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Monster
Monster
DVD ~ Charlize Theron
Offered by PaperbackshopCA
Price: CDN$ 6.56
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Theron's Oscar Was Well Deserved, July 11 2004
This review is from: Monster (DVD)
Ugly and uncomfortable to watch, "Monster" is the first true crime movie since "Dead Man Walking" to leave me feeling utterly broken inside. Aileen Wuornos was a sad and pathetic creature whose past made her into what she became and Charlize Theron brings every complex dimension of her completely to life again in this film. It wasn't just the makeup and added pounds that made Theron into Wuornos but her uncannily accurate portrayal of the woman who was lost between the horror of her personal life and the dreams she had to be somebody more than her circumstances dictated. Theron almost seems to be inhabited by the soul of Aileen Wuornos with every word, body movement and tormented and crazed wide-eyed look. Her performance certainly deserved the Best Actress Oscar for this role and possibly of the decade. The music by BT adds another suitably eerie dimension to the film but it is really Theron's performance of the wonderful screenplay that makes this a 5-star film.
There's really not any gore to speak of, but the raw and bottom-line truth of Wuornos' life is what makes the story nearly unpalatable. Guaranteed, this movie will sicken, frighten, sadden and make you squirm. If it doesn't, you should check to see if you still have a pulse. Undoubtedly not for the faint of heart but if you do see it be prepared for an unparalleled ride.

Eighteen, No Time To Waste
Eighteen, No Time To Waste
by Margaret Johnson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A True Inspiration, April 24 2004
I first read this book 25 years ago and it profoundly changed my life and my view of life. Already a Christian when I first read it, I was deeply touched by the story of Kathy & Margaret Johnson and Kathy's short but profound life. The book is a timeless tale of conflict between mother and teenaged daughter, the battle for holding on to what is dear and letting go. It speaks to understanding yet still not understanding that God is in control and His will is paramount. It also teaches that life on this earth can be so short and making the most of each moment as a follower of Christ is so important.
I recommend this book to parents and teens alike and challenge you to read it only once. I think you will want to read it again and again!

Chicago II (Remastered Repackaged) [Bonus Tracks]
Chicago II (Remastered Repackaged) [Bonus Tracks]
Price: CDN$ 10.20
36 used & new from CDN$ 6.27

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is that guy...????, March 2 2004
Oh brother - someone who wants to review an album but obviously has tin ears and no sense of real taste! (Exactly who is Thomas F. Redmond and why would he want to review an album by a band he doesn't like???)
Anyway,this is my favorite Chicago album of all time - and I'm not going to go on and on about every inch of it but I do believe that there are a few things here worth mentioning.
#1 - 25 or 6 to 4. Who can deny this is one of the biggest classics of the early 70's??
#2 - Wake Up Sunshine & Make Me Smile. Really takes off with The late Terry Kath's Joe Cocker-like vocals. Wonderful get up and feel good in the morning songs. (I remember playing these former three in high-school band as a medley - I played drums...too cool!)
#3 - Colour My World. Aside from "We've Only Just Begun, wedding song of the decade. Terry Kath's gruff voice actually make is beautiful.
#4 - In The Country. Another Terry Kath vocal number and just cool. Rocks but not too rock-y - keeps the jazz in "jazz-rock".
There you have it. All the tracks are fab but again - This Chicago album is not for pop-only ears. You will find something new instrumentally every time you listen. Timeless and Classic.
'Nuf said.

Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago Transit Authority
Price: CDN$ 9.96
38 used & new from CDN$ 3.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Not A Pop Classic..., March 2 2004
I'm not going to go into the long list of adjectives used by previous reviewers (and what I deem to be 60's/70's music SNOBS). UNDOUBTEDLY this is one of the best albums to come out of the late 60's when the summer of love was over and the decade of schlocky music was just beginning. Yes, Chicago did get more commercial with later albums but they were still the only band that had the guts to stick with their jazz roots and combine it with rock. And to me, that still makes them the greatest band of the 70's.
The CTA album has no bad moments but is not for ears who don't want to hear an opus. There is a story told by the songwriters and that is (to coin a phrase by a popular 80's band) "we're not gonna take it anymore!!!" The country was still reeleing from the deaths of RFK & MLK and saw the Manson family do their thing in August of '69. Tired of Vietnam, Nixon, and his hawk pals, CTA gives three of it's most haunting tracks (10, 11, 12) teeth when it combines rioting chants at the '68 Chicago political convention and their free-form style guitar (Terry Kath & his Fender Telecaster with plenty of wonderful feedback) and then closing with track 12 - Liberation. These were violent and tumultuous times and this album reaches right down into the muck and pulls out something worth remembering & bittersweet.
My personal favorite track is Questions 67 & 68 (what about the other 66 questions I always wondered?) and was a chart favorite at the time.
Love 'em or hate 'em, Chicago of CTA & the 70's did what other horn bands did not: create a classic,quality sound that will last forever.
(**SIDE NOTE** MY OTHER FAVORITE CHICAGO ALBUMS OF ALL TIME: CHICAGO II, IV [LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL], V, VI, VII, XVII)

Flight of the Intruder (Bilingual)
Flight of the Intruder (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Danny Glover
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 51.81
11 used & new from CDN$ 3.16

3.0 out of 5 stars Good Action, Some Truth, Jan. 21 2004
Because my dad was a A-6 Bombadier/Navigator in Vietnam, I have a bias regarding this movie. It is highly entertaining and action-packed, however, the truth of the story lies somewhere in the middle and there's not much of it in this screenplay.
I'm sure that many of the Navy's aviators in Vietnam grew weary of hitting "suspected" truck parks, oil refineries and missle sites, but I have yet to hear tales from my dad or his buddies about anyone who decided to fight their own war and fly through downtown Hanoi in order to destroy a SAM (surface-to-air missle) storage area all on their own.
Guys got shot down alot during the war, yes, but they were mostly Air Force guys (that's meant to be a dig!), and rarely a Navy A-6. In this movie, we see several from one squadron on the same cruise go down. Not too realistic. The quickly referred to "Operation Linebacker" was a real mission (proud to say that my dad was in the first plane over N Vietnam on that mission) and followed up by Linebacker II later on. It was not, however, inspired because of what the two lead characters in this movie did.
The flying is pretty realistic though and it is nice to see the not-as-sexy-as-a-fighter-jet Grumman A-6 Intruder in a movie; I give it three stars for that. Still...I would rather listen to real bomber pilots and b/n's relate their adventures in 'Nam and aboard ship.
If you want a real Vietnam movie, stick with "Apocalypse Now", "Full Metal Jacket" and "Platoon".

Boys Don't Cry (Widescreen) [Import]
Boys Don't Cry (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Hilary Swank
Offered by moviemars-canada
Price: CDN$ 6.41
39 used & new from CDN$ 2.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Watch It Over & Over Again, Jan. 21 2004
This is a very important movie and I recommend it to anyone (over 18 only because of the violence and sexuality).
The true story of Teena Brandon, "Boys Don't Cry" will make you sick, sad, and intrigued at the same time. Having grown up in a small rural town full of tunnel-visioned people, I can relate with the movie from the stand point of being different and sticking out like a sore thumb.
Yes, this film has been "Hollywood-ized", but the true story it is based upon has been told without apology or disclaimer. Because it is an independent film, it doesn't have the big-budget look, and it really doesn't need it. The story gets told honestly, and with a story like this, it wouldn't have been right any other way.
Hillary Swank deserved her Oscar for this, and you will believe her portrayal of a woman trying her darndest to be a guy. Many times, I forgot that she was a woman, but not in a campy, impersonator-type way. She looks like a young, baby-faced boy/man, and has the mannerisms, look, and lingo down.
This is a tragic tale and Teena Brandon was definitely a messed-up individual, however, her gender-identity really takes a back seat to her up-bringing, her choice of friends, her habitual lying, and troubles with the law. Because of the combination, she is ignored by her family and the legal-system; the two entities anyone should be been able to count on. In the end, these are the things that kill her - the two morons who pull the trigger are just the vehicle. Still, you will end up hating the killers and see their backwards, red-necked male-macho baloney for what it is way before the movie heats up.
This is more than just a transgender movie, it is a complex tale that includes a cast of characters you have probably known once or twice in your life. And that, hopefully, will make you think about and compel you to see this movie more than once. It's message deserves that you do.

Desert Hearts (Widescreen)
Desert Hearts (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Helen Shaver
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 56.85
8 used & new from CDN$ 11.97

4.0 out of 5 stars This One Started It All.., Jan. 21 2004
This review is from: Desert Hearts (Widescreen) (DVD)
Before Ellen, kd lang, and Chastity Bono came out, there was this Lesbian genre classic, and classily done, I might add.
The storyline was unique to movies at the time it was filmed, but the story is not. Anyone who has been in love with a supposed "straight" person, knows how real this movie can seem. The flirtation, the backing away, the come-hither looks, and finally the conquest all will bring back good (and painful) memories. In my opinion, the lesbian love scene between the two female leads is still the best yet on film - it sizzles without being too graphic.
I'm giving it only 4 stars because the acting is a little stilted at times (mostly from the star Patricia Charbonneau and her former on-screen love interest Dean Butler). If you can overlook that, and see the movie for what it was (lesbian/gay history) and what it is today (a great love story), you will enjoy it. The clothes, music, sets, (and the hair-dos!) are great and correct for the period.
Sit back, enjoy, and make sure your girlfriend is watching with you!

That Thing You Do (Widescreen)
That Thing You Do (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by boutiquecinemaniac,com
Price: CDN$ 29.95
11 used & new from CDN$ 14.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Underrated, Jan. 19 2004
I LOVED THIS MOVIE! As a child of the 60s and a musician, I loved this movie from the first few minutes of it. The sets, the clothes, the music, and everything down to the small details is represented here to give a true feel for what the early to mid sixties were like, minus the politics and Vietnam.
Before radio music became a commercially diluted and corporate industry there were "garage-bands" galore and many of the little-remembered names of the genre started out as such. The Wonders in "That Thing You Do!" could easily be a number of bands that were a one-hit-wonder (or two or three) and then just disappeared from the scene. Nevertheless, they all helped shape some of the best music of that era, and Tom Hanks perfectly represents that phenomena in this movie.
If you remember the early 60's fondly, you should truly enjoy this film and it will probably bring back fond memories. The depiction of Erie, PA during this timeframe is probably representative of many small to medium size American towns and certainly brought back great memories for me of better times gone by.
The music rocks, the dialogue is hip, and the love story rounds it out perfectly.
Buy this movie and then by the CD soundtrack; you won't be sorry!
(**TRIVIA: another Tom Hanks produced movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", has a "That Thing You Do!" song played during the wedding reception - do you know which one?**)

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