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Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada)
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Last Days on Mars [Import]
Last Days on Mars [Import]
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 8.75
19 used & new from CDN$ 8.75

3.0 out of 5 stars Alien Zombies, as It Were, Here for Your Enjoyment, but to the Mortal Detriment of a Space Crew!, Oct. 31 2014
This review is from: Last Days on Mars [Import] (DVD)
Despite the many negative reviews of this film, which certainly is no masterpiece, but makes for good viewing, "The Last Days on Mars" is worth a try for those who enjoy sci-fi cinema. Certainly, if they can bear pleasurably with "Red Planet" (2000), they can find "Last Days on Mars" to be at least as enjoyable. Yes, the alien creatures which the earthlings discover (after having found microbial and other lower life forms) are zombie-like Martians and, yes, they do turn their human victims into zombie-like critters when they die and then come back to life as zomboid anthropoids, also with terrific blood-lust, and with the ability to breathe the Martian atmosphere. However, there is much suspense and gripping action to all of this, the ending of it bleak and grim for the space crew. For more clues to the film's action, see the other reviews, especially on the Internet Movie Data Base and on Amazon-U.S.

I would suggest renting rather than buying this on DVD or on Blu-Ray, but, for my own part, anyway, I think that I shall be watching it again sometime in the future. In essence, "The Last Days on Mars" and "Red Planet" both are rather old-style (1950s-like) sci-fi, so far as their respective plots go, but the two movies have a modern look to them, the sets being anything but hokey. Mars itself looks, in the film's setting, rather like some reddish stretch of Utah's Painted Desert. These two films are not reversions, from the visual standpoint, to "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon" style films of the mid-20th century (which, anyway, will remain belovèd for the sake of their exuberant and boyishly handsome leading actor, Buster Crabbe, of cinematically blessèd memory). For that matter, adding it all up, "Last Days on Mars" is a lot more vigourously worthwhile example of this type of sci-fi movie than such a motion picture, similarly of Martians' sabotage of human visitors, as "Red Planet" (which stars Val Kilmer) these two films alike happen to be.

Since the space crew is portrayed as international, it is not surprising that there is a variety of accents, of Brits, Canadians, and of others whose first language is not English. This can make it difficult at times to understand much of the dialogue and, alas, there are no subtitles on the North American DVD edition viewed (M.O. 1 Pictures DVD-5230), one that is distributed here in Québec, to aid comprehension. Other North American editions, however, do have subtitles. However, I would say that this film is worth the time spent viewing it, despite the cavils. Judging "The Last Days on Mars" upon its own terms, rather than from the bias of some pre-existing sci-fi aesthetic, this motion picture really is rather good stuff. At least, it is good enough to take one's time enjoyably to view it.

The Last Days on Mars / Les Derniers jours sur Mars [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
The Last Days on Mars / Les Derniers jours sur Mars [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Liev Schreiber
Price: CDN$ 12.49
10 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars This Sci-Fi Movie Is Better than Critics Would Have One To Believe It Is, Despite All Those "Space-Zombies" in It!, Oct. 30 2014
Despite the many negative reviews of this film, which certainly is no masterpiece, but makes for good viewing, "The Last Days on Mars" is worth a try for those who enjoy sci-fi cinema. Certainly, if they can bear pleasurably with "Red Planet" (2000), they can find "Last Days on Mars" to be at least as enjoyable. Yes, the alien creatures which the earthlings discover (after having found microbial and other lower life forms) are zombie-like Martians and, yes, they do turn their human victims into zombie-like critters when they die and then come back to life as zomboid anthropoids, also with terrific blood-lust, and with the ability to breathe the Martian atmosphere. However, there is much suspense and gripping action to all of this, the ending of it bleak and grim for the space crew. For more clues to the film's action, see the other reviews, especially on the Internet Movie Data Base and on Amazon-U.S.

I would suggest renting rather than buying this on DVD or on Blu-Ray, but, for my own part, anyway, I think that I shall be watching it again sometime in the future. In essence, "The Last Days on Mars" and "Red Planet" both are rather old-style (1950s-like) sci-fi, so far as their respective plots go, but the two movies have a modern look to them, the sets being anything but hokey. Mars itself looks, in the film's setting, rather like some reddish stretch of Utah's Painted Desert. These two films are not reversions, from the visual standpoint, to "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon" style films of the mid-20th century (which, anyway, will remain belovèd for the sake of their exuberant and boyishly handsome leading actor, Buster Crabbe, of cinematically blessèd memory). For that matter, adding it all up, "Last Days on Mars" is a lot more vigourously worthwhile example of this type of sci-fi movie than such a motion picture, similarly of Martians' sabotage of human visitors, as "Red Planet" (which stars Val Kilmer) these two films alike happen to be.

Since the space crew is portrayed as international, it is not surprising that there is a variety of accents, of Brits, Canadians, and of others whose first language is not English. This can make it difficult at times to understand much of the dialogue and, alas, there are no subtitles on the North American DVD edition (rather than Blu-Ray) viewed (M.O. 1 Pictures DVD-5230), one that is distributed here in Québec, to aid comprehension. Other North American editions, however, do have subtitles. I would say that this film is worth the time spent viewing it, despite the cavils. Judging "The Last Days on Mars" upon its own terms, rather than from the bias of some pre-existing sci-fi aesthetic, this motion picture really is rather good stuff. At least, it is good enough to take one's time enjoyably to view it.

Brutal Truth, the
Brutal Truth, the
5 used & new from CDN$ 18.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Faults and Misjudged Directorial Decisions Cripped This Film, Despite Its Interesting Concept, Oct. 28 2014
This review is from: Brutal Truth, the (VHS Tape)
There is a good cinematic idea lurking in "The Brutal Truth" (Moonstone/Alliance Atlantis 22399 being the North American edition viewed), a film also known by titles "The Giving Tree" or "Shaded Places". Emily invites friends, all connected with herself and mostly (though not entirely) with each other, to her relatively remote home in Southern California's backcountry. Emily finally appears, only to hang herself on the rope of her childhood swing. A rather strong earthquake strikes, leaving the friends stranded at her house.

The friends, while trying to cope with a corpse that cannot be disposed of normally due to telephone service outage, short supplies, absence of the small town's sheriff and coroner, etc., fall to reminiscing among each other in various pairings and groups. Some very ugly truths, most often of a sexual nature, emerge about each other, in large part connected, too, with now dead Emily. Many flashbacks occur to their own and to Emily's respective pasts.

There are numerous movies with plots similar to this one; for example, one vaguely on the theme is "Tabou", starring Nick Stahl among its cast, but that one leaves loads of corpses in its wake, not just one! This movie, however, is not even in the league of "Tabou", which, for its part, is no masterpiece, either, but that one exerts more fascination, at least, on the viewer than "Brutal Truth" does so.

Hamstringing the potential of "The Brutal Truth" is an ailing script with banal dialogue, confusing sequence of actions, some flashbacks which sometimes do not convey information clearly enough about Emily's friends and her past (or which at other times are too trivial), frequent lulls in pacing, use of music that sometimes stalls the film unduly, hammy acting, and much more. The whole film, which definitely is not one of director Cameron Thor's better cinematic endeavours, just sort of lurches, lopes, and stumbles along erratically from beginning to end.

This one is for keeps in this viewer's collection only really due to the presence of Jonathon Schaech, a favourite actor (memorable especially for taking part in that rock music movie classic, "That Thing You Do"), who is in the cast of "The Brutal Truth". Another asset is the natural loveliness of the California setting, the camera work capturing it very beautifully. Most movie lovers, however, probably can do without this motion picture at all.

The Brutal Truth
The Brutal Truth
DVD ~ Christina Applegate
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 14.68
5 used & new from CDN$ 7.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Ironies and, Yes, Brutal Truths, too, about Emily's Friends Are Not Enough to Make This Film a Worthy Specimen of Its Concept, Oct. 26 2014
This review is from: The Brutal Truth (DVD)
There is a good cinematic idea lurking in "The Brutal Truth" (Moonstone/Alliance Atlantis 22399 being the North American edition viewed), a film also known by Gothic titles "The Giving Tree" or "Shaded Places". Emily invites friends, all connected with herself and mostly (though not entirely) with each other, to her relatively remote home in Southern California's backcountry. Emily finally appears, only to hang herself on the rope of her childhood swing. A rather strong earthquake strikes, leaving the friends stranded at her house.

The friends, while trying to cope with a corpse that cannot be disposed of normally due to telephone service outage, short supplies, absence of the small town's sheriff and coroner, etc., fall to reminiscing among each other in various pairings and groups. Some very ugly truths, most often of a sexual nature, emerge about each other, in large part connected, too, with now dead Emily. Many flashbacks occur to their own and to Emily's respective pasts.

There are numerous movies with plots similar to this one; for example, one vaguely on the theme is "Tabou", starring Nick Stahl among its cast, but that one leaves loads of corpses in its wake, not just one! This movie, however, is not even in the league of "Tabou", which, for its part, is no masterpiece, either, but that one exerts more fascination, at least, on the viewer than "Brutal Truth" does so.

Hamstringing the potential of "The Brutal Truth" is an ailing script with banal dialogue, confusing sequence of actions, some flashbacks which sometimes do not convey information clearly enough about Emily's friends and her past (or which at other times are too trivial), frequent lulls in pacing, use of music that sometimes stalls the film unduly, hammy acting, and much more. The whole film, which definitely is not one of director Cameron Thor's better cinematic endeavours, just sort of lurches, lopes, and stumbles along erratically from beginning to end.

This one is for keeps in this viewer's collection only really due to the presence of Jonathon Schaech, a favourite actor (memorable especially for taking part in that rock music movie classic, "That Thing You Do"), who is in the cast of "The Brutal Truth". Another asset is the natural loveliness of the California setting, the camera work capturing it very beautifully. Most movie lovers, however, probably can do without this motion picture at all.

SKATE OR DIE [Blu-ray]
SKATE OR DIE [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars French Language Film (Subtitled in English) Has Skillful Skateboarding Surpassing That in a Different Spanish Movie So Titled, Oct. 26 2014
This review is from: SKATE OR DIE [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
There is also an Hispanic movie also titled "Skate or Die", perhaps one made expressly for video given its demonstration of low film technic and overall "look", which neither what Amazon's WWW sites nor the Internet Movie Data Base identify it as being. There are two films with the same title listed, a superior one in French available on Blu-Ray or as a DVD (of which the DVD of the movie has subtitles, whatever be the case with the Blu-Ray), the other (rather dismal) film in Spanish (with no subtitles in any language).

To help the Amazon user to sort this out, here is a listing, citing DVD rather than Blu-Ray editions, from my own list of DVDs and VHS tapes, in the DVD editions that I own, of these two cinematic works:

Skates: Skate or Die!: Wrong Place, Wrong Time. N.B.: This is the 2008 action film (in French, with subtitles in English) of the two very different films of this title. Link Productions 210070-DV.

Skates: Skate or Die!: ellos surgieron de la nada para cambiarlo todo. N.B.: This is the 2012 youth comedy (in Spanish, without subtitles) of the two very different movies of this title. Distri-Max DMS-0348.

The French film is a well-made motion picture of intensely exciting action and interest. The two young friends (both aged about 20) have witnessed the death of a dude involved in a drug transaction and are fleeing the men who are chasing them in order to kill these two witnesses of the murder. Corrupt police get involved, trying to track down and to kill the two youths, in order to keep secret their collusion in the Parisian underworld of drug deals from which they receive kick-backs from the dealers. The chase is long, ingenious, and entails some truly virtuoso skateboarding on the parts of Mickey Maheu and Idriss Diopp (playing, respectively, the roles of Jerôme and Benjamin), both of them good-looking and quite competent actors.

The Spanish film, for the little that it is worth, features three teenage friends who have encounters with a older (aged ca. 30) violently bullying thug who, along with two of his equally low-life pals, is stalking the teens. The music is lively Hispanic stuff and there is a music video embedded within the film. Teenagers abound in this film who, when they dance, do so in hyper-energetically joyous mania to its music. At one point, the three friends assault the bully (or thug, whichever he is most) and his cohorts with their skateboards. Later, when there is a confrontation between the bully and the three teenage pals, when the bully falls down. The dancers surrounding the man turn on him, giving him such a vicious collective thrashing that they leave him for dead. As for the occasional skateboarding, it is very perfunctory trifle compared to what one sees in the French film and there is not enough of it in view, anyway, in the Spanish movie to justify use of the title.

Anyway, hopefully these comments sort out the two films for Amazon's potential purchasers of either or both of them, clarify which one is which, and give some idea of the respective worth of each.

Skate or Die (Bilingual)
Skate or Die (Bilingual)
Offered by TheMarketPlace
Price: CDN$ 6.49
8 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Better of the Two Films of the Same Title, This Exciting One in French, Oct. 25 2014
This review is from: Skate or Die (Bilingual) (DVD)
There is also an Hispanic movie also titled "Skate or Die", perhaps one made expressly for video given its demonstration of low film technic and "look", which neither Amazon's WWW sites nor the Internet Movie Data Base properly distinguish from this quite good French motion picture of the same title. The superior one in French is available as this DVD (having subtitles in English), the other (rather dismal) one in Spanish also available on DVD (with no subtitles in any language).

This Hispanic movie, perhaps one made expressly for video given its demonstration of low film technic and overall "look", is neither what Amazon's WWW sites nor the Internet Movie Data Base identify it as being. There are two films with the same title listed, a superior one in French (the DVD thereof having subtitles), the other (rather dismal) one in Spanish (with no subtitles in any language).

To help the Amazon user to sort this out, here is a listing from my own list of DVDs and VHS tapes, in the North American DVD editions which I own, of these two cinematic works:

Skates: Skate or Die!: Wrong Place, Wrong Time. N.B.: This is the 2008 action film (in French, with subtitles in English) of the two very different films of this title. Link Productions 210070-DV.

Skates: Skate or Die!: ellos surgieron de la nada para cambiarlo todo. N.B.: This is the 2012 youth comedy (in Spanish, without subtitles) of the two very different movies of this title. Distri-Max DMS-0348.

The French film is a well-made motion picture of intensely exciting action and interest. The two young friends (both aged about 20) have witnessed the death of a dude involved in a drug transaction and are fleeing the men who are chasing them in order to kill these two witnesses of the murder. Corrupt police get involved, trying to track down and to kill the two youths, in order to keep secret their collusion in the Parisian underworld of drug deals from which they receive kick-backs from the dealers. The chase is long, ingenious, and entails some truly virtuoso skateboarding on the parts of Mickey Maheu and Idriss Diopp (playing, respectively, the roles of Jerôme and Benjamin), both of them good-looking and quite competent actors.

The Spanish film, for the little that it is worth, features three teenage friends who have encounters with a older (aged ca. 30) violently bullying thug who, along with two of his equally low-life pals, is stalking the teens. The music is lively Hispanic stuff and there is a music video embedded within the film. Teenagers abound in this film who, when they dance, do so in hyper-energetically joyous mania to its music. At one point, the three friends assault the bully (or thug, whichever he is most) and his cohorts with their skateboards. Later, when there is a confrontation between the bully and the three teenage pals, when the bully falls down. The dancers surrounding the man turn on him, giving him such a vicious collective thrashing that they leave him for dead. As for the occasional skateboarding, it is very perfunctory trifle compared to what one sees in the French film and there is not enough of it in view, anyway, in the Spanish movie to justify use of the title.

Anyway, hopefully these comments sort out the two films for Amazon's potential purchasers of either or both of them, clarify which one is which, and give some idea of the respective worth of each.

Skate Or Die [Import]
Skate Or Die [Import]
DVD ~ Mickey Mahut
Price: CDN$ 11.39
2 used & new from CDN$ 11.39

2.0 out of 5 stars Two Quite Different Movies of the Same Title Vary Considerably and Contrast in Value One to the Other, Oct. 25 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Skate Or Die [Import] (DVD)
This Hispanic movie, perhaps one made expressly for video given its demonstration of low film technic and overall "look", is neither what Amazon's WWW sites nor the Internet Movie Data Base identify it as being. There are two films with the same title listed, a superior one in French (the DVD thereof having subtitles), the other (rather dismal) one in Spanish (with no subtitles in any language).

To help the Amazon user to sort this out, here is a listing from my own list of DVDs and VHS tapes, in the North American DVD editions which I own, of these two cinematic works:

Skates: Skate or Die!: Wrong Place, Wrong Time. N.B.: This is the 2008 action film (in French, with subtitles in English) of the two very different films of this title. Link Productions 210070-DV.

Skates: Skate or Die!: ellos surgieron de la nada para cambiarlo todo. N.B.: This is the 2012 youth comedy (in Spanish, without subtitles) of the two very different movies of this title. Distri-Max DMS-0348.

The French film is a well-made motion picture of intensely exciting action and interest. The two young friends (both aged about 20) have witnessed the death of a dude involved in a drug transaction and are fleeing the men who are chasing them in order to kill these two witnesses of the murder. Corrupt police get involved, trying to track down and to kill the two youths, in order to keep secret their collusion in the Parisian underworld of drug deals from which they receive kick-backs from the dealers. The chase is long, ingenious, and entails some truly virtuoso skateboarding on the parts of Mickey Maheu and Idriss Diopp (playing, respectively, the roles of Jerôme and Benjamin), both of them good-looking and quite competent actors.

The Spanish film, for the little that it is worth, features three teenage friends who have encounters with a older (aged ca. 30) violently bullying thug who, along with two of his equally low-life pals, is stalking the teens. The music is lively Hispanic stuff and there is a music video embedded within the film. Teenagers abound in this film who, when they dance, do so in hyper-energetically joyous mania to its music. At one point, the three friends assault the bully (or thug, whichever he is most) and his cohorts with their skateboards. Later, when there is a confrontation between the bully and the three teenage pals, when the bully falls down. The dancers surrounding the man turn on him, giving him such a vicious collective thrashing that they leave him for dead. As for the occasional skateboarding, it is very perfunctory trifle compared to what one sees in the French film and there is not enough of it in view, anyway, in the Spanish movie to justify use of the title.

Anyway, hopefully these comments sort out the two films for Amazon's potential purchasers of either or both of them, clarify which one is which, and give some idea of the respective worth of each.

Instrumental Works
Instrumental Works
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 27.35
4 used & new from CDN$ 14.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Some Tasteful Music, Even if Mostly Bordering on Insipid, from One of England's Own Favourite Composers, Oct. 20 2014
This review is from: Instrumental Works (Audio CD)
Saydisc is a company that long has brought some interesting and out-of-the way music, classical and beyond that, as well as other sounds, to LP and to CD. Thomas Arne, thanks to some dramatic and other vocal works which have held a firm place in British affections; of one thinks, "hm-m-m, yes, yes, something about the Royal Navy! I've got it! 'Rule, Britannia!'" (that being originally from Arne's music for the masque, "Alfred") one knows why. There is other music of his, too (e.g., "A-Hunting We Will Go"), which also never went out of vogue, usually of sufficiently decided British character, flavour, and/or national associations to set him apart, avoiding eclipse, from George Frideric Handel, England's most famous musical import from the European continent and also apart from other younger Baroque and Rococo contemporaries of Handel who outlived him, the memory of whom safely has been ensconced in the Cathedral and parish choral and organ repertory of the Church of England. Arne, being Roman Catholic (but a Freemason as well!), did not contribute to the musical treasury of that particular ecclesiastical entity.

Arne's instrumental works are less well known than such vocal works. I played now and then some of his chamber music with friends in weekly musical gatherings when I lived in Boston for about a decade and always enjoyed Arne's tuneful music. However, the composer's trio-sonatas are more fun to play than to listen to; as for the music for harpsichord (perhaps also justifiably playable on "fortepiano", as that early form of piano has been catching on in popularity), it is jaunty and can give the player a good workout at the keyboard, but it also lacking, as to the particular selections on this CD, in memorably distinct musical profile.

Saydisc, on its Armon Ra label, has put this disc from Le Nouveau Quatuor featuring a selection from Arne's instrumental works (Amon Ra CD-SAR-42); the same recording also has appeared on the Musical Heritage Society label. The members of Le Nouveau Quatuor, playing "period" (old) instruments, are Utako Ikeda (flute, a wooden one I would assume from its tone), Catherine Weiss (violin), Mark Caudle ('cello). and Paul Nicholson (harpsichord). These pieces would sound more rubust and lively if Weiss would assert herself more on violin; in the treble parts, Ikeda dominates, understandably given Arne's writing, but it would help if Weiss either were not so timid or, if that not be the explanation, if the engineers had balanced the sound more equitably. Fortunately, the harpsichord on which Nicholson plays, an English instrument, has a ruggedly tangy tone which enables him, for his part, to hold his own, solo or with the other musicians. A wee bit less profuse resort to ornamentation, as Le Nouveau Quatuor's members play these pieces, might have enabled the music to sound more distinctly British, being that as such Arne and his music most certainly were not afraid to identify.

The most diverting work on this CD is the last one included, Arne's "Trio Sonata in E Minor ([from] VII Sonatas), Op. 3, no. 7". Its "Jigg" is a rollickingly fine piece of deftly contrapuntal writing and the following "Allegro" which concludes that work maintains its level of inspiration. Most of the other works sound like rather innocuous stuff, especially in comparison to the sonata just mentioned. For example, as I listened to the soporific work which opens the disc, "Trio Sonata in D [major] ([from] VII Sonatas), Op. 3, no. 7", I thought to myself, envisioning a yearling deer leaping playfully over the meadow, "This could be music for Bambi." (Now, if only the folks at Walt Disney Studios had known about this work!) For those who like to play recordings of music of the Baroque and "Pre-Classical" styles as background to their daily living (something that I, personally, abhor doing, even to music of so modest value as this!), certainly, this is the disc for them!

Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition (with CD-ROM)
Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition (with CD-ROM)
by Editors of Webster's New World College Dictionaries
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.16
18 used & new from CDN$ 23.16

5.0 out of 5 stars As Fine as Any Earlier Edition, This New One of a Great American Dicitionary That Writers, Students, Teachers, & Readers Welcome, Oct. 19 2014
I long have used the Webster's New World Dictionary of American English, the most recommendable and comprehensive of its variants being any designated for "college" (in U.S.A. lingo including "university") use. Having just received the new Fifth Edition ("new" in this year of 2014) causes me to ponder the unbroken excellence of every edition of this great American dictionary. The edition which most people usually think of as the first one of this dictionary was the only English dictionary which students at the college where I did my freshman and sophomore years of study, in the mid-1960s, were permitted to cite as their lexical authority (the then recently debased "Collegiate" dictionary from Merriam-Webster, having been prime among the dictionaries that students were forbidden to use in writing their papers and assignments).

By the time of its Fifth Edition, the Webster's New World Dictionary has become so compendious, so hefty, that it now barely fits the format of a single volume dictionary. The Fourth Edition already had been "groaning at the seams". To accommodate what appears surely to be a larger base of vocabulary of terms, abbreviations, names, etc. (the totals of which the dictionary's introductory features themselves do not quantify explicitly, unless something has eluded my glance), the Fifth Edition (comparing it here only to the Fourth Edition), even though it has decreased slightly in pagination, has cut out some extraneous (albeit useful) features from the "Reference Supplement", and has decreased slightly (but noticeably) the print size in the main bulk of the work. To limit the comparison to the main paging sequence between the two most recent editions, one goes from the Fourth's 1716 p. to the Fifth's total of 1703 p. The "Reference Supplement" at the end of the Fifth Edition has dropped some features which orient specifically to the United States and which were found in the Fourth Edition's more numerous sub-sections therein (e.g., among such omissions are the texts of national U.S. documents; tables of population and of some other data about American, Canadian, and Mexican cities; as well as some other matter); what remains has more universal application and is less susceptible to fall out-of-date too quickly.

Most readers, of course, now have access to the multitude of data of nearly all sorts on the World Wide Web and elsewhere on the Internet, and, if they do not have such cyber-access to the information in this dictionary's "Reference Supplement", they can find information of the kind readily and more appropriately in printed almanacs, in other books of "vade mecum" nature, in gazetteers or atlases, and in single-volume and larger multi-volume cyclopaedic generalist reference works. At least a few such handy works, anyhow, most households really should have within easy reach. If, to continue to augment the inclusion of new words in the dictionary and yet to remain reasonably within the confines of a single volume work, the editors of Webster's New World College Dictionary, in eventual subsequent editions, were to drop entries for most of the names (of persons, places, and the like), in order to opt for still larger inclusion of vocabulary, that would be a wise choice, even if it would be rather counter to what coverage in collegiate dictionaries has tended to be over the years. For now, name entries still appear in the Fifth Edition, so be not alarmed, those who like to have them!

There had been forerunners of the supremely fine Webster's New World Dictionary under the same title, published decades before the 1950s, under the imprint of World Publishers, but those earlier ones did not so deserve to be considered the first edition (which seems to have gone through printings from 1953 to 1968 or so, of which the one that I first obtained was the 1964 printing), the famed Second Edition, completely revised, appearing in 1970. I have acquired and used every edition of this dictionary, right up to and including the Fourth and now the Fifth Editions. There had been, years ago, before any of the College Editions were shortly to begin to appear, a more complete, two-volume "Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language", published in 1951, but I never have encountered any later multiple-volume edition of the work. I have retained each much-loved, well-used College Edition, keeping them in various rooms of my house, along with some other favoured dictionaries, for ready resort near desks, tables, or armchairs where I most often read or write.

An interesting feature, by the way, of the Second College Edition, at least of the sturdy "Special School Printing" of it which I own, is a flexi-disc (33.3 r.p.m., 7 in.) included with it that bears the title upon it, "New World Phonoguide: an Audio Supplement to the Pronunciation Guide and Phonetic Symbols" which could be of considerable help to users for whom English is a second (third, etc.) language. I have not seen this helpful disc in other editions of this dictionary as I own copies of them. As for the fourth college edition, one or some printing(s) of it come(s) with an accompanying CD-ROM.

Each edition of the Webster's New World Dictionary has improved on the one that preceded it and one can make a good case especially for any of the Third to Fifth Editions as the one preferred for reasons of content or of sheer attractive format, ease, and presentation (the Third Edition being particularly fine in those regards, remaining quite a viable option to choice over the somewhat more austerely cramped pages of the Fifth Edition). Alas, for some dictionaries, decline, rather than consistently genuine improvement, can set in with their later editions. That is so very notably in the case of those benighted "Collegiate" dictionaries from Merriam-Webster, which fell from grace when they began to be based on the excessively permissive Webster's THIRD New International Dictionary (the unabridged dictionary from Merriam-Webster, which had displaced the rock-solid and far more trustworthy Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged SECOND Edition), Earlier and better Merriam-Webster's "Collegiate" dictionary editions formerly and more happily had been based, to such good effect, on the Unabridged Second Edition, which had guaranteed a solid foundation. Similar decay also has beset numerous other dictionaries which have not undergone wise or sufficient revision, leading to the lessening of quality or of reliability as later editions appear, when compared to former ones.

The most admirable (of many good) qualities of the Webster's New World Dictionary is the sane approach to matters of word usage; while this dictionary is "prescriptive" in indicating what pronunciations and definitions are normative, it does give alternate ones that are common but less "proper", so far as American usage is concerned. It includes an healthy amount of words of informal English and slang; unlike the too prim-and-proper Funk and Wagnall dictionaries or the American Heritage Dictionary, both quite fine but rather too staid, the Webster's New World Dictionary does not exclude such words and locutions of less-then-high-pedigree from the lexicon, but, rather, admits them while it very helpfully indicates their level of English usage admissibility or unacceptability for inclusion in formal writing or speaking. Each subsequent edition of the Webster's New World Dictionary, too, has undergone a thorough updating to add new words, technical or otherwise, to the vocabulary of the language.

A single, general-purpose college or desk-reference dictionary, even so admirably aimed at sophisticated adult level as the Webster's New World College Dictionary is, will not suffice to fulfil all requirements. For one thing, a truly unabridged dictionary, usually multi-volume, is good to have around for exceptional needs; I have several such dictionaries, of which, among them, I particularly commend "The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged", Second Edition, in one humongous and heavily oversized volume (of xlii, 2478, 32 p.). Also, of dictionaries of solid but modestly single-volume scope, one or a few dictionaries which correspond(s) to Commonwealth usage is (or are) important for non-American readers to possess and to use. Being here in Canada, I tend most to rely upon British dictionaries for spelling (especially Cassell's, Chamber's, and Harrap's fine recent editions of their respective dictionaries) and on specifically Canadian dictionaries (most notably the impeccable Gage dictionaries) for pronunciation or for peculiarly Canadian use and origin, but for definitions, I always have preferred the best American dictionaries, especially the various editions of Webster's New World Dictionary.

The Amazon buyer cannot go wrong in purchasing any variant of the Webster's New World Dictionary. If he cannot afford or find the latest edition, any of the previous "college" editions is quite suitable and reliable for everyday use. Go for it!

Nos 18 Ans
Nos 18 Ans
DVD ~ Théo Frilet
Offered by VHS & Beta Rare Movies
Price: CDN$ 12.00
3 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Bracingly Fresh Romantic Comedy of Youth Coming to Age in France, Oct. 17 2014
This review is from: Nos 18 Ans (DVD)
This endearing romantic comedy, "Nos 18 ans" (known in English, to the extent that it is at all, as "School's out"), has a lot of charm, obviously for young audiences. It is so well conceived (as based on a prior Italian movie), written, directed, and acted, with superior camera work, that more mature audiences, too, who surely will forgive these youths their coltish indiscretions, will enjoy it as well.

The story, set in France but, refreshingly, not in Paris, centres upon Lucas (played by Théo Frilet, a lad of lushly beautiful good looks) who insults and cusses out his professor, dour, strict, seemingly humourless Monsieur Martineau, on the last day of school, only to find out that he is going to have to face oral exams with none other, unexpectedly, than Prof. Martineau himself! Not surprisingly, gloom ensues in Lucas' mind.

It gives away nothing, since this turn of circumstances is mentioned on the DVD container's very container and is obvious early on in the movie, that the girl with whom Lucas falls hopelessly and deliriously in love is none other than Prof. Martieau's very attractive daughter, Clémence, a role taken by Valentine Catzéflis, who rather resembles the young Brooke Shields, but who really is prettier and more personable than that. The professor realises the boy's predicament much sooner than Lucas does, which makes for some wryly amusing scenes between the two. At film's end, Lucas, Prof. Martineau, and Clémence come out happily reunited and reconciled with the young pair's prospects (and Lucas passes his oral ordeal).

There are other youthful couples, too, whose frisky adventures figure into this delightful motion picture. Arthur Dupont plays the part of Maxime, one of Lucas' school mates. Maxime is a handsome young dude with more sex drive even than the other teenage males among Lucas' friends, one who has one wonderfully comic turn following upon another. The brashly saucy lad's raging hormones propel him not only into impregnating his girlfriend, but also into having a torrid affair, as well, with her underage sister. Maxime is all importuningly sad-beagle-puppy-dog-faced contrition, to hilariously heart-tugging effect, as he pleads with, and at last wins the pardon of, the sister of his own age. Dupont, the highly gifted actor who assumes that role, making the most of every comical opportunity which it affords, is perhaps more famous for having played the seductively good-looking but scandalously perverse bisexual rock musician who mixes things up to violent effect in a more celebrated film, "One to Another". Here in "Nos 18 ans", Dupont delivers first class comic acting, fully realising Maxime's capacity to amuse the viewer and also to excite sympathy for the young man's plight.

The dialogue is in French, with English subtitles. "Nos 18 ans" (T.V.A. Films TVA-00533 being the edition viewed) is one youth culture film (French youth culture, all to the better!) which should appeal to a wide and varied audience.

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