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One singular sensation... "One singular sensation..." (Toronto, Canada)
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Sherlock: The Abominable Bride [Blu-ray]
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: CDN$ 27.99
13 used & new from CDN$ 23.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Dismal bride, magnificent Holmes and Watson!, Jan. 27 2016
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This is a marvellous addition to the Holmes series. I love it because it allows us to see and understand Holmes and Watson as far more complex and fascinating characters than the modern version does. Until this DVD, I considered Jeremy Brett's Holmes to be the best available - and it is still a great collection of Holmesian fiction. Here, Cumberbatch shows that he is definitely one of the best actors working at this time. Martin Freeman seems to almost always be overlooked by the critics but he is a solid actor providing a base for most of Holmes' work.
As to the plot: Well, most Holmes' fans will be able to work this one out after about ten minutes. But it is done well. Yet we have seen these twists before. Even the title gives too much away.
But if you like, or love Holmes as I do, this is an essential DVD to add to your collection.

Magic Mike XXL [Blu-ray + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
Magic Mike XXL [Blu-ray + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Channing Tatum
Price: CDN$ 14.99
7 used & new from CDN$ 10.50

2.0 out of 5 stars It isn't even good enough for a bad joke, Jan. 18 2016
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I bought this as a joke for a friend. It isn't even good enough for a bad joke. The cast must have done it for the money, and the writers were clearly paid only with peanuts. And Matt Bomer may have simply tossed away his career. Can "American Horror Story" save him? I doubt it for he only has one scene that requires a little true acting there. Here, yes, he is Ken, and nothing else. And the rest of the cast, excluding Tatum, may survive, dubious, because nobody knows w oe cares who they are anyway. Sorry, but the only trick here is pulling a dead movie out of a battered g-string.

Corridors of the Night: A William Monk Novel
Corridors of the Night: A William Monk Novel
by Anne Perry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.50
30 used & new from CDN$ 13.48

3.0 out of 5 stars Something terrible has happened, Jan. 18 2016
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Something terrible has happened. Tis a mystery far beyond this froth. Anne Perry has lost her ability to write a good murder or suspense novel. Her last three have all been dull and predictable. The ending is obvious from the first thirty pages and nothing but the obvious lies ahead, and it is boring. Hester, boring?!?! It can't be, but sadly it is. And Monk has lost all his strength and is a poor lost soul wandering about in the London fog. Monk? True, Monk. One might have expected this of her other series where Charlotte is dishwater of late, but there has been so much created within Hester and Monk that this is almost a novel written by an imposter. The first half, to be fair, has some elements of mystery, suspense, but then comes the second half, really a different plot, and the whole thing runs downhill into the Thames' dirtiest waters, though figuratively. Had it been literal the novel might have gone somewhere worth going. Take away the last three novels, and Perry has a nice collection awaiting the reader. But this is the third nail in her career's coffin. Miss Perry, reread some of your earlier books, not for ideas, but the remember the great characters you have created and now seem determined to toss aside for cute urchins, and with Monk and Rathbone, create two male characters who seem to do nothing else but flagellate themselves for past errors, and then realize that it wasn't their fault, sort of, maybe, until no one cares.

The Sound Of Music
The Sound Of Music
Price: CDN$ 14.13
33 used & new from CDN$ 4.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Only Rebecca Luker could give this 'war horse' such genuine emotion and joy., Jan. 18 2016
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This review is from: The Sound Of Music (Audio CD)
Mary Martin, too old and too understated. Julia Andrews, too sweet. Rebecca Luker, just right for Maria. This is also the most complete recording of the score that you are likely to encounter, at least to date. And how wonderful to hear the songs that Fox cut out of the score, including, essentially, the subplot. Oh, Eleanor Parker was there, but they used that gifted actor as wallpaper. But now her character is fleshed out as it was intended to be. Back to Luker....wonderous, marvellous, sensationalistic, not a wrong note and each word carrying the meanings of Hammerstein's lyrics as no other lady has managed to do. This CD is one I avoided buying for some time because the Broadway revival - this cast - had the ugliest costumes of any Broadway show that I have ever seen. I believe that most of them came from the rejects from the thrift stores, especially Maria's costumes. I thought the plot gave her the ability to sew; on stage she must have sewn them all with her right hand tied above her head. But here, on the CD, who cares about costumes? The voices are all perfection. The Mother Abbess may seem a little light for those used to the Wagnerian singers the role has been given to. But, here, her voice links her to Maria and adds an essential depth to the plot. The captain, too, is neither tyrant to adults, nor especially to children. If one doesn't know their history, there might be some loss of suspense as to whether he also will believe that "There's No Way To Stop It" ( what a merry tune for the death squads.) But we know he will not capitulate, so let him be more loveable and decent. All in all, a perfect production, masterfully recorded.

TCM Greatest Classic Films: That's Entertainment [Import]
TCM Greatest Classic Films: That's Entertainment [Import]
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 10.99
14 used & new from CDN$ 10.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The clips are fine, either moments from movies that have long since ..., Dec 19 2015
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This set replaced the old VHS tapes that I had, and takes up so much less space. What a bonus. The clips are fine, either moments from movies that have long since faded into oblivion - Elizabeth Taylor in "Cynthia" or ones that will never fade away - Kelly, Astaire, some of Garland, June Allyson. In a few cases, though the clips are good, the entire piece isn't there andit is like hearding a minute out of an aria - a teaser but also a tormenter. By all means, if you love musicals, and have not this MGM series, but this. You will not regret it, even if disc four, That's Dancing, is a bit of a let down.

Deep in My Heart [Region 1]
Deep in My Heart [Region 1]
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 20.13
15 used & new from CDN$ 20.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Charisse, but only in the morning. She tired easily., Dec 17 2015
This came as part of a set of MGM pictures that I purchased. I had some fond memories of it, and quite a few moments where I cringed. There is even one number that covered both bases. To begin with, for once Vic Damone was not a singer tossed in for Jane Powell to croon about. His "Road to Paradise" is enchanting. Jane Powell's costume is, too, and her duet with Damone on 'Will You Remember?" is quite nice and hearkens back to "Rich, Young and Pretty" where they were treated as equals....more or less. Ann Miller's "It" is from "The Desert Song" - how did MGM get that one wrong - and it almost never included in a production of that show because it simply doesn't belong there, or in any Stromberg show. But Annie is, as she always was, fantastic. No wonder Eleanor Powell retired, and too bad after "Kiss Me Kate" that MGM never tried to make a major star of Ms Miller. Howard Keel survived her in that film, but Kathryn Grayson became wallpaper, a fate to often befall her from this point on. The single other magic moment was"One Alone" danced by Cyd Charisse and James Mitchell. It made on wonder why they were never put together for at least one number in "The Bandwagon". Mitchell was fire and smoke, seething sensuality, and Charisse, well, she was never better, not even with Fred Astaire. A film clip of that number from "Deep in My Heart" is enough to make one's temperature rise at least ten degrees. Which means that Charisse did the most sensual dance at MGM, and in "The Bandwagon" did the most romantic with 'Dancing in the Dark" - watch that one with someone you love and see how long you can keeping watching "Dancing..." instead of turning it off and letting the inner romantic in you get loose.

Then there is the cringe and laugh moment when Jose Ferrer acts and sings his way through an entire Broadway musical in six minutes that would make the Marx Brothers proud, and very, very jealous.

The essential problem here was that by the time MGM got around to this artificial biography, they had already scrapped the contracts of so many of their musical stars that they really only had this handful left to make use of. We do get Gene Kelly, briefly, and Rosemary Clooney even more briefly. But the MGM star power was pretty well shredded by this point. Howard Keel is unfortunately there with the dullest song even more dully presented, and Tony Martin gets his moment, but the other 'stars' are has-beens or 'wanna-bes' who never were. Considering all that, MGM did well enough to get about twenty minutes of superb film within the close to two hour movie. Had the film been made six years earlier it might have been one of the great MGM musicals. But with an indifferent director, and a very small pool of talent, MGM was doomed from the start. And that's not even including the most stupid head office any studio ever had to deal with.

The Merry Widow (DVD)
The Merry Widow (DVD)
DVD ~ Renee Fleming
Price: CDN$ 18.99
28 used & new from CDN$ 17.64

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Run for the hills, Ma. Them opera folks is comin' to wreck another show!, Dec 17 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Merry Widow (DVD) (DVD)
This is no one's finest hour, not by a very long shot. In fact, there is nothing here to praise. If this is what Susan Stroman, once a brilliant choreographer can produce, please never let her near another musical. The costumes are, by turn, silly, overdone, wrong-headed, unflattering,garish, muddled, and a total waste of ugly cloth. The sets must have been designed by a blind man. Act Three is the worst - a total waste of time and paint. Renee Fleming, the divine Miss Fleming, is miscast, or perhaps this was simply a bad night for her. So bad that it should never have been taped.And so bad that I shall never buy another CD or DVD with her as the magic is gone. Each song is given a little dance at the end, pathetically done, but to get the audience to applaud as the singing won't. Lord almighty- if you are going to have dance, give some choreography beyond merely swirling about and displaying those dreadful costumes, Act Two's is almost as bad as Act One's. Nathan Gunn is a Danilo not to set hearts aflutter but to remind us all of age, or halloween. Why did he accept such a role and such an insipid direction? Kelli O'Hara should at once sue everyone who managed to make her look like the oldest woman in the play. She is dressed abominably, staged atrociously, and one can only hope that a good dose of her in "The King and I" might have erased some of the grim things done to sabotage her here. Alek Shrader comes off best because they simply ignore him and let him wander in the scenery only to emerge now and then for his duets and solo - lucky man. The chorus girls don't really dance, and that is the worst can-can I have ever seen, and it goes on....and on....and on.To make room for it, musical number are gone or reduced to fragments of themselves.As to the book, the subplot is more interesting than the main plot, perhaps the reason why the subplot is generally removed totally and a better book placed into the show. What is is depressingly juvenile...no, worse than that. Or try the Thomas Hampson CD's - a Danilo any woman would set her cap for.
Do yourself a favour, buy the Fernando Lamas-Lana Turner film. Yes, this production is so bad that the MGM movie looks good. Of course, for the most fun, go for Jeannette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. But avoid this effort to destroy the bits of charm that the original operetta possessed.
Two stars instead of one, or none, not being possible? I love Kelli O'Hara and my heart bleeds for her in this dismal unmusical musical, and the way she has been turned into a parody of a human being.

Mad Max: Fury Road [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
Mad Max: Fury Road [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Tom Hardy
Price: CDN$ 19.99
4 used & new from CDN$ 18.45

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charize Theron is the best action hero women have been able to play in ..., Dec 11 2015
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This is about the most exciting action film ever made. First, Charize Theron is the best action hero women have been able to play in films - sorry, Ripley but you're in second place. And Theron does it with such bravado, power, class. In this film she could wipe out twelve Arnies within a minute and slug down six ounces of fine single malt Scotch to await the arrival of twelve more. And she does one hell of a great job acting her part, and not merely holding the movie together but elevating it beyond anything else this year. Next Tom Hardy, who because of the character's background, is, at times, almost impossible to recognize. But he's a finely skilled actor and gives an outstanding performance. One might call it brilliant, but not quite, since Theron would still have to ranked higher.
If you think of this as just another in the old Australian series of 'Mad Max', you couldn't be more wrong. This is a whole new take on the concept, well written to go deeper into the issues, and create complex and intriguing characters. It will mean that sometning is fixed in the voting if this picture is not nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. Yes, it truly is that good.
Buy it, grab the popcorn, and buckle yourself into your couch for a thrill ride like you've never been on before.

No One Ever Tells You
No One Ever Tells You
Price: CDN$ 12.99
32 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is not that he has the greatest voice, but that MacFarlane knows how to use ..., Dec 11 2015
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This review is from: No One Ever Tells You (Audio CD)
Frank Sinatra would be jealous - even the cover photo, which so well captures the mood of the CD, is what Capital Records tried so hard to create for Sinatra's albums. BUT, what is important, is that MacFarlane is darn close to what Sinatra was, without the improvisation and changing of lyrics to 'jazz' them up. The songs are probably exactly what was intended by their creators, but they probably never thought that such a gifted singer would perform them. It is not that he has the greatest voice, but that MacFarlane knows how to use it like a finely tuned instrument. No one has ever given us "It's All Right with Me" as here."This nearly was Mine" seems wrong for his range, but he does it with beautiful clarity and emotion more poignant than Pinza managed, though he had the range to bring it close to the Opera world, where it truly does not belong. Also, I love that he includes the introductions to most of his songs. Some of these introductions have almost never been used before but add to much.
Bravo, Seth. And then there are the great orchestrations and a perfect band to show them off. One couldn't truly ask for more.

TCM Greatest Legends: Lauren Bacall
TCM Greatest Legends: Lauren Bacall
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 18.45
27 used & new from CDN$ 10.06

5.0 out of 5 stars but I like the comedy with music here, Dec 6 2015
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Sorry, folks, but I like the comedy with music here. The dramas are fine, Bacall is a goddess, and it doesn't take Bogart to make that clear. But "Designing Woman"? Bliss. Lauren Bacall, Gregory Peck, Dolores Grey in a comedy with music numbers! Quadruple bliss. Sure, it's dated. but so are the dramas, and that is a great part of the charm of these four films; they are brilliant parts of a bygone past that are done so well that they all stand the test of time.....Oh, "Designing Woman", Peck is hilarious, Bacall has comedic chops one would never have dreamed of, and Dolores
Grey, Broadway and London star, in one of only four MGM movies she made, quadruple bliss. If I were to replace any of these films with another, it would be 'Dark Passage', a good film but not Bacall's best nor Bogart's.
.

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