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anthony nasti (Brooklyn, NY United States)

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The Simpsons: Christmas (Bilingual)
The Simpsons: Christmas (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Dan Castellaneta
Price: CDN$ 4.88
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, May 2 2004
I loved "The Simpsons" right from the first episode I ever watched (1997's "The Cartridge Family"), and I already have the first season on dvd (hope to be getting the other 2 really soon). Anyway, I got "Christmas With The Simpsons" on Christmas, and I admit that I hadn't laughed that hard in ages. The show's witty humor comes out full - throttle, and every episode is sure to warm your heart.
The first episode of the dvd is possibly the most significant episode in the series. "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire" was the very first episode of the series. It aired originally on December 17, 1989, and television hasn't been the same since. In this premiere, Bart gets a tattoo. Homer must spend the Christmas money to get it removed, but he's not worried because he has his Christmas bonus to look forward to. Until his boss Mr. Burns decide to cut it. Their Christmas in limbo, a friend recommends that Homer go to the racetrack to bet on dogs. But he bets on the loser, a mutt named Santa's Little Helper. But the day is saved when Homer and Bart adopt the dog, and it's the best Christmas present they ever got.
"Mr. Plow" really has nothing to do with Christmas, but it's still my favorite episode. Homer starts a successful snow plow business called Mr. Plow. He makes a goldmine of cash. His best friend Barney Gumble thinks that by copying Homer, he too can be a successful human being. It turns out that Barney's business, Plow King, is even more successful than Homer's (Linda Ronstadt even appears in a comercial for it). Gripped by jealousy, Homer pulls the ultimate revenge plot on Barney. But soon, he realizes what he did was wrong and saves his life. My favorite episode.
"Miracle On Evergreen Terrace" is my seconnd favorite. Waking up early to get first dibs on presents, Bart accidentally burns down the Christmas trees. With the gifts turned to a fiery ash, Bart burries the remains in the front yard and says that burglars stole everything. The town feel sorry for them and, in a direct take - off of "It's A Wonderful Life", gives them gifts and money. But soon, the truth is discovered and the town takes all their stuff.
"Grift Of The Magi" ties with "Simpsons Roasting on An Open Fire" as my favorite. Bart is put in a wheelchair, forcing Springfield Elementary to build a ramp for him. But the school is unable to pay for the construction. A corporation takes over the school. Much to Lisa's dismay, they stop teaching and ask kids rediculous questions about toys. Lisa and Bart soon discover that they are using the kids to help design Funzo, the perfect Christmas gift. They soon dicover that Funzo is programmed to destroy all other toys. The kids go off to save the day - with help from Homer and special guest Gary Coleman, of course.
"She Of Little Faith" is my least favorite because it has Richard Gere. Homer and Bart destroy the town's church with a model rocket, and Mr. Burns turns it into a casino. Lisa is disgusted and becomes a budist with Gere's help. The end.
I highly recommedn this dvd. It will fill your stocking with holiday spirit!

Topaz (Widescreen)
Topaz (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Frederick Stafford
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 60.40
9 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But You Can Certainly Do Better, May 2 2004
This review is from: Topaz (Widescreen) (DVD)
After 1966's "Torn Curtain" flopped, Hitchcock decided to make another spy thriller. "Topaz", based on Leon Uris's best - selling novel of the same name, is meant to be an exciting, suspenseful espionage thriller involving nuclear missiles in Cuba. Despite a few engaging sequences, that show Hitch still had it, the film comes off as a second - rate James Bond flick rather than a Hitchcock masterpiece.
John Forsythe (the only recognizable actor in the entire cast) plays a CIA agent who recruits a French Operative named Devereaux (Frederick Stafford, who gives a great performance despite the film's flaws)to help him find out if rumors of Russian missiles in Cuba are true. His investigation leaves behind a string of casualities who either kill themselves or get murdered. The plot seems cool, but it's slow - moving and hard to follow at some points.
The main thing that keeps "Topaz" afloat is the top - notch acting. Hitchcock clearly thought that great acting would triumph over starpower, which is why he filled the cast with highly talented unknowns. In the past, legends like Sean Connery, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and a host of others starred in Hitchcock masterpieces and gave great performances in their roles, but at same points were unconvincing. The acting in "Topaz" is flawless; I recommend it.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Widescreen)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Steve Martin
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 38.26
15 used & new from CDN$ 3.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartstoppingly Funny, May 2 2004
Originally released in 1987, "Planes, Trains And Automobiles" stands as one of my all - time favorite movies. The writing is sharp and witty, the laughs are nonstop, and the action is absolutely superb, especially the late, great John Candy.
Steve Martin is Neal Page, an ad exec on a business trip who wants to fly back to Chicago so he can spend Thanksgiving with his family. Unfortunately, things that go as planned. First, he can't catch a cab. And to make matters worse, his 6:00 flight has been cancelled. While waiting for a later flight, he meets Del Griffith, an overweight blabbermouth who smokes cigarettes and sells shower curtains for a living. It seems that Neil can't escape Dell. First, he sits next to him on the plane, during which he chews his ear off before falling asleep. Soon, the plane lands in Wichita because of a snow storm in Chicago. Neil and Dell share a room together, which is disasterous. They wind up travelling across the country by car, bus and train. The laughs keep coming, and Candy steals the show.
I highly recommend this film if you love to laugh. This film has some of the funniest comedy sequences I've ever seen, and again, John Candy is hilarious. We miss you, John!

Frenzy (Widescreen)
Frenzy (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Jon Finch
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 65.16
11 used & new from CDN$ 9.89

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top - Notch Hitchcock, May 1 2004
This review is from: Frenzy (Widescreen) (DVD)
Alfred Hitchcock's second - to - last film "Frenzy" is a return to the classic Hitchcock thrillers from the 1950s' and early '60s'. After a couple of second - rate films of the mid to late 1960s' ("Torn Curtain" in 1966 and "Topaz" in 1969), "Frenzy" had everything a Hitch film needed - suspense, drama and humor.
A sexual physcopath known as the Necktie Murderer has England in a tizy. Raping women and then strangling them with his tie, the police are left clueless with nary a single suspect. Thrown into the mix is Richard "Dicko" Blaney (John Finch), who is not having the greatest day. First, he loses his job at a local job. Next, he has a violent confrontation with his ex - wife, Brenda (Barbara Leigh - Hunt). The only two people who seem to give a damn about him are his good friend Bob Rusk (Barry Foster) and his girlfriend Babs (Ann Massey. Things get worse when he goes to visit Brenda the next day. After she doesn't answer the door, he walks away. What he doesn't know is that she is the Necktie Murderer's latest victim and that her secretary spotted him leaving the scene of the crime. Naturally assuming he did it, the police arrest him. He escapes and goes out on a limb to prove his innocent. What entails is non - stop suspense that only the Master can provide.
"Frenzy" should stand as one of Hitchcock's greatest achievements. It certainly differs from all his other classics, as it seems more intone with the modern thrillers of today (the nudity especially). While his last film was great, this one was truly his last masterpiece.

Ultimate Hall & Oates
Ultimate Hall & Oates
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 43.95
9 used & new from CDN$ 13.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything Your Ears Desire, April 27 2004
This review is from: Ultimate Hall & Oates (Audio CD)
With 6 # 1 songs, 10 additional top 10 singles and a string of gold and platinum albums, Daryl Hall and John Oates have rightfully earned their place in rock history as the most successful duo in music, a title they still hold 20 years later. And while their chart appearance is sporadic these days (their single "Do It For Love" ascended to the top of the Adult Contemporary charts 2 years ago). This 2 - disc set keeps the extraordinary legacy alive.
Disc 1 has all the stuff from the early years. Just about all the hit singles from their first 9 chart years are here. Songs like "She's Gone", "Sarah Smile", "Rich Girl", "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" still sound as fresh and vibrant as they did 20 years ago. And don't overlook lesser - known early material like "Las Vegas Turnaround" and "It's A Laugh", not to mention their stunning cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".
Disc 2 continues with their bigges hits from the 1982 - 85 period, starting with their signature song "Maneater", which still remains one of the best songs of the 1980s'. My other favorites from this period are "Out Of Touch" and "Method Of Modern Love". Their later work is not to be overlooked by any means. The Jon Bon Jovi co - written "So Close" is absolutely brilliant. And their cover of the Mel and Tim classic "Starting All Over Again" and "Do It For Love" prove they still have it.
This is probably the best collection of Hall and Oates hits money can buy. It doesn't leave any hit out. It's what you might call an essential album by two of the greatest artists of all time.

Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live
Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live
by Tom Shales
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 32.77

5.0 out of 5 stars An In - Depth Look At A Groundbreaking Television Series, April 16 2004
Since it first premiered in 1975, "Saturday Night Live" has been immortalized with tv specials, rip - offs, movies and dvds. But not one person involved with the show has come forward to tell the stories that emerged from behind the stage. Until now.
"Live From New York: An Uncensored history of "Saturday Night Live", as Told By Its Stars, Writers and Guests" is as engaging as it is informative and witty. With commentary from hosts, writers, cast members and even Lorne Michaels himself. The cast commentary is especially compelling. The stories that influenced were the ones concerning the infamous and controversial moments surrounding "SNL", like when Nora Dunn refused to appear on the show because Andrew Dice Clay was hosting, and when Sinead O'Connor tore up the picture of the Pope. And Victoria Jackson's commentaries on Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks is acid - tinged intrigue at its best. There are also touching tributes to John Belushi, Chris Farley, and Phil Hartman. It is not without flaws. The newer cast members could've gotten more of a say, and Eddie Murphy contributed to it as well.
But I still think this is an enjoyable book. It;'s perfect for anyone who ever dreamed of saying, "Live From New York, It's Saturday Night!"

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 56.95
8 used & new from CDN$ 28.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Overview Of Valli' Solo Hits, April 13 2004
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
After a string of hits with The 4 Seasons, Frankie Valli decided it was time to try his hand at a solo career. The result was a long line of chart hits, 2 of which made the top spot, 3 additional top 10 hits and several more that made the top 30.
Beginning with the number one hit "My Eyes Adored You", "Frankie Valli: Greatest Hits" is off to a flying start. Any album that can boast "My Eyes Adored You", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", "Swearin' To God" and "Grease" as its lead - off tracks is well worth your money. But it's the remaining 5 tracks that go deeper into Valli's legacy. I especially enjoyed "Soul" and the haunting "To Give (The Reason I Live)". But my favorite was his electrifying rendition of Ruby And The Romantics' "Our Day Will Come". Also worth checking out are "Your Gonna Hurt Yourself and "You're Ready Now".
I highly recommend this cd to fans of Valli and/or The Four Seasons. While there are collections with both his solo hits and Four Seasons hits, this one is cheaper and just as enjoyable. Also recommendes: "The 20 Greatest Hits Of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Live".

20 Greatest Hits-Live
20 Greatest Hits-Live
Price: CDN$ 8.80
28 used & new from CDN$ 5.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Take My Ears Off Of It, April 13 2004
This review is from: 20 Greatest Hits-Live (Audio CD)
The biggest group of the pre - Beatles '60s' (1960 to January 1964), The Four Seasons were the first group in history to have 3 consecutive # 1 singles, and their career lasted well through 1968. The original nucleus of the group disintegrated in 1971, so lead singer Frankie Valli began a highly successful solo career that yielded two number one hits, "My Eyes Adored You" and "Grease", plus a string of top 40 hits including "Swearin' To God" and "Our Day Will Come". In 1976, The Four Seasons reformed with Valli as the only original member, and scored a # 1 hit with "December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)". After a few more mid - charting singles, the new version of the band broke up in the early 1980s', during which Valli regained his hearing. In 1989, the latter - day 4 Seasons reunited and went on tour. Their electrifying performance in Holmdel, New Jersey is included on this cd.
Beginning with a rauous version of "She Loves You", the band has clearly not lost its touch. Valli's voice still sparkles like wine, although his falsetto his died down a bit. He sounds young and alive on "December, 1963", "My Eyes Adored You" and "Our Day Will Come". The rest of the group's harmonies shine throughout the cd, especially on the clsoing medley and the closing chorus on "My Eyes Adored You". Also included are two new recordings not available anywhere else: "Spend The Night In Love" and "Heaven Must Have Sent You (Here In The Night)". Both are great songs in vain of the 1960s' charttoppers. And original member and songwriter Bob Gaudio pops up onstage for all to brief a moment.
This cd showcases that after over 30 years, the group is still one of the finest acts out there. This was also the first Four Seasons cd I ever bought, so it does hold a lot of emotional value for me. Classic.

North by Northwest (Widescreen)
North by Northwest (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Cary Grant
Offered by SURPLUSDVD NEW YORK
Price: CDN$ 22.98
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.85

5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Spy Movies Ever Made, April 13 2004
Alfred Hitchcock's knack for suspense was never represented better than it was in 1959's "North By Northwest". With a strong cast, a sparkling script and possibly the greatest film sequence ivolving an airplane, this one is definitely a keeper.
Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant in his final Hitchcock movie)is a New York businessman with the most boring life in the world. That all changes when he is mistaken for a spy named George Kaplan and kidnapped bya much of gun - toting henchmen working for a delightfully devillish James Mason. He esacpes, and is soon framed for murder at the UN. He avoids the law by travelling cross - country on a train, during which he meets a sexy stranger (Eva Marie Saint). They soon decide to get to the bottom of what's going on. From nearly being killed by a cropduster to the sequence at the stitlt house those chilling final moments on Mount Rushmore, every moment keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Great dvd. Extras include making - of documentary, theatrical trailer, commentary by screenwriter Ernie Lehman, and a photo gallery.

No Security Live
No Security Live
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 21.48
21 used & new from CDN$ 8.12

3.0 out of 5 stars Middling At Best, April 11 2004
This review is from: No Security Live (Audio CD)
As far as live albums go, The Rolling Stones have had a pretty shaky record. Their first concert recording, 1966's "Got Live If You Want It", suffered from vapid studio overdubbbing and muddy audio. But they made up for it with the pivotal 1970 release "Get Yer Ya - Ya's Out", which ranks among the greatest live albums ever made. 7 years later came "Love You Live", which was a bit muddy in terms of sound but showcased their exhilerating energy live. Another 4 years passed before "Still Life" was released. It was ok but suffered from bad playing and a bland song selection. 10 years passed before they struck gold with "Flashpoint", which once more proved that they could still rock. 5 years later came the classic unplugged "Stripped". 4 years wore on before 1999's "No Security", culled from their astonishing "Bridges To Bablylon" tour, one of their best in recent memory. Unfortunately, the results did not meet fans' expectations.
The thing that doesn't work is the song selection. None of the songs here are what you'd expect to hear in a regular Stones concert. No "Satisfaction", no "Jumpin' Jack Flash", not even a "Brown Sugar". What got here are 14 songs that range from great to tepid. The great songs are the older ones, including "The Last Time", "Respectable", "Waiting On A Friend" and especially "Gimme Shelter" and "Live With Me". And it was great to finally here "Sister Morphine" done live. But the majority of songs belong in the tepid category. The newer songs especially irked me. I never cared for "Thief In The Night", "Out Of Control" or "Flip The Switch". And the two duets don't do it to me either.
If you want to hear The Rolling Stones doing what they do best live, get "Get Yer Ya - Ya's Out", "Love You Live", "Flashpoint" and "Stripped", plus the "40 Flicks" dvd boxed set. But avoid the other 3 live albums I mentioned and the live movie "Let's Spend The Night Together".

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