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Profile for Lars Thorvald > Reviews

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Content by Lars Thorvald
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Reviews Written by
Lars Thorvald "ruff buff" (Canada)

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The Revenant [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
The Revenant [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Price: CDN$ 19.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Remake, April 20 2016
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For the benefit of the unwashed, this is, of course, a remake of the 1971 film "Man in the Wilderness" starring Richard Harris and the great actor/ film director, John Houston. It is loosely based on the storied exploits of Hugh Glass, a mountain man member of the early 1800's General Ashley expeditions (portrayed in both films as the Captain Henry Expeditions). He was called Zach Bass in the original film with Harris portraying the real-life Scots/Irishman. The Revenant was a decent remake with Dicaprio delivering a fine performance as Glass. The writers took some license with the Indian family background but it worked. The 200 mile survival journey of Glass was, of course, largely folklore, but very entertaining. The original film remains slightly more powerful but, all in all, a decent reinvention.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD]
Star Wars: The Force Awakens [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD]
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Price: CDN$ 24.89
22 used & new from CDN$ 17.99

11 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The End of an Era, April 6 2016
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I did not think it was possible to make a bad Star Wars movie, but JJ Abrams has definitely succeeded. The biggest fail was in the lack of any character development. Their is little to no background stories on either of the new characters, Finn and Ray (Great names by the way...really?), who after knowing each other for five minutes have this inseparable bond between them. All the characters act like they've known each other for years and they just met. Then there are all the reaches....Ray focuses the force for one brief second, having just learned what the force even is and becomes a master of the light sabre...Darth Vader is dead and now we have "Darth Vader Junior" who is about a s foreboding as a wet rag...we have yet another Death Star, only bigger, that needs shields dropped and a well placed hit by an ace X-wing pilot (who we just met and are also supposed to care about) to be destroyed (sound familiar?)...they don't even wait until the end to reveal the "son of Solo" (how original!)...Princess Leia is no longer Queen of the Republic but leader of a resistance fighting a new Empire with a different name but all of the same equipment (i.e. battle stars, tie fighters and storm troopers). They must have bought them all at the army surplus store after the fall of the Empire. Each Star Wars film preceding this one had a sense of wonder. New things were presented in each of the six prior films, from underwater cities to different species, to new starships, new robots, new planets, new weapons and new alien sidekicks. There was nothing new here, whatsoever and I cared nothing for the main characters. It was nice to see the old stars, all of whom looked like they should be home in a rocking chair, not traipsing about the galaxy having adventures. After seeing this film, I was filled with sadness. Sadness at the end of an era and Hollywood's endless search to recapture the magic of yesteryear. It seems apparent that Star Wars without George Lucas just isn't Star Wars!

The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)
The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)
Price: CDN$ 24.96
5 used & new from CDN$ 19.94

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schlock spoiled what could have been a great film...., March 30 2016
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Yet another "shchlock" picture from the demented mind of Tarentino. All in all, not a bad story, but spoiled with an overabundance of blood and brain splatter. I hate to mention the great Sam Peckinpah with Tarentino but Peckinpah was known for his western realism which often included an overabundance of bloodletting. I'm not sure what Quentin is trying to achieve here but most of his blood splatter is completely unnecessary and actually makes this film less realistic. I don't think someone who has been poisoned chronically vomits waterfalls of blood before dying. The acting was decent, especially Jackson and Leigh but Mexican Bob couldn't have looked less Mexican. Morricone's musical score was a nice blend until later in the film when they used the same climax music as John Carpenter's "The Thing". Quentin, get a grip! Ennio's music does not make this a spaghetti western and the best westerns ever made did not use gore and schlock to keep the audience interested. I didn't hate the film but the fact that this was even Oscar "mentioned" just shows the state of films today and the steady decline of the Academy of Motion Pictures.

The Vikings (1958) [Blu-ray]
The Vikings (1958) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Kirk Douglas
Price: CDN$ 38.94
11 used & new from CDN$ 18.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Often imitated but never copied, March 8 2016
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Often imitated but never copied, the penultimate Viking movie! After seeing this film it's really hard to watch the T.V. series low budget melodrama. This 1958 masterpiece is epic in both scope and story. Superb battle scenes both on and off the water. An A-list cast with Douglas, Curtis, Leigh and Borgnine giving superlative performances. Also look out for an underrated seethingly villainous performance by Frank Thring as Aella. With Douglas doing most of his own stunts, some of the camera angles are truly astounding. It brings all the pageantry of the early century dark ages to life in remarkable realism. There are no shaved heads, painted faces or Mohawks on these Vikings. These are the gruff, grizzled and feared warriors, who terrorized The British Isles for nearly three centuries. One of the best medieval adventure films ever made. If you miss this one, you have very little hope of ever seeing Valhalla.

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Price: CDN$ 20.00
24 used & new from CDN$ 16.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fair but dissappointing, Oct. 23 2015
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Disappointing sequel. Not a scratch on the original. The opening fight sequence may have been the best part of this film. They attempted to recapture the charm of the original picture with a lot of out of place humor, which sometimes worked but most of the time didn't. They decided to discard the romance between Hawk and Widow in favor of a Hulk/Widow. Probably because Renner as Hawkeye is so unappealing as a love interest for Scarlett. They decided to kill the Hawk/Widow romance with a whole segment dedicated to Hawkeye's seemingly secret family. This part of the film was completely unnecessary and slowed the action considerably. Huddleston's acting chops were sorely missed in this one. Whedon did not do enough to develop the origin of the Wanda and Pietro and although the characters were cool to see on film, it was hard to care about either one of them. This downplayed the film's climactic tragedy to a "so what" moment. The large battle scenes were just re-canned, more of the same stuff we've already seen...i.e. Avengers versus overwhelming numbers of robots. One of my favorite parts of the film was the introduction of the Vision, with Bettany perfectly cast. Not a terrible film, but for me, a long term comic book fan, it was just "okay".

Kotobukiya DC Comics Supergirl New 52 ARTFX and Statue
Kotobukiya DC Comics Supergirl New 52 ARTFX and Statue
9 used & new from CDN$ 88.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware...., July 18 2014
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Buyer Beware! This is a very small statue. It is about 6" high off the base. I was expecting that this would at least be as large as the other Kotobukiya statues. I have mini-busts that are almost as large as this. It doesn't even fit securely into the base. It has a small magnet on one foot holding it in place. Okay to buy this at list price, on release,from a comic book store, but these independent suppliers charge $20 over list and it's just not worth the inflated price.

300: Rise of an Empire [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
300: Rise of an Empire [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Rodrigo Santoro
Price: CDN$ 19.96
5 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sequel of paltry proportion, June 25 2014
One of the worst films of the decade and a sequel that pays a disservice to it's predecessor. "300", although told in a fantastical way, was a story that was at least based on some fact, mirroring the abstract style of Frank Miller's graphic novel. "Rise" was sheer fantasy and had an almost laughable tie-in to the original story.These filmmakers must think modern audiences completely mindless and, given some of the startling good reviews seen here, they may well be justified. This was a poor attempt to capitalize on the success of the original simply by handing the viewer a smattering of slow motion bloodletting. The script was non-existent and completely unbelievable. What follows are a few of many examples; The Greeks are supposed to be farmers and tradesmen but every one of them are built like they just walked out of Gold's Gym; there is a lot of posturing where thousands of soldiers just stand at attention for hours in silence, trying to look menacing, waiting for battle; almost every spoken word is a motivational or moral speech of some kind; mounted Greeks jumping horses from ship to ship; ships without lights attacking at night and in bad weather...great strategy; I thought the Greeks had the "fire" not the Persians?; Greek soldiers wearing bare chests and bikini briefs...who needs armor; archers firing arrows thousands of yards with a Greek short bow and spot on target; I could go on and on....The only near good thing about this film was that I rented it on cable for $6, but in retrospect, it was $6 that would have been better spent elsewhere.

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow Archives Vol. 3
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow Archives Vol. 3
by Various
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 74.02
24 used & new from CDN$ 64.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before art overshadowed story..., May 30 2014
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Nowadays , "Supe's" books are more focused on art and it takes ten complete issues to complete a story arc. Ah...back to the days when writers could write complete stories in 10 pages and "epic" stories in one Giant Size issue or Annual! With all of the DC Archives produced, fans have long awaited the full release of the Silver Age "Curt Swan" Superman (the 200 series). Unfortunately, to date, this era Superman can only be found in this Man of Tomorrow series with some team-ups and cameos in World's Finest (with Batman & Robin), Supergirl and some of the Legion Archives. All of that aside, this issue does not disappoint. A plethora of great writers including, Jerry Siegel one of Superman's co-creators, and of course those iconic Curt Swan covers that we have come to know and love. It would be terribly disappointing if DC Archives fall short of producing more than Golden age Superman books. There is a reason why Silver Age books are so popular..."because they have the best stories and art ever....duh!" Any lover of Silver Age comics will love this book!

The Art Of Joe Jusko (Signed Edition)
The Art Of Joe Jusko (Signed Edition)
by Joe Jusko
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 184.02

3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, May 21 2014
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Arguably, today's best fantasy and pop culture artist. In my early comic collection days, had a subscription to Savage Sword of Conan and couldn't enough of Joe Jusko or Earl Norem's fantastic cover art. Had never even read a Warlord of Mars book until I saw Jusko drawing covers and now I have a comic box full of them. Book contains some of Joe's best work and does not disappoint from that standpoint.However, buyer beware, the spine on this book is ridiculously fragile. When I first opened it, the pages almost came off in my hand. Disappointing when you pay top dollar for a signed and numbered edition.

Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man 2-disc DVD (Sous-titres français)
Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man 2-disc DVD (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Drake Bell
Price: CDN$ 25.00
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars They cancelled Spectacular Spider-Man to produce this?, April 29 2014
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Spectacular Spiderman the animated series, arguably the best Marvel animated series to-date, was cancelled in mid-season with a cliff-hangar ending, supposedly to make way for this new " Ultimate SM" series. What a total disappointment. No character development; no adult plots; no drama; lame/juvenile humor and too much of it; no attention paid to the source material. I guess real comic book fans will just just have to stick to the DC feature films and hope Bruce Timm makes another series because, with the exception of Avengers EMH, Marvel has yet to produce and complete a decent animated series.

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