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

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Interstellar [Blu-ray]
Interstellar [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Matthew McConaughey
Price: CDN$ 8.00
3 used & new from CDN$ 8.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is amazing what changes have taken place with 'astronaut' movies with ..., Feb. 26 2016
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This review is from: Interstellar [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
It is amazing what changes have taken place with 'astronaut' movies with a single year. "Interstellar" seemed good, if far too long, when it came out.Then Bullock and Clooney advanced it by a leap, a bound, and a float. And then Matt Damon made an even gigger leap forward with "The Martian", and where can it go now? The mind boggles.
So, what to make of "Interstellar"? If one were a time traveler, one could stay in 2014 and appreciate it as that long, but good space film. But since we can't do that, and as I am writing this in 2016, I'm looking at it, a film from two years ago, that is doomed to fade into oblivion. It is not bad as is the most recent "Stars Wars" that recycles so much of the original trio of films that almost any child between eight and twelve could have written the screenplay, though they would have saved Han Solo by making a change there - son and father animosity runs amuck in "Star Wars". doesn't it? So, if you are a great fan of a cast member, or collect all space films, buy this one. It is far from the worst that we have had shoved at us in the past ten years - but it is not in the top three any more.

Forever: Season 1
Forever: Season 1
DVD ~ Ioan Gruffudd
Price: CDN$ 29.97
6 used & new from CDN$ 23.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was brilliant in every way Ioan Gruffudd is about the most ..., Feb. 26 2016
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This review is from: Forever: Season 1 (DVD)
Clearly ABC needs to fire the dunderheads who axed this program within a week of its last showing. It was brilliant in every way Ioan Gruffudd is about the most charming, talented actor in the business and his Henry Morgan was someone you wanted to know and looking forward to every week. He was matched by Judd Hirsch giving a performance that was supportive and astounding. The entire cast was exceptional. The music was the best that a television show has had in decades. The plots were well written, and though there was an essential 'unusual' element, the story lines were rooted in this world, with no witches, warlocks, gremlins or gargoyles. The mysteries were often unusual, but also steered away from drenching us with blood and gore to let us focus on the people involved. This show was, in fact, a first class act.
Now to the other dunderheads - Warner Bros. who didn't make the rounds of every other network, big or small, and sell one of them the second season. Worse shows, by far, than this have transferred from one network to another, and found success.
As for the ideas behind the show, look at "Second Chance" a dumb and mismanaged version of "Forever". We have the 'hero', ha!, returned from the dead and possessed of all of the charm of a carrot left to rot in the sun for a summer, and , of course, his son is now his father, poor Tim Dekay, who can act but is asked to do nothing more than repeat his character from "White Collar". Point by point, this year's show is a terrifyingly bad rip-off of "Forever". Why didn't somebody up there notice this and cancel "Second Chance" and go with season two of "Forever". "Second Chance even has a boring set, poor and trite music, and, in general, lousy acting. Ah,, more dunderheads! Run a poor imitation and ignore the priceless original. Perhaps they never saw "Bewitched" as a movie.
And no other show grabbed Gruffudd. Ted Danson bounced from one series to another with ease, and so have others. True, some failed, but this would not have been the case here. What happened at CBS and NBC? Didn't they ever watch the show? Dunderheads, dunderheads.
So, please do yourself a favor and buy this "Complete Series" - why advertise how much of a bunch of dunderheads you are by listing that on the cover of the DVD case? The reviews were strong, the show was brilliant, and it appears we are doomed to never see anything this well done again whereas the Kerdashians, more dunderheads, will be with us forever. Why? Who really cares about these real people made out of remnants? But you will care about the people in "Forever". In fact, you will come to cherish them, and lament their loss.

On the Town (New Broadway Cast Recording)
On the Town (New Broadway Cast Recording)
Price: CDN$ 27.40
31 used & new from CDN$ 19.20

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost too much of a good thing. This complete collection of the show's music ..., Feb. 8 2016
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Almost too much of a good thing. This complete collection of the show's music is masterfully recorded, phenomenally well sung, so why only four stars? It is too much for one sitting. I realize that is an odd complaint, but, to truly enjoy it, you have to listen completely. And that takes a lot out of one. And I miss Nancy Walker. Hell, I even miss Betty Garrett. But the men are a revelation of what should always be done.
There is little connection between the Broadway show and the MGM movie, which is a very good thing. Gene Kelly could never have have sung "Lonely Town" or most of his character's songs. Here, they are what Bernstein must have always intended. And Sinatra was still in his 'wuss' days at MGM. He wouldn't have fitted with this cast at all.
So give it five stars and no one will argue with you. Not even me. And though it starts by overwhelming one, it gets better with every listening. Few CDs can do that.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride [Blu-ray]
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: CDN$ 24.99
21 used & new from CDN$ 24.99

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$ 9.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

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$ 23.19
29 used & new from CDN$ 5.83

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$ 11.91
25 used & new from CDN$ 1.60

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$ 10.99

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
14 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
22 used & new from CDN$ 15.49

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, 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.

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