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Reviews Written by
Edward Swan "dub273" (Little Rock, AR United States)

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UHF (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
UHF (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ 'Weird Al' Yankovic
Offered by Mikani Collectables
Price: CDN$ 4.99
27 used & new from CDN$ 1.26

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UHF: "The most important DVD release. Ever.", May 13 2004
This is a repost of my review from the IMDB site, but since my feelings on the movie haven't changed between then and now, hey.
Many folks find themselves laughing out loud at Al's latest song or video -- at least, the first time they experience it. They might later claim he's stupid or not funny, afraid possibly of being labeled a fan. They might avoid UHF in the belief that it's just an extended Al video.
Their loss.
'UHF' is one of those movies that had a miserable, worthless existence in the theater, shunned by the masses. The recognition of its genius was slow to arrive, but the movie did eventually find cult status on video and cable. The reason, simply: It's hilarious.
Part Naked Gun and part Al video, with plenty of sight gags, this is the kind of movie that only Al could make. "Wheel Of Fish" and "Conan the Librarian" are funnier than they have any right to be, and just wait until you see "Raul's Wild Kingdom".
The cast of 'UHF' seems almost prescient in retrospect; Fran Drescher and Michael Richards made memorable co-stars before they struck gold on network TV. Richards, especially, is hilarious as janitor-turned-TV host Stanley Spadowski. He's brilliant, better than anyone else in the movie and better even than the material he's given.
Although ostensibly a dig at TV, 'UHF' actually lampoons movies and commercials far more effectively, with hilarious send-ups of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', 'Ghandi' and 'Rambo: First Blood Part II'.
But enough. I've already wasted too many words describing a movie that just needs to be seen. If you absolutely hate Al, or 'Airplane'-type movies, then avoid 'UHF'. Anyone else who just wants to laugh (a lot) needs to give it a look.

Babylon 5: The Complete Fifth Season [Import]
Babylon 5: The Complete Fifth Season [Import]
DVD ~ Bruce Boxleitner
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 68.56
11 used & new from CDN$ 5.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Ivanova, we sure missed ya, May 3 2004
No. Season 5 of Babylon 5 is not up to the brilliance of Seasons 2, 3, or 4. We'll get that right out of the way.
But it's a lot more watchable than Season 1, and despite an ugly and sluggish plot line involving the telepaths, the show eventually builds itself back up to its glory, concluding with the same kind of tense drama and touching character interaction that made the show great to begin with.
There are some dramatic, and often surprising, bits of character development over the course of the season. We know that Londo Mollari is ultimately damned, but watching him hand over his soul is wrenching anyway. Lita Alexander -- watch out for her special Vorlon touch. And when ever-faithful Lennier allows his jealous side out to play, it's worth a gasp.
And try -- just try -- not to shed a tear when Sheridan has his final moment with Delenn, the "brightest star in [his] sky," during the series finale.
What a shame -- what a terrible, horrible shame -- that Claudia Christian didn't return to play hotheaded Susan Ivanova. Tracy Scoggins, as Captain Lochley, does whatever she can to fill that void, but it makes the absence of Ivanova even more glaring.
The good episodes in here make the Season 5 set worthwhile; buy it, but prepare yourself for a share of clunkers along the way.

Run Ronnie Run! [Import]
Run Ronnie Run! [Import]
DVD ~ David Cross
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 64.38
9 used & new from CDN$ 10.99

2.0 out of 5 stars How on Earth did Bob and David let this happen?, March 30 2004
This review is from: Run Ronnie Run! [Import] (DVD)
I'm probably a lot like the other people who sought out "Run Ronnie Run": I'm a huge fan of 'Mr. Show'. I figured even if the mainstream didn't "get it" (a la BASEketball), I'd watch the movie and get a few good chuckles anyway.
For a movie that's supposed to be a comedy, there's scarce humor in the first twenty minutes; we plod along from one scene of Ronnie's life to the next with no energy, no enthusiasm, no point. We learn that Ronnie Dobbs is a dimwit, but so what? You'd know that if you started the movie with the amusing house-chase scene, and ran it from there.
'Mr. Show' brought the hard stuff to the party with a variety of characters from Cross, Odenkirk, and their ensemble. In 'Run Ronnie Run' they're all are stuck, with few exceptions, slogging through the same characters throughout. I can't help but feel that if they'd put on some wigs and varied things up a bit more (as the Monty Python players did in their classics), the movie could have been a real hoot.
If you stick with the movie long enough to be amazed at all the cameos, eventually you'll laugh. (How is it that bits like the "Gay Conspiracy" weren't worked in more often, anyway?) But it's just not worth the effort to get there; it is, in fact, a sadistic reminder of Bob and David's absence from HBO.
But hey, if a franchise can recover from 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture', then anything is possible. Here's hoping 'Mr. Show' gets another feature sometime down the road.

BASEketball (Widescreen)
BASEketball (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Trey Parker
Price: CDN$ 9.99
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated treasure, March 25 2004
This review is from: BASEketball (Widescreen) (DVD)
Disgusting? Check. Juvenile? Check. Sadistic? Check. BASEketball is all these things, but it is also so much more, thanks to the Zucker (Airplane, Top Secret!, Naked Gun) touch.
Though it stars Matt Stone and Trey Parker, BASEketball doesn't really resemble South Park so much as Zucker's other straight-faced screwball comedies, and it's obvious these two fit into that rubric perfectly. It is not merely that Matt Stone puts a sex toy in his mouth, it is the zeal with which he attacks it that makes the scene a gut-buster. Zucker supposedly cast the duo before South Park became such a phenomenon, and it's a gamble that paid off artistically.
Not everyone's gonna like this movie. Some won't get it, a few more might be really turned off by a guy-on-guy kiss near the movie's climax, and the rest just won't find it funny for whatever reason. For everyone else, there's no shame in howling with laughter.

Caligari Truespace3 for Dummies
Caligari Truespace3 for Dummies
by E. W. Swan
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 4.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd included the physics chapter!, Jan. 28 2004
I must say that writing a Dummies book was both a blessing and a curse in many ways. It sure wasn't easy trying to describe the complexities of 3D in a way that the bare-bones novice could grasp... but luckily IDG lays down a very good approach for the authors.
The biggest problem with writing the book was its length. I was told to keep the thing under 325 pages or so but before I knew it, I'd written so much I was cutting entire chapters. (Imagine giving birth to a baby only to be told to chop off one of its arms... sob.)
I must apologize for a couple of things:
1) The humor overload... what can I say? I thought I'd put enough in there, but they had me ramp it up even more. Deke McLelland (author of the Photoshop for Dummies series), I certainly am not.
2) The physical simulator (physics) chapter. I wrote it, but because I went on blabbering about all the other stuff in the program, I had to cut it. (See above.)
Now of course the book and the program are both horribly behind the times, and I really don't use Caligari products anymore... but I must say that the Caligari staff were always wonderful to me and trueSpace will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks everyone for the reviews, good AND bad.

Deus Ex: Invisible War - Xbox
Deus Ex: Invisible War - Xbox
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Not DX1. Not perfect. Still engrossing and entertaining., Jan. 20 2004
A great number of the negative reviews of this game seem to come from fanboys of the original who for some reason or another expected an exact clone of DX1, despite numerous press releases and preview articles that spelled out exactly what kind of changes we'd see in DX2. Those who went so far as to say it was the "worst game ever" should probably learn a bit about the over-use of hyperbole. This is a high quality offering, at least for Xbox (PC gamers, I can understand your pain).
Though DX2 did away with the beloved skills component and relied on over-simplified mods, you're still treated to an intelligent, thoughtful story; an immersive, living (albeit small) world; and character development and advancement based totally on freedom of choice.
Yes, there were a few design flaws -- the framerate was a bit choppy, there's no question. In one instance I was able to climb out over the top of one of the maps and see all the clipped surfaces outside, and at least once got trapped on a ladder due to poor level design. In some areas the AI was sloppy and inconsistent. None of these lessened the impact of the story, however.
The levels may not be huge but they still provide plenty to explore; I spent hours just examining every corner of every room to find hidden rewards. The lighting and sound effects served to make the world an even more interesting environment.
I count myself among those who loved DX1 and approached the sequel with some hesitation. In the end, after getting obsessively hooked on the game, I loved DX2 every bit as much.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - Xbox
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - Xbox
32 used & new from CDN$ 17.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Must ... put ... down ... controller ..., Dec 2 2003
I bought this game on its release date; it's the first time I can ever remember standing in line to buy a modern title. I was excited, and I know a lot of Star Wars freaks were pumped, too.
60 hours of gameplay later, as the music swelled and the credits started to roll, I put down my controller and applauded.
The game was outstanding in almost every way. Visually, there were a few rough spots; the frame rate dropped occasionally in larger settings, and some of the textures were pretty low-res (and obviously mirrored). Add to that a couple of bugs and freeze-ups here and there, and it becomes clear that this isn't a completely perfect release.
Nevertheless, the dialogue was well-acted, the story was a back-to-the-roots tale of good versus evil (with a plot twist that leaves you gasping), the characters and environments were detailed, unique, and very fitting to the Star Wars universe. Most importantly, the game was a fun place to explore and play around in. Each world felt alive in its own way, each character had something to contribute. (Especially the assassin droid HK-47, whose quips throughout the game qualify as some of the best lines ever in a game.)
Sound was another plus. The music was specially scored for KOTOR and felt just right. The FX and ambient noise, from the rumble of a space ship to the buzz of a light saber, were obviously crafted with authenticity in mind. If you have a 5.1 receiver you'll find yourself fully immersed.
Overall this was an excellent game -- a top-notch Star Wars release and one of my favorites ever on Xbox. If there's a sequel, I know I'll be standing in line again.

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