march boutiques-francophones vpcflyout Furniture Introducing Kindle Oasis Explore the Amazon.ca Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools Registry
Profile for STEPHEN PLETKO > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by STEPHEN PLETKO
Top Reviewer Ranking: 71
Helpful Votes: 1179

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
STEPHEN PLETKO "Uncle Stevie" (London, Ontario, Canada)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Untouchables: Money, Power and Wall Street  (FRONTLINE)
The Untouchables: Money, Power and Wall Street (FRONTLINE)
DVD ~ .
Price: CDN$ 26.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 12.45

5.0 out of 5 stars "How did we get ourselves into this economic mess and is there someone truly to blame?", Sept. 14 2014
XXXXX

"More than four years later [after the financial crisis of 2008], Frontline investigates why no Wall Street executives have gone to jail. Did the government fail?"

The above comes from the introduction of this revealing documentary by the public affairs television series "Frontline." This particular program was televised January 22, 2013.

To be more specific, Frontline investigates why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to act on credible evidence that Wall Street bankers knowingly packaged and sold extremely weak mortgage loans to investors.

It was these loans that brought the U.S. and world economies to the brink of collapse.

To get to the heart of the matter, there are brief interviews with:

(1) Top prosecutors
(2) Government officials
(3) Industry whistleblowers

Finally, the DVD chapter titles are as follows:

(1) Introduction
(2) "Fund'em"
(3) Due diligence?
(4) Frustration in Washington
(5) Why no criminal indictments?
(6) End credits

In conclusion, "Frontline" seems to never disappoint. This is yet another well-done program. After viewing this program, you'll probably ask yourself:

"Are the CEOs of mega-banks too big to jail??"

(2013; 55 min excluding end credits; 6 scenes; wide screen; PBS)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

Groundswell: The Case for Fracking
Groundswell: The Case for Fracking
by Ezra Levant
Edition: Hardcover
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.24

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A frigging book that endorses fracking, Sept. 7 2014
XXXXX

"The most incredible effect of fracking is the impact it has on the amount of energy we have in the world. With one technological leap, we have increased the world's [natural] gas reserves by 40 per cent, an astonishing magnitude.

And it has opened up energy reserves in countries that have never had them before. Countries like Poland and Ukraine, which have to depend on Russia for their daily needs...

The natural gas transformation [or revolution] is making energy-starved countries into energy powerhouses from scratch."

("Fracking" is short for hydraulic fracturing. It involves the injection of millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals into a well deep underground to fracture shale rock and release stores of gas {and oil}. In this book, the author defends the virtues of shale gas obtained through fracking.)

The above (in quotation marks) comes from this strange book by Ezra Levant. Even without reading this book's main narrative, I noticed not one but two odd things as well as one omission.

On this book's inside back flap, there is a mini-biography of Levant that says, among other things, that he is a "lawyer" and "journalist." Yes he has a law degree so he is a lawyer. (The law firm I deal with is "Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.") However, he has no journalism degree. Therefore, he is not a journalist.

Next, I looked at this book's table of contents. There are exactly four chapters (of thirteen) devoted to the "Criticisms of Fracking." (That is, each of these four chapters analyses quite briefly one criticism of fracking.) ONLY FOUR!! Levant must realize that there's many more than just four!

What's omitted in Levant's mini-biography is that he was a tobacco industry lobbyist. Yes, he was one of those intelligent people that told people (including children) that cigarette smoking is not bad for their health.

What does all this mean? It means you have to be very, very, very, VERY careful when reading this book.

I wondered how Levant could possibly make a "case for fracking" (this book's subtitle) without examining ALL the criticisms of fracking. Of course! In typical Levant style he abrasively attacks what he terms "the enemies of fracking."

Revisiting a theme from his earlier book, "Ethical Oil," Levant argues that the crux of our energy future comes down to a simple choice between "ethical energy" represented by shale gas and "conflict energy" sold by human-rights violators such as Iran and Russia.

He rejects, not surprisingly, criticism of shale gas upon water quality and green-house emissions and repeatedly tells us that fracking is "clean" and "harmless." Renewable technologies like solar photovoltaic and wind are dismissed as the "costly fantasies" of those pesky environmentalists.

Levant achieves near angelic eloquence in highlighting fracking's effect on economic opportunity, not only in North America, but overseas as well.

It seems that Levant is unaware of the immediate impact of a shale gas revolution outside of North America. In April 2013, "Forbes" magazine identified "six reasons fracking has flopped overseas." A year later, the BBC was reporting that the "shale industry faces global reality check."

Levant's outright dismissal of solar as a "messiah fuel" has been challenged by on-going cost reductions of solar power. In fact, both the U.S. and China appear to be ready for significant solar growth. (Apparently, Levant forgot (??) to tell us that there's more than one energy revolution taking place.)

Levant's environmental arguments in favour of shale gas are simple (very simple!) but run contrary to current science. A 2014 report of the Council of Canadian Academies states that:

"The assessment of environmental impact is hampered by the lack of information about many key issues, particularly the problem of fluids escaping from incompletely sealed wells."

Levant dismisses concerns over community health and seems to ignore the importance of indigenous Aboriginal rights with natural resource development.

His greatest blunder is stating that human-influenced climate change is "speculative." By doing so, Levant casts a dark shadow over his entire argument.

This book has no index. Why? A wealth of information is presented but there is no easy access to it.

Finally, Levant asks the following question: "How did the fracking industry come to use so many kitchen ingredients to drill for oil and gas?" Here he's referring to the chemicals used initially in fracking (they're combined with water to form a "chemical cocktail") and is implying that they are so safe that they can be ingested.
As well, Levant talks about the "flow back water" (the waste water that returns to the surface in the fracking process) and implies that it's actually safe after being recycled.

Let's test his claims. If the "chemical cocktail" and the recycled "flow back water" are so safe, then I challenge Levant to drink a standard cup of these fracked waters on his televised "news" show. (The only thing I ask is that either I or a person of science supervise the entire process.)

In conclusion, former tobacco industry lobbyist and wannabe journalist Ezra Levant has presented a "case for fracking."

My verdict:

Levant has failed to adequately provide a convincing case.

(First published 2014; introduction; 13 chapters; conclusion; main narrative 225 pages; acknowledgements; sources)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
DVD ~ Idris Elba
Price: CDN$ 6.88
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is a film about a man who has changed the world", Sept. 1 2014
XXXXX

“I have walked a long walk to freedom. It has been a lonely road and it is not over yet.

I know that my country was not made to be a land of hatred. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin.

People learn to hate.

They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.”

The above comes at the very end of this engrossing movie that is based on the 1995 autobiography (entitled “Long Walk to Freedom”) of Nelson Mandela (July 1918 to Dec. 2013).

This movie chronicles Mandela’s early life, education, marriage to Winnie Mandela, and his 27 year prison sentence before becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994.

I found that this movie was very realistic.

This movie is just not about Mandela (Idris Elba) but is also about his second wife, Winnie Mandela (Naomie Harris). Both actors do a good job in their roles. Elba seemed to have a certain charisma that kept me drawn to the movie. (The real Nelson Mandela also had charisma.)

The background music was impressive. It featured music of Bob Marley, U2, etc.

This movie was filmed entirely on location in South Africa.

This movie has not yet gained enough in box office receipts to reach its break-even point. I’m not sure why. It’s a well-crafted movie with good acting that’s intensely emotional and deeply stirring.

Finally, the DVD itself (released 2014) has two extras. Both are interesting.

In conclusion, this movie details Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary journey to becoming one of history’s most iconic figures!!

(2013; 2 hr, 15 min excluding end credits; wide screen; 20 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

A Window on Eternity: A Biologist's Walk Through Gorongosa National Park
A Window on Eternity: A Biologist's Walk Through Gorongosa National Park
by Edward O. Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.23
34 used & new from CDN$ 4.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Examining one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps the world!!, Aug. 24 2014
XXXXX

"Gorongosa National Park [in Mozambique, Southeast Africa], with the mountain [Mt. Gorongosa] forming its northwestern border, is a global treasure. Its forested plateau is the southernmost extension of Africa's Great Rift Valley, a domain of savanna, dry forest, and grassland centered around Lake Urema and fed by a lacework of rivers and tributary streams. The eastern slope of Mount Gorongosa is covered by a series of vegetation zones weakly divided by elevation and capped by the summit rain forest. Close by rise three seldom visited inselbergs, miniature peaks of lower elevation.

To the east of the massif is a region of caves and exposed limestone ridges and intervening deep ravines, their sides and bottoms heavily grown in rain forest, also awaiting exploration. This mix provides the greatest variety of habitats of any park in Mozambique, and one of the most diverse in the entire world.

In the whole of the park have been found so far 398 bird species...compared with 914 in all of North America; 123 mammals...which is well above the 67 species living...in Yellowstone National Park; 34 [reptile species]; and 43 [amphibian species]. It is just an educated guess, but I am reasonably certain that the resident species of insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates number in the tens of thousands."

The above comes from this revealing book by Edward O. Wilson. He is one of the leading biologists in the world. Wilson is the author of many prize-winning books. He has received more than one hundred awards including the U.S. National Medal of Science, two Pulitzer Prizes in nonfiction, International Prize for Biology, and the Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science. Wilson is currently Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University.

There are three parts to this book:

(1) Text or main narrative (by Wilson)
(2) Photographs in color
(3) DVD (by an award-winning filmmaker)

What can I say about this extraordinary book? Between Wilson's splendid main narrative and the gorgeous photographs, I learned a lot about a piece of "paradise."

If that's not enough, the DVD (a "companion" to the book) entitled "The Guide" is beautifully filmed. It catches the essence of the book through the eyes of one of the park's young indigenous inhabitants (who is also briefly mentioned in the book and may well, in the future, become this park's ambassador). We also get to see the man himself, Professor Wilson, and the philanthropist who made everything possible, Greg Carr. (It was Carr who conceived and brought to reality the rebirth of this majestic park.)

(Note that the DVD is located in a pouch at the back of the book.)

Where does the title of this book come from? The wild lands of Africa (that includes Gorongosa National Park) gave birth to humanity, and it is this natural world, still evolving, that may outlast us humans and become our legacy, our WINDOW ON ETERNITY.

Finally, the front cover of this book (displayed above by Amazon) shows the lush canopy of the forest and two inselbergs in the western part of Gorongosa National Park.

In conclusion, the subtitle of this book is entitled "A biologist's walk through Gorongosa National Park." What a wonderful walk it is!!

(Book: published 2014; prologue; 11 chapters; main narrative 140 pages; acknowledgements; notes; index)
(DVD: 2013; 40 min; wide screen)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?
How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?
by Phd George Langelett
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 6.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Get this book for your favourite office tyrant!!, Aug. 17 2014
XXXXX

"I am concerned with the direction that corporate America is headed. I am convinced that empathy-based management is a healthier and more effective way to manage your employees than traditional management practices based on temporary inducements. The practice of empathy-based management needs to become a conversation in your organization and across corporate America about what works and what is ineffective in the real world. I hope you'll make this book a starting point for this much-needed discussion."

The above comes from the conclusion of this pioneering book by George Langelett, PhD. He is a professor of management and economics at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. Also, Langelett is a member of the Academy of Management.

So just what is empathy? Langelett prefers humanistic psychologist Carl Roger's definition:

"Real Communication occurs...when we listen with understanding. What does this mean? It means to see the expressed idea and attitude from the other person's point of view, to sense how it feels to be [that person], to achieve [that person's] frame of reference in regard to the thing [that person] is talking about."

Langelett defines empathy-based management as follows:

"A new protocol in which a manager's ability to empathize is a prerequisite to effectively performing the duties of management, including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling."

This book is well-written (though repetitive and wordy in spots). I liked the neuroscience that was presented which gives strong validity to the effectiveness of empathy-based management. I especially appreciated the conclusions or summaries found at the end of each chapter that included a preview of what was to be discussed in the next chapter.

Another hallmark of this book is that it includes hypothetical dialogue between a manager and employee in order to illustrate a particular empathetic technique.

There are six appendices. Each one is short and concise. My two favourite ones are entitled "A Journey through Management Theories of Motivation" and "Managing by Fear vs. Managing by Empathy."

There are also three worksheets. These are important because they allow you to put the book's core information into practice immediately.

Finally, the only problem I had with this book is that there is no index. This by itself is not a big problem since it can be made up for in other ways. For example, the table of contents, instead of just listing the titles of each chapter as this book does, could have had indicated the names of each section included in a particular chapter. Also, there could have been a glossary listing key words and key terms that are paramount to empathy-based management.

I say this because this is an instructional book and access to information is thus critical.

In conclusion, I feel that this is a pioneering work that may very well help change the direction of corporate America!! Best of all, empathy-based behavior is not difficult to learn as Langelett tells us:

"Management literature often treats empathy as a fixed personality trait. This assumption is incorrect. Much like learning to drive a car, empathetic behavior is a skill that can be mastered with practice by virtually anyone."

(first published 2014; preface; introduction; 5 chapters; conclusion; main narrative 135 pages; acknowledgements; 6 appendices; 3 worksheets; about the author; notes; bibliography; further reading)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

Land of the Pharoahs
Land of the Pharoahs
DVD ~ Jack Hawkins
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 64.46
14 used & new from CDN$ 15.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of the FIRST WONDER of the ancient world!!, Aug. 10 2014
This review is from: Land of the Pharoahs (DVD)
XXXXX

"Now five-thousand years of might, mystery and majesty sweep down upon you as the story of the first wonder of the world becomes the greatest wonder of the entertainment world!

So vast, that making it was the screen's supreme achievement!

So powerful that seeing it will be your greatest dramatic experience!

A motion picture triumph that you will never forget!"

The above comes from the theatrical trailer of this engrossing epic.

We are presented with a fictional account of the building of the Great Pyramid (the oldest and largest of the three pyramids found in Egypt). (Note that the Great Pyramid served as a tomb for the Pharaoh.)

This movie stars two British actors: Jack Hawkins (1919 to 1973) and a young Joan Collins as Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops) and his second wife, Queen Nelifer. They give good performances as do all the others involved in this spectacle. (Collins first appears about 39 minutes into this movie.)

This film has literally a cast of thousands (almost 9800 extras in one scene alone).

The sets are magnificently detailed including the pyramid's inner labyrinth, booby-trapped so no one can learn its secrets and live. You get to also see vast deserted vistas that fill the screen. The vivid colours shown are quite astonishing.

I thought that the background music enhanced each scene.

This movie was filmed on location in Egypt and in Rome studios.

Surprisingly, this film was a box-office failure since it did not quite break even. I don't know why it was seen as a failure.

Finally, the DVD itself (the one released in 2013) has two extras. Both are good.

In conclusion, this is a truly lavish production whose story can be summed up by what one character says:

"To build a tomb to house one man in his second life, thousands are finding misery in this life."

(1955; 1 hr, 45 min; wide screen; 27 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

Struck By Genius: How A Brain Injury Made Me A Mathematical Marve
Struck By Genius: How A Brain Injury Made Me A Mathematical Marve
by Maureen Seaberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.27
11 used & new from CDN$ 3.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A traumatic brain injury transforms an ordinary mind into a beautiful mind, Aug. 2 2014
XXXXX

"I struggled to my feet. Not only was I in a lot of pain, but I was having trouble getting my bearings. The world looked different: off-kilter, dreamlike. Everything that moved had trails of colored light following close behind it.

There were triangles and squares in repeating patterns wherever I looked, from the windows to the lampposts to the street signs...

I rubbed my eyes. The glow of the streetlights seemed amplified. I could see the cars going by, little chipped shapes bouncing off their hoods."

The above is what was experienced after a brutal mugging and is found in this fascinating book by Jason Padgett (and Maureen Seaberg). Padgett is now an aspiring number theorist. He's an award-winning artist who hand-draws the stunning geometric patterns he sees everywhere. (Seaberg is an author with several forms of synesthesia (see below). She has written for numerous notable publications.)

This book briefly describes Padgett's life before his TBI (traumatic brain injury) that resulted from a mugging and his long struggle to understand what was happening to him after his TBI. Padgett is determined to overcome psychological and neurological trauma and fully embrace his new mind that now has an extraordinary gift.

What is that extraordinary gift? Answer: acquired savant syndrome (the first documented case) with mathematical synesthesia.

(Savant in the term "savant syndrome" is one whose mental capabilities are quite limited but who possesses some extraordinary talent. Padgett's talent is mathematics and his other mental capabilities seem not to be affected as in the typical savant. Synesthesia is a process in which one type of stimulus produces a secondary, subjective sensation, as when some colour evokes a specific smell. In Padgett's case, he associates shapes with numbers.)

What's even more amazing is that before his TBI, Padgett was a party-loving jock and a college dropout who did not make it past pre-algebra.

This is a true story of sorrow and joy, of falling in love, finding a passion for mathematics and physics, and above all, discovering a profound sense of wonder for the order in our seemingly chaotic world.

Finally, there are twelve colour photographs near the center of this book. My favourite has the following caption:

"My conception of particle fusion [or nuclear fusion where two atomic nuclei combine to form a more stable heavier atomic nucleus resulting in a considerable amount of energy being released]. I imagine the center hexagon [in the photo] as the inert iron core of a star [like our sun] and the six surrounding hexagons [in the photo] as the outer mass, collapsing due to the immense pull of gravity. I'm fascinated by the process of fusion and the possibility of harnessing it to create unlimited, clean energy."

In conclusion this is a well-written book about the story of an ordinary man who was transformed when a traumatic brain injury left him with an extraordinary gift.

(first published 2014; a note from Maureen; 18 chapters; main narrative 225 pages; acknowledgements; bibliography; index)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

The Angel Ultimatum
The Angel Ultimatum

4.0 out of 5 stars This book is "dedicated to every caring person who has ever, or will ever live", July 25 2014
XXXXX

"[In this analysis] we will approach the Bible as being the most complex literary puzzle ever created, and we will examine two completely different solutions [with respect to religion] to that puzzle."

The above comes from the introduction of this extremely interesting e-book by Alexander Mann. Mann is an author, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He develops new movie projects through his Production Company, Alexander Mann Productions, and works with notable talent throughout the entertainment industry.

Question: what is the ANGEL ULTIMATUM? Answer: MAKE SENSE OF CREATION, OR ELSE!

In this book, Mann examines the traditional biblical explanation of creation where angels (supernatural beings) are created and whose actions in Heaven negatively affect the human race. There is, thus, a need for salvation through the Messiah, with the message of that salvation entrusted to religion.

Mann presents an alternative and, in my opinion, plausible explanation for everything that has taken place within the creation of individuals. Free will, the concepts of good & evil, and angels figure prominently in this explanation.

Throughout Mann's analysis, the role of religion is considered. (According to Mann, the word "religion" does not appear in the Old Testament Hebrew and only appears five times in the New Testament Greek.)

I was impressed with Mann's analysis. It is well-presented, thorough, and rational. As well, I was impressed with Mann's ability to conceptualize. As a result, I learned quite a bit from this book.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie version of this book (of which Mann wrote the screenplay). It has already been announced on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Finally, the only problem I had with this book is lack of references. The only reference given is that "all biblical references are from the New International Version of the Bible." However, there was information given that made me wonder where it was obtained. For a book of this type, I feel references are especially critical.

In conclusion, this is a well-written book. We're told in the "about the author" section that Alexander Mann has suffered the deaths of his older brother, his father, and most recently his mother. It seems to me that these losses combined with his ability to conceptualize (mentioned above) has enabled him to create an original work of depth that appeals to both the heart and intellect.

(First published 2014; introduction; 15 chapters; bibliography; about the author; 1740 KB; print length 90 pages)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Single-Disc Edition)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Single-Disc Edition)
Offered by DVDTOPBUYca
Price: CDN$ 8.83
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A solid sequel and ending to the Indiana Jones series, July 19 2014
XXXXX

"Whoever finds [the crystal skull] will control the greatest natural force the world has ever known."

The above (spoken with a Russian accent) comes from this science fiction adventure movie, the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise.

It was created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg.

This movie was released nineteen years after the previous film (the fantastic "The Last Crusade," 1989). It acknowledges the age of its star, Harrison Ford (who plays Indiana Jones) by being set in 1957. (Ford was 64 in this movie.)

This movie also pays tribute to sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s, pitting Indy against Soviet Agents who are searching for a telepathic crystal skull. The Head Soviet Agent is Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett, who gives a good performance).

Indy is aided by his former partner, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and her son Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Marion appears in the last half of this movie.

To keep continuity with the three previous Indiana Jones movies, traditional stunt work was used instead of computer-generated doubles.

I personally enjoyed this movie. Yes, there are some absurd scenes (liked the "nuked the fridge" scene) but overall it was a good movie with, what I thought, was an important message. I especially liked the fact that this movie gave brief homage to Indy's father, Henry Jones Sr. (played by the first 007, Sean Connery) and to his late archaeological academic colleague Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott, 1922-1992). We even get to see very briefly the Lost Ark (which was the relic Indy sought in the sensational blockbuster, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981).

Although this film is no "Raiders" or "Last Crusade," it does have its moments.

Director Steven Spielberg said in an interview that "I'm very happy with this movie." (This is unlike his negative comments about the dark "Temple of Doom," 1984.) He even said Cate Blanchett's Irina Spalko was his favourite villain of the series. (Note that Blanchett was 12 years old when "Raiders" came out.)

As with the previous films, this movie features the unforgettable music of the great John Williams.

This movie was a financial success, grossing over 780 million dollars worldwide, making it the franchise's highest-grossing film. (This is probably due to nostalgia for the series. I found "Raiders" and "Last Crusade" much more entertaining.)

Finally, the DVD itself (single-disc edition released in 2008) has 2 extras. I found both to be interesting.

In conclusion, this is a solid sequel to end the Indiana Jones series!!

*** 1/2

(2008; 1 hr, 55 min excluding end credits; wide screen; 16 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

How Sherlock Changed the World [Import]
How Sherlock Changed the World [Import]
Price: CDN$ 32.26
17 used & new from CDN$ 18.56

5.0 out of 5 stars It's elementary! A documentary that blends real-life forensics with the fictional forensics of Sherlock Holmes, July 12 2014
XXXXX

"Sherlock Holmes, the first CSI, continues to inspire detectives on TV and at the movies. He is as popular as ever. But his lasting legacy is that, even today, he continues to solve crimes."

The above is said by the narrator at the end of this spectacularly interesting documentary that blends real-life forensic analysis with Sherlockian forensic analysis.

I learned quite a bit from this documentary, not only about forensics but about Sherlock Holmes (and his alter ego, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859 to 1930).

Using a combination of interviews (with forensic scientists, crime historians, Sherlock Holmes' experts, etc.), dramatic recreations, and archival footage (some in black and white), this documentary explains the impact and legacy of the most famous fictional crime fighter in history.

Here are some of the chapters found in this documentary:

(1) Jack the Ripper
(2) Deductive reasoning
(3) Blood evidence
(4) Bullets and ballistics
(5) The science of poisoning
(6) Fingerprints and fakes
(7) The art of tracing footsteps

Finally, what I especially liked about this documentary is the use of real high-profile murder cases with footage of the real crime scenes.

In conclusion, not only is this an instructional documentary on forensics, it is an entertaining one as well. I leave you with this piece of wisdom from Sherlock Holmes:

"Once you've excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

(2013; 2 hr; 2 episodes; wide screen; 12 chapters)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20