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Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada)
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Classic Musicals: 50 Movie Pack (12DVD)
Classic Musicals: 50 Movie Pack (12DVD)
DVD ~ Duke Ellington
Price: CDN$ 25.42
31 used & new from CDN$ 19.23

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Set of Great (and Some Lesser) Movie Musicals: Here are the Contents!, Aug. 21 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The idea of this massive set of twelve double-sided DVDs is wonderful, and, mostly, so is the realisation of the project. A very large proportion of these film musicals (or movie versions or adaptations of stage musical comedies and revues, in some cases), and other films so highly drenched in music (and dance, too!) as to make them of interest, are classics of the genre, or, if short of that, at least very interesting to view. There are some "also-ran" titles among them, but that is forgivable, and, anyway, really devoted musicals collectors would want to have those shows too.

The motion pictures, at least obviously for the most part, are not "restored" to today's optimum standard, but the quality certainly is sufficient to appreciate these films. I have not encountered yet the problems that some Amazon customers have found with a few DVDs in the set, but, then, I have not by far seen them all, either. For a few movies that I particularly cherish, I later may obtain DVDs of suchlike that are processed more highly, but only on a very selective basis, but for now what is included in this compilation is just FINE!

The packaging for the discs individually is sturdy, but the box containing the whole is a more than just a bit flimsy. I cut apart my copy of the container and mounted it (using white glue) upon an empty cake-mix box (the cake, incidentally, having come out really tasty!), leaving the right long side cut away open, to reinforce the original rather thin box in which I had received the set. As the penultimate touch, I added a flap (creased to hinge), to tuck inside the newly contrived box (to close it when I return it to its shelf), which I cut away from a more flexibly thin cardboard box for stationery that had contained envelopes; the shorter side of the creased edge I glued to the inside of the cake box. (Notice that the side opening at the right long edge replaces the front-lifting hinge of the box as originally received.) Lastly, I inserted an hardbound book (wrapped around snugly in newspaper) that fitted the full interior dimensions of the box, then wrapped newspaper all around the outside of the newly confected container and put it under heavy pressure (to avoid warp as the glue dried) for two or three days.

For now, I am presenting a list of the contents of this fine package. Later, I'll try to give a critical account of the films in the set, but, until then, this listing ought to help potential buyers to assess the pertinence of the contents according to their respective tastes, preferences, and possible level of duplication of what is included. The container includes two alphabetical listings (by titles) of the films, but I am listing the contents as they appear on each disc itself that is in the set.

CLASSIC MUSICALS [i.e. Hollywood film musicals]: 50 Movie Pack DVD Collection, Hours of Hollywood Musical Entertainment on 12 Discs (12 double-sided DVDs together in a single container).

Consists of:

Disc 1. The Fabulous Dorseys (1947), starring the Dorsey Brothers (i.e., Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey), Paul Whiteman, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum, Bob Eberly, Helen O'Connell, and Ziggy Elman. Calendar Girl (1947), starring Jane Frazee, William Marshall, Janet Martin, and Kenny Baker. Sunny (1941), starring Ray Bolger. Swing Hostess (1944), starring Martha Tilton. --

Disc 2. Dixiana (1930), starrng Bebe Daniels, Wheeler & Woolsey, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Palooka (1934), starring Jimmy Durante. Glorifying the American Girl (1929), starring Eddie Cantor, Ring Lardner, Jimmy Walker, Adolph Zukor, Flo Ziegfield, and Billy Burke. Check and Double Check (1933), starring Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra, and Amos and Andie.

Disc 3. Paradise in Harlem (1939), starring Mamie Smith and Frank Wilson. The Duke Is Tops (1938), starring Lena Horne. Reet, Petite, and Gone (1947), starring Louis Jordan. Killer Diller (1948), starring Nat "King" Cole. --

Disc 4. Delightfully Dangerous (1945), starring Jane Powell and Constance Moore. Private Buckaroo (1942), starring the Andrews Sisters, Harry James, Shemp Howard, Joe E. Lewis, Huntz Hall, and Donald O'Connor. Stage Door Canteen (1943), starring Edgar Bergen. Career Girl (1944), starring Franc[e]s Langford. --

Disc 5. Second Chorus (1940), starring Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith, and Artie Shaw and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Trocadero (1944), starring Rosemary Lane. People Are Funny (1946), starring Jack Haley, Ozzie Nelson, Rudy Vallee, Helen Walker, and Art Linkletter. Doll Face (1946), starring Perry Como, Vivian Blaine, Dennis O'Keefe, and Carmen Miranda. --

Disc 6. The Great Gabbo (1929), starring Eric von Stroheim. The Dancing Pirate (1936), starring Frank Morgan. Road Show (1941), starring Adolphe Menjou and John Hubbard. Hi Diddle Diddle (1943), starring Adolphe Menjou.--

Disc 7. Rock, Rock, Rock (1956), starring Chuck Berry, Tuesday Weld, and Alan Freed. King Kelly of the U. S.A. (1934), starring Edgar Kennedy Guy Robertson, and Irene Ware. Rock `n' Roll Revue (1955), starring Duke Ellington, Nat "King" Cole, Count Basie, Larry Darnell, Dinah Washington, The Clovers, Leonard Reed, Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, Martha Davis, Little Buck, Mantan Moreland, and Nipsey Russell. Rhythm and Blues Revue (1955), starring Nat "King" Cole, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Martha Davis, Ruth Brown, Lionel Hampton, Faye Adams, Bill Bailey, Herb Jeffries, Mantan Moreland, Joe "Big Daddy" Turner, Little Buck, Nipsey Russell, and Wille Bryant. --

Disc 8. Till the Clouds Roll By (1946): Loosely Based on the Life of Composer Jerome Kern, starring Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse, Lena Horne, June Allyson, Tony Martin, Kathryn Grayson, Virginia O'Brien, Roy McDonald, Angela Lansbury, Gower Champion, and Lucille Brerner. All-Amerian Co-Ed (1941), starring Johnny Downs. Hi-De-Ho (1943), starring Cab Calloway. Breakfast in Hollywood (1946), starring Tom Breneman, Bonita Granville, Beulah Bondi, Zasu Pitts, Billie Burke, Hedda Hopper, Nat "King" Cole and his trio, and Spike Jones and His City Slickers. --

Disc 9. Soundies Festival: compiled from "musical shorts" of the Soundies Corp., featuring Ethel Waters, Eddy Green, and Dusty Fletcher. Soundies Cavalcade: compiled from more Soundies "musical shorts", featuring Lena Horne, Teddy Wilson and his orchestra, and Dusty Fletcher. Reaching for the Moon (1930), starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Mr. Imperium (1951), starring Lana Turner. --

Disc 10. Royal Wedding (1951), starring Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, and Sarah Churchill. The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1958), starring Van Johnson. Wild Guitar (1962), starring Arch Hill Jr. Murder with Music (1941), starring Nellie Hill. --

Disc 11. Jack and the Beanstalk (1952), starring Abbott and Costello (i.e., Bud Abbott and Lou Costello). The Road to Hollywood (1946): compiled from various Mack Sennett short films, presented by Bud Pollard, starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. The Big Show (1936), starring Gene Autry. Black Tights (1962), starring Cyd Charisse, Roland Petit's Ballet de Paris, Maurice Chevalier, Moira Shearer, and Zizi Jeanmaire. --

Disc 12. Fiesta (1941), starring Anne Ayars. Let's Go Collegiate (1941), starring Gale Storm. Up in the Air (1940), starring Frankie Darro. Minstrel Man (1944), starring Gladys George. Rhythm in the Clouds (1937), starring Patricia Ellils. Sitting on the Moon (1936), starring Grace Bradley.

I hope that this is useful to all of you musical film lovers!

Taboo (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Taboo (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Nick Stahl
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 34.05
15 used & new from CDN$ 9.28

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Cheaply Filmed, No Doubt, but with Surprises That Make This Movie Worth Seeing -- Once or Twice, at Least, Aug. 20 2013
I like just about any film that has Nick Stahl in the cast. This surely inexpensively made movie, about a party game played one New Year's Eve in a spacious old mansion, with the surprising and deadly results coming forth the following New Year's, in the same setting, is fun. It keeps one guessing, although the screenplay could have done more to hide what the outcomes for each protagonist would be. Given the premise of this little sexo-psycho-thriller, some humour would have made the frolics all that more spicy; this kind of film needs a touch of kitsch to realise fully the potential.

Nick Stahl is front and foremost throughout the film and he remains alive, as the others, really and playfully, intimately are and are not as the film progresses. This gives Stahl more screen time than some of the other actors receive during the "dark and stormy night" of bitchy, vicious, and bloody doings in on the fatal night of its main action right to the very end -- although, at last, Stahl is not among the living any longer at the motion picture's very conclusion (which comes as a surprise, even if so much of the other workings-out of the plot do not). Stahl looks good, boyishly handsome in his usual "negligently elegant" kind of way, and his acting is excellent. The other actors and actresses are variable, some better than others, none of them so good as Stahl is.

This one is worth it to pick up if purchased inexpensively or rented. (These kinds of plots, after all, do not hold up to too many viewings.) For Nick Stahl, it is well worth that much.

The Abbess of Andalusia - Flannery O'Connor's Spiritual Journey
The Abbess of Andalusia - Flannery O'Connor's Spiritual Journey
by Lorraine V. Murray
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.36
23 used & new from CDN$ 10.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Humble but Worthy Study Which, for Once, Seriously Takes Flannery O'Connor's Intensely Catholic Thought & Piety into Account, Aug. 20 2013
Flannery O'Connor was a figure who went against the grain, variously Protestant and secularist, of the U.S. literary and cultural establishment, but the stature of whose mind and genius were too evident in her work even to such sophisticates for them to deny very credibly. She already has received a fair amount of critical attention from scholars since her premature demise from years of suffering lupus, the debilitating disease with which she struggled for so many years and resisted so valiantly to pursue her art. As her Roman Catholic faith buttressed her in her suffering, so it bolstered her steadfast adherence to her faith in the traditions, piety, and doctrine of the Church. Perhaps it was fortunate for O'Connor that she did not survive long enough to witness further the sad, tawdry decline of the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council into priestly sexual depravity, liturgical abuses, and general vacuity. O'Connor was critical of the liturgical and other post-conciliar decline that already was besetting Catholic life by the end of her own years of earthly existence.

One value of this modest, very Catholic biography of Flannery O'Connor is how unambiguously it recognises the worth and significance of O'Connor's commitment to Roman Catholicism. Not all books do so, either neglecting this important aspect of O'Connor's thought, or despising it. Lorraine V. Murray's book is a good antidote to studies of Flannery O'Connor which overlook or disregard the importance of her Catholic faith in O'Connor's work and life. Murray's 2009 book hardly is profound, but it offers information about, and background of, O'Connor's personal piety and beliefs that are too important to cast aside. Because O'Connor purposefully eschewed, with rather few exceptions, overtly Catholic subjects in the characters, setting, dialogue, and action of her short stories and novellas, it could be easy to neglect the profoundly Catholic nature of her Christian world view. In a passage on preliminary pages xxx-xxxi of "The Abbess of Andalusia", Murray gives a pithy account of this phenomenon:

"Many readers who revere Flannery's works aren't quite sure what to make of her faith.... [Even] the Catholic press also largely missed the point, because many critics expected her stories to be peopled with nuns and priests rather than [with] Bible-thumping fundamentalist preachers. The Catholic threads running through her fiction often are subtle. Given that she wrote about country folk living in the Deep South, it made sense for her to people her stories largely with Protestants. However, their [i.e. the fiction's] themes of the Fall, redemption, and grace, are deeply Catholic. 'I write the way [that] I do because and only because I am a Catholic', she proclaimed.... [S]he added that if she were not a Catholic, she would have 'no reason to write, no reason to see, no reason ever to feel horrified or even to enjoy anything.' Her devotion to her faith irritated some people who weren't hesitant to express distaste for it."

Those who scoff at the idea that there is such great significance of her faith to O'Connor as a literary artist should read her published correspondence and her reviews. Very nearly the entirety of her letters is collected in the useful volume, "The Habit of Being: Letters" (ed., and with an introd., by Sally Fitzgerald; Vintage Books, 1979). Most epistolary collections of this kind can be tedious reading for any but the most scholarly committed, but O'Connor wrote with such style, humour, and insight to her correspondents that this volume really holds the attention and the heart of the reader. In "The Presence of Grace and Other Book Reviews" (compiled by Leo J. Zuber and ed., wth an introd., by Carter W. Martin; pbk. ed., University of Georgia Press, 2008, cop. 1983), the religious mind of Flannery O'Connor is even more explicitly on display, since O'Connor wrote so many of her reviews for Catholic periodicals. Reading these two compilations leaves no honest reader in doubt of just how important O'Connor's traditional Catholic faith was to her and how significantly, albeit subtly, Christianity, and Catholicism more specifically, informed her writing.

Many who have published studies about Flannery O'Connor ignore the place of Catholicism in the mind and art of this great literary figure of the South of the U. S. of A. In doing so, they limit their grasp of O'Connor's mind, either from their own secular mindset or from Protestant preconceptions. A good example of the latter bias is on display in Ralph C. Wood's "Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South" (W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2004). Wood does appreciate the impact of Christianity upon Flannery O'Connor's writing and on her sensibility, but Wood's own near obsession with Karl Barth and Neo-Orthodox theology prevents him from grasping how Catholic, in no uncertain terms, O'Connor's mind and art really were. Wood seizes upon O'Connor's interest (such as it was) in Karl Barth's thought, but grossly exaggerates its place in, and influence upon, her work. (On the other hand, although O'Connor had scant overt sympathy for the Existentialist philosophers whose influence was so pervasive in her own times, I cannot help but see a strongly Existentialist viewpoint work itself out, probably unconsciously, in almost all of her stories and novellas; this is a phenomenon that surely would merit, in itself, book-length treatment.) If Wood had taken Flannery O'Connor's correspondence and her review writing sufficiently into consideration, he would have found that not only did Scholastic and then-modern Catholic thought more greatly occupy her attention, but even that Barth's Neo-Orthodoxy only faintly would seem likely to have had much of any impact upon her sympathies for Protestant and sectarian views of God and of the world. Even Paul Tillich would appear to have counted more for O'Connor than Barth mattered to her. Thus, as interesting and scholarly as Ralph Wood's book is, his perception of O'Connor's Christianity goes seriously askew.

In fact, the 20th century theologian who apparently fascinated Flannery O'Connor most was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin! She seems to have been unaware of how rightly the Roman Catholic authorities then were coming to assess Teilhard's views to be antipathetic to Catholic Christianity, or of traditional Christian faith more generally. In her day, Catholics and Protestants alike had not perceived yet just how destructive the impact of Tillich, Teilhard, Barth and others like them would be to Christian faith. Therefore, the believing and observant Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, or sectarian Christian believing reader should not be too alarmed at how much Flannery O'Connor esteemed such speculative religious thinkers to be of the worth that she accorded them. Having read every last word that has become available in print, in book-length form, of O'Connor's writings, I think that I am safe in assuming that the stature of these variously Protestant and Catholic writers primarily as philosophers was what O'Connor most appreciated, something that would have helped to protect her Catholic faith from suffering unduly by reading those authors to take them overly seriously as theologians!

All of that said, it easily becomes clear (on an "it takes one to know one" basis) that Lorraine Murray's Catholic understanding of Flannery O'Connor is an advantage, and she does not push the importance of that fact so far as to become pugnacious about it. Murray has "done her homework" well, too, delving very conscientiously and thoroughly into published and primary sources, including those only to be found in several archival and library collections that are notable for their extensive holdings of O'Connor's manuscripts. Murray provides much biographical and anecdotal incident in O'Connor's life and milieu. Some who value literary theory too highly may regard (and wrongly so) the like as lowly, but this kind of thing does make for enjoyable reading. I would not "laud this book to the skies", it being too humble an achievement for that, and Murray is not particularly path-breaking in her observations about O'Connor's style and suchwise, so the reader may wish to start investigating Flannery O'Connor through other books. Nonethelss, s/he would miss much of value if s/he were to overlook this book. It is alike diverting and informative, wisely Catholic, too, and those qualities alone are sufficient to commend it to Amazon's users.

Pathfinder
Pathfinder

3.0 out of 5 stars Like the 1987 Original Film of the Title, This 2007 Remake Is Packed with Excitement, but the Later Film is Less Convincing, July 30 2013
This review is from: Pathfinder (DVD)
Others have described this movie well enough already. My comment to add would be how visually rich, but too congested, this film is. The images are dense, so much so that it is hard for the eyes to find what is most pertinent in the film's frames as they pass. The prevailing black and white and sepia tones, with little other colour in evidence, contrast dark and clotted, do not help to clarify the images. There is a lot of "action" in all of this, and because of this visual congestion (or indigestion!) it is hard for the eyes to follow.

The plot pits wicked European males, this time the Vikings, against North America's "noble savages". It does make some sense, but the mix of legendary evocation with historical fantasy is not totally convincing. The acting is passable.

Enjoy this motion picture for what it has to offer, without being too hard on it. It is exciting and however dense things become, visually and narratively, the basic premises and story flow are clear enough for all of that.

NOTA BENE (late July 2013).

Recently I have acquired a DVD equipment which, among other improvements over my earlier player, is capable of playing DVDs in the P.A.L. (European) format. To celebrate that, I ordered several films that I long have wanted to obtain, but are available, at least for now, only in editions of DVD-P.A.L. One of them is "Ofela' = Pathfinder" (Kinowelt 500392), the original 1987 Scandanavian film on which the North American adaptation, made twenty years later in 2007, is based. It definitely was worth searching out. Some comments, as well as a modification in my review's title, are now in order!

The 1987 motion picture offers roughly the same basic plot, but it is more convincingly set out in its very northerly, Scandanavian setting, the Lapp region, within the Arctic Circle. Here the winter is cruelly harsh in low as well as at high elevations. The struggle for survival of the Lapp (Sami) people is a precarious one that North American native peoples did not face to nearly such a daunting degree. The Scandanavian film's setting, not surprisingly, is far more austere, and less lushly colourful, than that of the North American film. However, that only adds to the 1987 movie's stark appeal.

The cast consists mostly of Sami actors, who have a visual edge in such ethnic consistency, which helps appreciably to make all of them convincing in their roles. In the case of Mikkel Gaup, who at the time of the 1987 motion picture was in his late teens, there was one Sami among them who went on to have a relatively large and successful film career. Mikkel Gaup, at that particular age, was a strikingly handsome lad and his acting, as Aigin, who becomes a "pathfinder" for his people by action's end, is the best of the film's cast and he also generates some real, incipiently romantic warmth. However, to be fair to the others, their acting only may seem a bit stiff due to the English dubbing, the words coming across accurately enough, but a bit woodenly. (There are subtitles, too, helpful, as their presence usually is.)

I like both films rather a lot, although I suspect that it will be the 1987 film, of the two, that I shall view more frequently in the years ahead.

Pathfinder
Pathfinder
Price: CDN$ 16.98
2 used & new from CDN$ 13.49

3.0 out of 5 stars The Production Values Are High in This 2007 Version of "Pathfinder", but the 1987 Film Rightly Is the Classic!, July 28 2013
This review is from: Pathfinder (DVD)
Others have described this movie well enough already. My comment to add would be how visually rich, but too congested, this film is. The images are dense, so much so that it is hard for the eyes to find what is most pertinent in the film's frames as they pass. The prevailing black and white and sepia tones, with little other colour in evidence, contrast dark and clotted, do not help to clarify the images. There is a lot of "action" in all of this, and because of this visual congestion (or indigestion!) it is hard for the eyes to follow.

The plot pits wicked European males, this time the Vikings, against North America's "noble savages". It does make some sense, but the mix of legendary evocation with historical fantasy is not totally convincing. The acting is passable.

Enjoy this motion picture for what it has to offer, without being too hard on it. It is exciting and however dense things become, visually and narratively, the basic premises and story flow are clear enough for all of that.

NOTA BENE (late July 2013).

Recently I have acquired a DVD equipment which, among other improvements over my earlier player, is capable of playing DVDs in the P.A.L. (European) format. To celebrate that, I ordered several films that I long have wanted to obtain, but are available, at least for now, only in editions of DVD-P.A.L. One of them is "Ofela' = Pathfinder" (Kinowelt 500392), the original 1987 Scandanavian film on which the North American adaptation, made twenty years later in 2007, is based. It definitely was worth searching out. Some comments, as well as a modification in my review's title, are now in order!

The 1987 motion picture offers roughly the same basic plot, but it is more convincingly set out in its very northerly, Scandanavian setting, the Lapp region, within the Arctic Circle. Here the winter is cruelly harsh in low as well as at high elevations. The struggle for survival of the Lapp (Sami) people is a precarious one that North American native peoples did not face to nearly such a daunting degree. The Scandanavian film's setting, not surprisingly, is far more austere, and less lushly colourful, than that of the North American film. However, that only adds to the 1987 movie's stark appeal.

The cast consists mostly of Sami actors, who have a visual edge in such ethnic consistency, which helps appreciably to make all of them convincing in their roles. In the case of Mikkel Gaup, who at the time of the 1987 motion picture was in his late teens, there was one Sami among them who went on to have a relatively large and successful film career. Mikkel Gaup, at that particular age, was a strikingly handsome lad and his acting, as Aigin, who becomes a "pathfinder" for his people by action's end, is the best of the film's cast and he also generates some real, incipiently romantic warmth. However, to be fair to the others, their acting only may seem a bit stiff due to the English dubbing, the words coming across accurately enough, but a bit woodenly. (There are subtitles, too, helpful, as their presence usually is.)

I like both films rather a lot, although I suspect that it will be the 1987 film, of the two, that I shall view more frequently in the years ahead.

Pathfinder (Unrated Edition)
Pathfinder (Unrated Edition)
DVD ~ Karl Urban
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 4.51
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 2007 "Pathfinder" Is Fun and Exciting, but the Earlier 1987 Film of the Same Title & Basic Plot Remains the Classic Version!, July 28 2013
This review is from: Pathfinder (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
Others have described this movie well enough already. My comment to add would be how visually rich, but too congested, this film is. The images are dense, so much so that it is hard for the eyes to find what is most pertinent in the film's frames as they pass. The prevailing black and white and sepia tones, with little other colour in evidence, contrast dark and clotted, do not help to clarify the images. There is a lot of "action" in all of this, and because of this visual congestion (or indigestion!) it is hard for the eyes to follow.

The plot pits wicked European males, this time the Vikings, against North America's "noble savages". It does make some sense, but the mix of legendary evocation with historical fantasy is not totally convincing. The acting is passable.

Enjoy this motion picture for what it has to offer, without being too hard on it. It is exciting and however dense things become, visually and narratively, the basic premises and story flow are clear enough for all of that.

NOTA BENE (late July 2013).

Recently I have acquired a DVD equipment which, among other improvements over my earlier player, is capable of playing DVDs in the P.A.L. (European) format. To celebrate that, I ordered several films that I long have wanted to obtain, but are available, at least for now, only in editions of DVD-P.A.L. One of them is "Ofela' = Pathfinder" (Kinowelt 500392), the original 1987 Scandanavian film on which the North American adaptation, made twenty years later in 2007, is based. It definitely was worth searching out. Some comments, as well as a modification in my review's title, are now in order!

The 1987 motion picture offers roughly the same basic plot, but it is more convincingly set out in its very northerly, Scandanavian setting, the Lapp region, within the Arctic Circle. Here the winter is cruelly harsh in low as well as at high elevations. The struggle for survival of the Lapp (Sami) people is a precarious one that North American native peoples did not face to nearly such a daunting degree. The Scandanavian film's setting, not surprisingly, is far more austere, and less lushly colourful, than that of the North American film. However, that only adds to the 1987 movie's stark appeal.

The cast consists mostly of Sami actors, who have a visual edge in such ethnic consistency, which helps appreciably to make all of them convincing in their roles. In the case of Mikkel Gaup, who at the time of the 1987 motion picture was in his late teens, there was one Sami among them who went on to have a relatively large and successful film career. Mikkel Gaup, at that particular age, was a strikingly handsome lad and his acting, as Aigin, who becomes a "pathfinder" for his people by action's end, is the best of the film's cast and he also generates some real, incipiently romantic warmth. However, to be fair to the others, their acting only may seem a bit stiff due to the English dubbing, the words coming across accurately enough, but a bit woodenly. (There are subtitles, too, helpful, as their presence usually is.)

I like both films rather a lot, although I suspect that it will be the 1987 film, of the two, that I shall view more frequently in the years ahead.

The Order (Bilingual)
The Order (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Heath Ledger
Price: CDN$ 6.98
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Film, Occult, Creepy Roman Catholic Stuff & All, Especially for Acting by Late Regretted Heath Ledger & Also Benno Fürmann, July 24 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Order (Bilingual) (DVD)
No lengthy customer's review of "The Order" (or, as it also has been titled, "The Sin Eater") is needed here. on Amazon-Canada's WWW site; there are lots of quite good ones on Amazon-U.S. However, for the Canadian's quick and ready convenience, I'll make some short comments here. The film is of the occult Inner-Workings-of-the-Church (i.e. the Romish Catholic Church) genre, with lots of creepy motifs and bizarre, cinematically induced happenings. A young and very handsome priest, Fr. Alex (Heath Ledger's role), a wonderfully Latin-celebrating traditionalist (hooray!), is drawn, entranced, to the more hidden and occult byways of his Church.

Alas, this fascination sucks Fr. Alex and his older, more experienced Satan-fighting priestly cohort, Fr. Thomas (Mark Addy) deeply into realms, at the highest ecclesiastical level, of evil and superstition-brought-to-life. Fr. Alex ends up pursuing a "sin eater", one William Eden (played by Benno Fürmann, looking surprisingly comely and seductively dapper for this role, as the movie studio has costumed and cosmetically enhanced him), who is an aeons-old (but prime-life looking) occultist, who draws sin and condemnation to himself from excommunicated sinners about to face the end of their mortal lives, gaining for them forgiveness without God's ordained means of grace and sacraments. This is not exactly orthodox Christianity, namely Roman (and Eastern Rite) Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Lutheran, in case one does not know that already.

Fr. Alex succumbs to the temptations of the flesh, permitting Ledger to shed some clothes to studly effect, although surely Ledger's fans would prefer to see much more of the beauteous surface, revealed to the camera to greater (and more intimate) extent, of that Australian star's buck-naked, appealingly svelte Anglo-Celtic body; Ledger undoubtedly had been one of the most undeniably sexy male actors of his generation. The ensuing lovemaking is (even if more suggestively than explicitly) pretty "hot", if all too brief.

Alas, Alex loses his gal, Mara (played by Shannyn Sossamon), anyway, to the treacherous misdoings of the sin-catcher. In forfeiting his priestly vows, the young priest has acceded to William Eden's blandishments of "being a man rather than a priest". His predicament leads Alex also to gain occult power, too, however unwillingly he at first has been seeking it on a conscious level; Alex seizes it in a moment of panic, thus being doomed to many centuries of bondage to the very potency which Eden gladly relinquishes to Alex for the peace of the grave for which Eden has come to yearn.

Thus, things have gotten a bit complicated, needless to say; the sin-chewing Eden has slain Mara, the priest's beloved, and he has tricked Fr. Alex into accepting Eden's offer to exchange his own occult function with Alex, for the release from life that Eden so much desires. The interaction of Fr. Alex with William Eden, as well as the gradually intensifying relationship of Alex with Mara, are fascinating to watch, as these three masterly actors play this out with consummate dramatic skill, sensitivity, and nuance. As the movie ends, a new sin-eater, Alex himself, now sets out upon his centuries-to-come of work and, in doing so, thankfully, he foils the wicked schemes of an ambitiously scheming and mega-wicked, papacy-seeking cardinal.

The film is visually gorgeous, with lots of Catholic artwork and ecclesiastical bling-bling, fine Roman architecture (pagan and, especially, Roman Catholic), and so forth to view. It makes for an enjoyable albeit eerie way to pass some time at the video-player and screen.

Pathfinder: Unrated Edition [Blu-ray]
Pathfinder: Unrated Edition [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Blu-Ray
Price: CDN$ 5.00
15 used & new from CDN$ 3.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Maginificent (if Visually Clutttered) Film Saga, Exciting "Remake" to Watch, if Less Convincing & Memorable Than the 1987 Film, June 8 2013
Others have described this movie well enough already. My comment to add would be how visually rich, but too congested, this film is. The images are dense, so much so that it is hard for the eyes to find what is most pertinent in the film's frames as they pass. The prevailing black and white and sepia tones, with little other colour in evidence, contrast dark and clotted, do not help to clarify the images. There is a lot of "action" in all of this, and because of this visual congestion (or indigestion!) it is hard for the eyes to follow.

The plot pits wicked European males, this time the Vikings, against North America's "noble savages". It does make some sense, but the mix of legendary evocation with historical fantasy is not totally convincing. The acting is passable.

Enjoy this motion picture for what it has to offer, without being too hard on it. It is exciting and however dense things become, visually and narratively, the basic premises and story flow are clear enough for all of that.

NOTA BENE (late July 2013).

Recently I have acquired a DVD equipment which, among other improvements over my earlier player, is capable of playing DVDs in the P.A.L. (European) format. To celebrate that, I ordered several films that I long have wanted to obtain, but are available, at least for now, only in editions of DVD-P.A.L. One of them is "Ofela' = Pathfinder" (Kinowelt 500392), the original 1987 Scandanavian film on which the North American adaptation, made twenty years later in 2007, is based. It definitely was worth searching out. Some comments, as well as a modification in my review's title, are now in order!

The 1987 motion picture offers roughly the same basic plot, but it is more convincingly set out in its very northerly, Scandanavian setting, the Lapp region, within the Arctic Circle. Here the winter is cruelly harsh in low as well as at high elevations. The struggle for survival of the Lapp (Sami) people is a precarious one that North American native peoples did not face to nearly such a daunting degree. The Scandanavian film's setting, not surprisingly, is far more austere, and less lushly colourful, than that of the North American film. However, that only adds to the 1987 movie's stark appeal.

The cast consists mostly of Sami actors, who have a visual edge in such ethnic consistency, which helps appreciably to make all of them convincing in their roles. In the case of Mikkel Gaup, who at the time of the 1987 motion picture was in his late teens, there was one Sami among them who went on to have a relatively large and successful film career. Mikkel Gaup, at that particular age, was a strikingly handsome lad and his acting, as Aigin, who becomes a "pathfinder" for his people by action's end, is the best of the film's cast and he also generates some real, incipiently romantic warmth. However, to be fair to the others, their acting only may seem a bit stiff due to the English dubbing, the words coming across accurately enough, but a bit woodenly. (There are subtitles, too, helpful, as their presence usually is.)

I like both films rather a lot, although I suspect that it will be the 1987 film, of the two, that I shall view more frequently in the years ahead.

McLaughlin's New Pronouncing Dictionary Of The English French Languages - English - French & French - English
McLaughlin's New Pronouncing Dictionary Of The English French Languages - English - French & French - English
by J. McLaughlin and E. Clifton
Edition: Unknown Binding

3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent French-English Dictionary That Made the Rounds in Continental Europe as Well as in North America, April 30 2013
I have two editions of this English-to-French and French-to-English dictionary on which E. Clifton and J. McLaughlin collaborated, this one, the "New Revised Edition" of 1904, published in Philadelphia by the David McKay Company, and a similarly delineated edition of 1958, published in Paris by the Éditions Garnier frères, but, in the case of that "A New Revised Edition" it has a further name associated with it, that of L. Dhaleine, who apparently undertook whatever the extent might have been of real updating of the dictionary that occurred in the intervening years. The 1904 edition is printed on superior paper, but the 1958 edition is bound within somewhat more soberly attractive hard covers.

It is unusual that a bilingual dictionary that was oriented at a mass market kind of distribution, as this one was, be published in continental Europe as well as in the U. S. of A. Certainly, this dictionary does seem to be of better quality than most of its popular-marketed rivals of the time, some of which, such as the widely sold dictionary by J.O. Kettridge, among so many others, were of reasonable enough editorial quality but with insufficient vocabulary variety and coverage to satisfy the needs of readers in the two languages of more than moderate level proficiency. Kettridge's bilingual dictionary, however, was noticeably more portable than the Clifton-McLaughlin dictionary. The latter, for its part, still could serve nicely as a backup dictionary to keep at hand somewhere in the home where one needs a French bilingual dictionary within reach, although closer to one's workspace for writing and serious reading it is advisable to provide oneself with an higher-grade, more recently published dictionary by Robert-Collins (or Collins-Robert!) or by Harrap, the best among superior alternatives to a such a less scholarly and less comprehensive dictionary as this one authored by Clifton and McLaughlin.

There are many other choices on the market (and that long has been so). The various editions of the much used French-English/English-French dictionary that Cassell has published over many years are of quality and reliability of level intermediate between, say, Robert-Collins on the one hand and Clifton-McLaughlin on the other, Cassell's dictionary being very good, but not so truly superb as both the Robert and Harrap dictionaries, for their parts, most decidedly are. Larousse's bilingual dictionaries, so belovèd of public school language teachers, on the other hand, are overrated, tending to be insufficiently updated from one dreary edition to the next, and they are decidedly mediocre in quality. Whatever the dictionary (or more than one) that one selects for his own use, happy lexicon and vocabulary foraging to all who seek the like!

McLaughlin's New Pronouncing Dictionary Of The English French Languages - English - French & French - English
McLaughlin's New Pronouncing Dictionary Of The English French Languages - English - French & French - English

3.0 out of 5 stars Mass-Marketed Dictionary of Reasonably Good Calibre, April 27 2013
I have two editions of this English-to-French and French-to-English dictionary on which E. Clifton and J. McLaughlin collaborated, this one, the "New Revised Edition" of 1904, published in Philadelphia by the David McKay Company, and a similarly delineated edition of 1958, published in Paris by the Éditions Garnier frères, but, in the case of that "A New Revised Edition" it has a further name associated with it, that of L. Dhaleine, who apparently undertook whatever the extent might have been of real updating of the dictionary that occurred in the intervening years. The 1904 edition is printed on superior paper, but the 1958 edition is bound within somewhat more soberly attractive hard covers.

It is unusual that a bilingual dictionary that was oriented at a mass market kind of distribution, as this one was, be published in continental Europe as well as in the U. S. of A. Certainly, this dictionary does seem to be of better quality than most of its popular-marketed rivals of the time, some of which, such as the widely sold dictionary by J.O. Kettridge, among so many others, were of reasonable enough editorial quality but with insufficient vocabulary variety and coverage to satisfy the needs of readers in the two languages of more than moderate level proficiency. Kettridge's bilingual dictionary, however, was noticeably more portable than the Clifton-McLaughlin dictionary. The latter, for its part, still could serve nicely as a backup dictionary to keep at hand somewhere in the home where one needs a French bilingual dictionary within reach, although closer to one's workspace for writing and serious reading it is advisable to provide oneself with an higher-grade, more recently published dictionary by Robert-Collins (or Collins-Robert!) or by Harrap, the best among superior alternatives to a such a less scholarly and less comprehensive dictionary as this one authored by Clifton and McLaughlin.

There are many other choices on the market (and that long has been so). The various editions of the much used French-English/English-French dictionary that Cassell has published over many years are of quality and reliability of level intermediate between, say, Robert-Collins on the one hand and Clifton-McLaughlin on the other, Cassell's dictionary being very good, but not so truly superb as both the Robert and Harrap dictionaries, for their parts, most decidedly are. Larousse's bilingual dictionaries, so belovèd of public school language teachers, on the other hand, are overrated, tending to be insufficiently updated from one dreary edition to the next, and they are decidedly mediocre in quality. Whatever the dictionary (or more than one) that one selects for his own use, happy lexicon and vocabulary foraging to all who seek the like!

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