some of the other great tracks are "Heaven Sent", "When Somebody Turns You On", "I'm No Angel", and "Gloomy Sunday", just to name a few. Actually, the whole CD is great - I could probably listen to the whole thing all the way through without skipping tracks. The music is a little different than usual for Nova, but it's not a huge change, like Jewel's transformation into Britney Spears. Some people may like the sound more, and they may like it less. But if you're a fan of Heather Nova, you shouldn't be too disappointed. After all, her amazing voice is still there. That's all that matters, right? I'm so glad I was introduced to her music eight years ago. Since then, she has mainly been the only artist whose albums I have purchased all of, and never been disappointed. At the same time, I feel bad for anyone who has never heard of her. This woman's amazing.

The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language and Culture
The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language and Culture
by Michael Savage
Edition: Hardcover
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars The Evil that Men Say, July 26 2003
What a sorry excuse for a book. Or, better yet, what a sorry excuse for a human being. Michael Savage starts off his book saying he is not anti-immigrants, then later tells a story how he yelled at a Middle Eastern cab driver to go back to where he came from. Funny story, really. But it's not the only one. This book is filled with "funny" stories. Like the one where he says he cured a lousy bum of cancer, and the man didn't even say thank you (yeah, whatever. I believe that one.). He brags about how good his books are, how wonderful his radio show is and how it's Number One!!! He prints a fan letter verbatim that puts him in a glowing light, when we all know that a majority of the letters and e-mails he gets are hate ones. He talks about how comedians today are not funny, but that he is a riot. That's strange...for such a funny guy, I didn't laugh once while reading this book. That's because I was too shocked about what I was reading.
After he decides to get over himself for a second, he spouts ignorant statements, one after another. He claims that women are afraid of angry men, and that if our boyfriends don't act like girlfriends, we don't want them. That statement right there tells me that he was never popular with the females, and that angers him, because if his statement is true, then no woman has ever liked him, because this guy is ANGRY. He dreams of a world where boys carry around guns, instead of sporting an earring. Yeah, because guns are so much safer than earrings. He also says that the biggest terrorist group we need to look out for are the liberals. Sure, Mr. Savage. Okay. And, what exactly have the conservatives done for us lately? I mean, things that have actually benifited our country?
Every page of 'Savage Nation' is like this. The man doesn't state fact, he states his opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I can't believe that this guy dares to state his opinions in public. I have a hard time believing even conservatives appreciate his "humor". In fact, I think he gives them a bad name. He and Ann Coulter. If the two of them ever got together and had a baby, then God help us all. Two haters don't make a right. Maybe, Mr. Savage, YOU should take your homophobic, racist, women-hating, hypocritical self and go back to where YOU came from. And when you get there, tell Satan I said hi.

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
by Ann Coulter
Edition: Hardcover
83 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Be Quiet, July 25 2003
Reading TREASON by Ann Coulter is like reading a paper written by a third-grade playground bully. She name-calls (Janeane Garofalo is a "nitwit" and a "lemon pucker puss" just for being opposed to the war, and former president Jimmy Carter is "Lord Haw-Haw", just because she couldn't think up a more clever name for him) and she says really ignorant things such as "Everyone says that liberals love America, too. No, they don't." And the most disgusting thing is how pro-murder this woman is. She talks of war and killing Iraqis as if it's the greatest idea in the world. No wonder she considers herself and all other conservatives so pro-America - they want to kill everyone who is not American. Well pardon us liberals who don't always see it fit to slaughter people of other countries, just because they live in a place that contains tons of oil.
Coulter spends the whole book "exposing" the truth about liberals and how evil they are, while failing to point out how many lousy things conservatives have done for this country as well. If she's going to point fingers, she'd better include everyone, because both sides have made mistakes. It's just the way politics work. Coulter tries so hard to be the conservative Michael Moore, but she lacks his humor and his intelligence. She whines and complains that liberals are anti-America when they speak their minds about the war, when the greatest thing about America is that you CAN speak your mind and not get dragged out into the street and shot for it. The fact that Ms. Coulter fails to see it that way tells me that she, herself, does not appreciate our country. She wants to point fingers? She should start with herself.
TREASON will no doubt appeal to conservatives, and liberals will want to throw it in the fireplace. All of the 5-star reviews will have been written by conservatives, and the 1-star ones will be by liberals, no doubt. Yes, I'm a liberal, therefore her book offends me to a certain degree. But that's not the only reason I'm giving it one star. This woman is supposed to be a serious political writer, yet all the name-calling has her appearing very immature (she thinks she's being funny, but she's not). I won't even get into the fact that everyone says the book is not even well-researched, because truthfully I don't know a whole lot about political history, so I cannot confirm that. But I do know that this woman is seriously disturbed. And judging from most of the reviews on this site, I am not the only one who thinks so.

Final Destination 2
Final Destination 2
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 21.35
54 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Watch Out For Those Log Trucks!, July 24 2003
This review is from: Final Destination 2 (DVD)
I have a confession to make. I am ashamed to admit it, but I did not hate "Final Destination 2". In fact, I liked it. A lot. And not only that (and here is the really sad part) but it creeped me out. A lot.
Okay, now that I've confessed my guilt over this little pleasure of a movie, I'm going to tell you why I liked it. I enjoyed the first "Final Destination", because it was original and creepy. The vision that the main character, Alex, had in the beginning of the movie (where the plane exploded) made my fear of flying 100 times worse, mainly because of how graphic it was. The scene was filmed wonderfully, and really showed you what it must look like inside the plane when it explodes. But as terrifying as his vision was, it pales in comparison to the one had by the young woman in the sequel. Kimberly (played by A.J. Cook) is driving to Daytona with her friends when she has a vision of a pile-up on the highway, in which she and her friends, and a half a dozen other people, die gruesome deaths. She, like Alex, panics and uses her SUV to block traffic, so that she can prevent the accident from happening. Everyone in her vision is blocked in back of her, but the accident happens anyway - only not with the same people in her vision. Now, of course, since they all cheated death, death is coming to cheat every one of them out of life. Everything from then on plays out similarly to the first film.
However, while there are a lot of similarities to the first one (it even contains the soul surviving character from the first one, Clear Rivers, played by Ali Larter), "Final Destination 2" adds a new twist to the story, so that it's not the same movie. Like the first one, the beginning of the movie is the best part, but the rest of it certainly doesn't lack in the suspense department. I will admit my heart rate was accelerated a few times during the whole hour and a half. I was tempted to give the movie four stars, mainly because there are a few really silly parts and inconsistencies and little things that were overlooked in the editing room. And the ending was, well, kinda stupid. However, the acting was pretty good (for a slasher film), the suspense was suspensful, it was humorous where it was supposed to be, and the gory death sequences were fun to watch, even though some didn't have to be as gory as they were. If you liked the first "Final Destination", I think it's safe to say you'll like this one too. In fact, I actually think I liked this one better. It's not top-of-the-line horror, and it won't see any Academy Awards. But it may accomplish at least one thing: I'm pretty sure that any one who sees this movie will try to pay more attention to the road when they're driving. No one wants to end up in Kimberly's vision.

To the Nines
To the Nines
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Hardcover
103 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put it Down, July 22 2003
This review is from: To the Nines (Hardcover)
To be honest, I was afraid to read the latest Stephanie Plum novel, 'To the Nines', because I wasn't very impressed with the previous Plum installment 'Visions of Sugar Plums' - plus, when I read 'Hard Eight' last year, I thought I might be growing out of my Stephanie Plum phase. But having been a huge supporter of this series, there was no way I was going to pass up reading this latest one - whether I got disappointed or not. Well, I was not disappointed. In fact, I started reading the book today, and finished it just a couple of minutes ago, and I couldn't have been more pleased. I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.
It starts off with its signature humor and slapstick apprehensions, and only gets better from there. This time around, Stephanie's job is to track a missing guy who skipped bail. Nothing new about that. Only this time, it leads her to Las Vegas - momentarily. This is because she soon realizes there's a lot more to this case than she thought, and she finds herself in danger once again. Yeah, nothing new there either. However, I found this installment to be more suspenseful than most of the others, and more enjoyable than 'Seven Up' and 'Hard Eight'. This one has totally renewed my faith in the series. Now, if we can only get Janet Evanovich to write more than just one of these a year.
'To the Nines' was a fast and easy read - the perfect "beach book". It hooks you on the first page and doesn't let you go until page 312. Everyone's favorite characters are still here: Morelli and Ranger are still as hot and sexy as ever; Grandma Mazure is still as crazy as ever; Lula is still as hungry as ever; and Stephanie is still just as terrible at bounty hunting as she was in 'One for the Money'. If you've read all the other books in the series, well then you are most likely going to read 'To the Nines'. If you haven't, it can be read as a stand-alone (Evanovich is good at summarizing everything in the beginning, in case any first-timers are reading), but it is way more fun when you've been following these characters since book one. Either way, it's a great book (the best one I've read in quite a while). Just be prepared to postpone everything in your life until you're done.

Family Guy - Volume 1: Seasons 1 & 2
Family Guy - Volume 1: Seasons 1 & 2
DVD ~ Seth MacFarlane
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 66.38
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars It Really Doesn't Get Any Better Than This, July 19 2003
I used to think that "South Park" was the funniest, most original, most offensive show on television. And then, I saw "Family Guy". I remember watching it when it was still on the air and thinking how refreshing it was. You'd laugh for a full 22 minutes, and most of the time you'd feel guilty about it. Why? Because it pushed the envelope, most often just a little too far, and you couldn't help but think to yourself, "I am going to hell for laughing at this." But that's why it was so great.
Unlike "South Park", "Family Guy" was a lot more mature. It didn't rely so much on potty humor and potty mouth, because it didn't have to. Just take, for instance, the family that we have here, the Griffins. There's Peter, the father and husband, who is a lot like Homer Simpson, only less yellow and with a bigger love for beer. He is lazy and not that bright. Then again, neither was Homer. Then there's Lois, the mother and wife who seems so normal and nice, you wonder why she's married to Peter. Then, there are the children: Chris, who is a bit chubby but kind-hearted and loves to draw; Meg who is a typical teenaged girl who wants to drive and get plastic surgery; and Stewie - the most complex character of all. He's just a little itty bitty baby, yet he speaks in an English accent, using big words, has a huge football-shaped head (probably to fit his large brain), likes to build complex machines such as time travelling ones, and - oh yeah - he wants to kill his mother. The biggest mystery about Stewie (one that's even been addressed in a couple of episodes, but never answered) is, can anyone hear him when he talks, other than the audience? The question goes unanswered, but we at least know that the family dog, Brian, hears him. Brian is another interesting character. He looks a bit like Snoopy, but that's where the similarities end. He likes to drink martinis, and he talks (he often is giving Peter sound advice - which Peter never takes). Every episode seems to find Peter trying to undo something bad that he did, but it never gets old. In fact, each of the 28 episodes are brilliant - there isn't a dud in the whole set.
I remember the feeling I had when I found out that Fox had pulled "Family Guy" from their line-up. It really truly was the funniest show on television at the time, and it angered me that people were claiming it was offensive. But it doesn't matter now, because all of the episodes are coming out on DVD. Even if we aren't getting any new ones, the ones on the DVD can be viewed multiple times before they even start to get boring. You don't get much for special features here - pretty much just two commentaries each on each of the four discs. But you really don't need special features with a show this good. If you ever saw at least one episode and found yourself laughing, I strongly urge you to buy this DVD. The price is great for all that you get, which is hours of pure enjoyment. I guarentee you will not be disappointed.

Diablo Battle Chest (Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Expension Pack)
Diablo Battle Chest (Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Expension Pack)
6 used & new from CDN$ 20.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Gold Piece, July 13 2003
I don't know what took me so long to play any of the Diablo games, especially after spending so many hours dedicated to Dungeon Siege. But when I saw the package here, I figured I might as well get it. For the same amount of money you would spend on one brand new game (actually, this is even less than that), you get the following: Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo II's expansion pack Lord of Destruction, with a strategy guide for the latter two thrown in for good measure. How can you possibly go wrong? You can't.
The first thing I noticed about Diablo is that it is very similar to Dungeon Siege. I know, I know - Diablo came first. But not for me, since I played Dungeon Siege a year before Diablo. There are some good differences and bad differences between the two, but I won't get into that since they are two different games. Diablo II and Lord of Destruction both have great graphics, but I can't exactly say the same about the first Diablo. I started playing Diablo II first, then took a break to play Diablo - and boy is there a huge difference. Diablo, while still just as much fun to play as its sequel, is harder for two reasons: One, the game is darker and the graphics are grainy, which makes it hard to see where you're going (especially when you have the map mode on); Two, it seems much easier to die than in Diablo II - this may be because not as many monsters tend to drop health potions, and you don't have as much room in your inventory to store them anyway. So, needless to say, I'm spending more time with Diablo II. I'm only still in the first act (although I'm one quest away from completing it), but I'm having the time of my life. It brings back memories of when I first started playing Dungeon Siege last year and couldn't get enough of it. But I think I like Diablo even better. With Dungeon Siege, the characters did the fighting for you; in Diablo, you have to click, click, click till the dang things are dead - which may start to wear on your fingers after a while, but at least this way you feel more like part of the game then in Dungeon Siege.
The only complaint I have about this game is when I installed Diablo II, it took more than two hours to install - but maybe it had more to do with my computer (which has XP) than the actual game, because my boyfriend said it shouldn't have taken so long.
So if you ever thought of playing Diablo, or played Dungeon Siege and liked it, then this is your best bet. My boyfriend had purchased all three of these games back when they first came out and spent about this much on each - if not more (ha ha, honey!). So, I ended up waiting a long time to play this, but I guess it paid off in the end.

Waiting for My Rocket to Come
Waiting for My Rocket to Come
Price: CDN$ 9.21
48 used & new from CDN$ 2.94

4.0 out of 5 stars The 'Remedy' for Bad Music, July 9 2003
I had never heard of Jason Mraz before, but when I heard "Remedy (I Won't Worry)" on the radio, I knew I had to have his CD. Not only is the song inspirational ("I won't worry my life away..." - I should really try to be more like him) but it's incredibly catchy. Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about the entire CD. I love the first 3 songs, "You and I Both", "I'll Do Anything" and "Remedy (I Won't Worry)". Those 3 songs there, in my opinion, are worth the price of the CD alone. However, even though I'm not all that crazy about a lot of the songs on the CD, they are all very easy to listen to because he's got a great voice and I love his singing style (he seems like he'd be a fun guy to have sing at your birthday party). As for reviews I've read of people comparing Mraz to John Mayer, I would like to disagree. I own Mayer's "Room for Squares" CD as well, and the two are as different as night and day. While John Mayer never seems to get above a whisper, Mraz confidentely sings his stuff in a funky, lively way that does nothing but make you want to sing along with him. If you like "Remedy" I recommend this CD. Even if none of the other songs catch you as much as that one does, it's still definitely worth listening to.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Kate Hudson
Price: CDN$ 13.95
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Undeniably Cute. And Funny Too!, July 8 2003
Romantic "chick flicks" are a dime a dozen these days, but only a few of them are worth even mentioning. This, surprisingly, is one of them. Kate Hudson is adorable as Andie Anderson - the author of a monthly "How to..." guide in Composure magazine. While she wants to be a serious reporter covering such things as politics, her boss just wants her to cover fluff on losing weight, fashion, dating, etc. So she gives in once again, and decides to write an anti-dating article, entitled "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" - in other words, be as annoying as you can to the guy you're dating until he dumps you. Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey's character, Ben, has made a bet that he can make Andie fall in love with him in 10 days (he, of course, knows nothing about her little scheme, and vice versa). What ensues is a silly movie, but sweet and often funny.
Like I said before, there are so many romantic comedies out there that are dull and unemotional. Recent movies, such as 'Maid in Manhattan', try so hard to be funny, sweet and tear-jerking at the same time, but fail. But not this one. I actually found myself rooting for the two main characters - both of whom I really liked. Kate Hudson does an incredible job going from the slightly psychotic Andie to the fun and sane Andie, and Matthew McConaughy makes great chick flick material (which we found out in 'The Wedding Planner' - if only it had been a better movie). 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' has quickly moved on to my list of favorite romantic comedies. And guess what, girls? You can probably even get your boyfriends to watch it with you. I watched it with my boyfriend (who does not consider himself a fan of the chick flick genre), and he seemed to enjoy it as well. I highly recommend it.

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