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One singular sensation... "One singular sensation..." (Toronto, Canada)

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Billion Dollar Baby
Billion Dollar Baby
Price: CDN$ 22.85
7 used & new from CDN$ 14.09

3.0 out of 5 stars On Sale, this century only, $1,000.00, Nov. 13 2014
Ce commentaire est de: Billion Dollar Baby (Audio CD)
Time does strange things to some Broadway shows. A few become better and better as time goes on, and not only because our memories fade of all that was wrong with them. Some, on the other hand, head for the dungeon of musical despair and the mere mention of them is enough to curse one for life. "Billion Dollar Baby" falls somewhere in between, though it would tend toward the latter if not for Kristin Chenoweth who manages not only to keep her head above water while those about her, try as they might to give their all, go down to the depths of musical mire, but also to give a wickedly clever interpretation of her character in her singing.

The lyrics are by Comden and Greene, at the beginning of their association, and just before "On the Town" bounced onto Broadway. "Town" had Leonard Bernstein, not always a guarrantee of success, whereas "Baby" had Morton Gould, who, though a fine composer in the right element, had little emotional connection with the music of a Broadway show. Sadly, for our times at least, it is the dullness of the score that drags this show down more than anything else. It might have been better when first produced, but Broadway has come so far that ten years after this show opened, it was already dreadfully dated.

But for Chenoweth fans - and those who are not should be whipped in public - just once and with an olive branch - this is a CD to add to your collection to give a solid picture of the range of the lady's considerable vocal and performance talents.

Kittys Kisses
Kittys Kisses
Price: CDN$ 21.07
15 used & new from CDN$ 14.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Cotton candy has never tasted better, Nov. 13 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Ce commentaire est de: Kittys Kisses (Audio CD)
It is nice to have one of the old shows on CD, and though the songs are pleasant enough, a little too much fluff, perhaps, it is the singers that make this a CD that one simply has to own. Each listening will be better than the wonderful first time you sit down and let it wash over you.

Rebecca Luker, a goddess, Kate Baldwin, a genius with a song, and Philip Chaffin, the best male voice out there - and others who are almost as good, but these three are the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top all rolled in one. If you haven't heard Chaffin, you've missed one of music's greatest pleasures. And Luker, listen to her and you'll keep falling in love with her again and again. Kate Baldwin is the sweetest siren Broadway has to offer.

The show is solid from start to finish, but, oh, if there was only one song that touched both the heart and the mind. Kern could have done it. So could Porter. Or Hart. Or Fielding.

The only other review here was a little disturbed by the ending. So we go to Rogers and Astaire - and I'm not sure we do - so what? It just adds an unexpected element of sugar to the candy floss.

House of Cards: The Complete Second Season (Bilingual)
House of Cards: The Complete Second Season (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kevin Spacey
Price: CDN$ 27.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The same thing we do every night, plot to take over the world", Nov. 12 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
The first season was great. The second season was even better. Now what can they do with the third season exept have Pinky (Spacey) and The Brain (Wright) take over the, they're too smart for that...or are they? Ah, hubris has got to get them; they can't blow up Congress and get away with it - can they?

Or perhaps this is a modern Macbeth and Lady Macbeth story, but one in which she'll drive him mad, and fail in her attempt to seduce the entire Supreme Court in one evening.

The possibilities are endless.

But if you liked season one, you'll love season two, which begins with a much bigger 'bang' than season one ended on. A fun ride all the way.

American Hustle [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
American Hustle [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Christian Bale
Price: CDN$ 12.49
10 used & new from CDN$ 10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devious, diabolical and great fun., Nov. 12 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
If you don't know the plot by now, don't expect me to give anything away. But rush out and get a copy and sit back and enjoy when a group of extremely talented people do something extremely clever with style and pinache.
There is not a weak moment in the movie, except that it could have gone on longer and longer. The cast is wonderful. Christian Bale keeps amazing me with the range of his performances. The characters are adult, and don't have to prove it by swearing constantly (TWOWS), which means that it is a skillfully, brilliantly written film.
I just wonder how long before and how, they will make a Broadway musical out of it!

A wise movie to add to your collection; it will never gather dust on a shelf.

Meet Me in St. Louis
Meet Me in St. Louis
Price: CDN$ 22.07
28 used & new from CDN$ 10.91

3.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you just shouldn't mess with perfection., Nov. 12 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Ce commentaire est de: Meet Me in St. Louis (Audio CD)
The Broadway Cast of "Meet My in St. Louis" does try, oh, does it try, but it can't hope to match a Judy Garland film when she was at the top of her game. On stage it was not so noticeable, but it was there, that the Esther-John romance was not going to be at the centre of the production. But there were few Margaret O'Brien's around when they cast this show, so that the "main character" as Garland saw it, faded badly. Which meant that we got more of the parents, and, something to be grateful for, Betty Garrett added as the cook! Garrett was great on stage, and her two numbers are the highlights of the recording now...though the old standards are all done well enough and no one disgraces him-or-herself.

If you like collecting Broadway casts, this isn't a bad one to own, but Garland is still the owner of this show.

Eight Classic Albums (4CD)
Eight Classic Albums (4CD)
Price: CDN$ 31.60
20 used & new from CDN$ 8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars The Lady was No Tramp, Nov. 12 2014
Ce commentaire est de: Eight Classic Albums (4CD) (Audio CD)
Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, and Vic Damone were the three singers of his time whom Frank Sinatra considered the very best in the business. He was right. They were unlike one another, but each superb in his or her way.

This collection picks up Lena Horne's career in the fifties, when some of the numbers were throwaways, but some were classics. As the Lps proceed, they get better and better as the fluff and songs thrust at Miss Horne give way to songs that she made distinctively hers and provided us all with a superb collection of musical moments that we can cherish now.

By all means, add this to your collection. You even get Harry Belafonte thrown in with a collection of songs from "Porgy and Bess", that makes the recent Broadway revival a clearly sorry mess.

Life of Pi / L'histoire de Pi (Bilingual)
Life of Pi / L'histoire de Pi (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Suraj Sharma
Price: CDN$ 6.49
10 used & new from CDN$ 1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars it is one of the best filmed movies to come our way, Oct. 16 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
I find it difficult to review this film as there are so many magnificent aspects, and too many stumbles. Technically, it is one of the best filmed movies to come our way. As "Pushing Daisies" was technically the best television in decades - look at it for clarity and colour, sharpness in the details even if it is a comedy - the boundaries of visual excellence were shattered with this series. So with "Pi". But it aims to be more than just a film, and there it collapses, even though it has a brilliant director and a reasonable cast. The writing attempts to be on three levels, and simply cannot juggle the physical plot - making it into a fable too often. The religious overtones, and they are stronger than that if you watch the movie a few times, and in conflict with one another because there was deliberately no decision made as to what the movie meant on that level that translated to the screen. And in between if the story and the struggle with this life and the nextthat the main character experiences. That shoots for the simplest which means that it leaves a vacuum in the movie.
I gave the film four stars because it does start out with such promise. But by the end it truly does not deserve that high a rating. It tries to do too much, and loses its way on all levels.
The best way to watch it is to let the visual experience wash over you and make no attempt to reconcile the subtle slips that keep it from being a great film, though that was clearly intended.

Penny Dreadful: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
Penny Dreadful: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Josh Hartnett
Price: CDN$ 36.97
2 used & new from CDN$ 36.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun in the Horror House, Oct. 16 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
Now how did they miss Sweeney Todd? Probably waiting to give an extra edge to Season Two.
On paper this show simply should not work. In fact, on paper, it probably reads as a mediocre satire.
But it does work, First it has a leading lady who seems to have no limits as an actress - from angelic heroines to the most depraved of villainesses all brought vividly to life. Harnett is about the weakest of the men, which means that they are all very good. The atmosphere is perfection - shivers by the minute, and nervous laughter in between.
I'm just waiting to see which one of them ends up in Bedlam and the horrors therein. Even in fiction, none of them do, but this series spins its own dreadful plot twists - poor Oliver may end up as the 'more' to serve the rich gentlemen.
All in all, a fun ride through the House of Horrors.
Bring on Varney!

Blood on the Water: A William Monk Novel
Blood on the Water: A William Monk Novel
by Anne Perry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.44
29 used & new from CDN$ 17.46

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And a lot of blood in the water, too!, Oct. 14 2014
Achat vérifié(Quest-ce que cest?)
It took a little while for the last Anne Perry novel to get undwerway, but it was worth it. This novel, on the other hand, starts with a bang and just keeps going. One of Perry's best ever. Monk and Hester have never been more fascinating.
To say much more would possibly spoil some of the twists and turns this novel takes, but even if you've read all her books and think you know all the tricks she is up to as an author, this one will astound.
Very highly recommended, even for those who have never read an Anne Perry novel before. Now, if only the BBC would start filming her books....but where would you find a Hester like the one Perry has created? Or Monk, the man of mystery even to himself.

House of Cards: Season 2
House of Cards: Season 2
Price: CDN$ 21.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 17.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Would you like one knife in your back, or two?, Oct. 14 2014
Ce commentaire est de: House of Cards: Season 2 (Audio CD)
Spoiler Semi-Alert - take a Valium before watching the first show of this season.
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth can get in the back seat - these two are enough to make you distrust the entire human race!
And wonder whose going to end up in the meat grinder next.
Fantastic season, better than even Season One which was terrific. Probably Spacey's best performance ever, and Robin Wright is brilliant in one of the most multi-complex characters ever to drift menacingly across our television screens.
If you want tension, betrayal, lust, duplicity, and all the fun and deadly games that politics, business, and daily life can hold, this is your cuppa great tea....just have a food taster nearby. Highly recommended.

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