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Jeremy Yoder
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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Kate Hudson
Price: CDN$ 13.95
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons, May 1 2003
I usually write longer reviews, but I'm going to make this short and quick as that's the feeling I got from this movie. First of all, the premise is that a young woman is given an assignment to get a guy and then lose him in 10 days. Likewise, a guy has been given a bet that he must make this same woman fall in love with him (yet neither of them knows what the other is doing). The result is that she's desperately trying to make him drop her by being incredibly annoying, and he's trying to stick it out. Of course, by the end they determine the truth, yet have fallen in love with one another, etc., etc.
It is definitely a "chic flick," and as such, there are certainly formalic and cliche plot twists. However, that said, it does seem to raise the bar from your even more generic, run-of-the-mill, romantic comedy. I only go to these movies to appease my wife (HONEST!) and there are these kinds of movies out there that I've watched where I wish someone would have blown my brains out instead. But to be honest, I have to admit that by the end of this particular movie, I had been entertained, I did laugh, and the overall premise was somewhat unique, even for as gimmicky as it was. Therefore, if you like "chic flicks" you'll love this one. And for those guys who don't like them -- trust me... you could do a lot worse than this one, so if that special woman in your life has been pushing you to attend one of "these movies" with her, pick this one.

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Edition: Paperback
107 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful, May 1 2003
"Wow" is exactly what I thought after finishing this book. I do not often give 5 stars, but this novel deserves it. First of all, the language -- whether it be sentence structure, dialect, or the beautiful metaphors -- make this a wonderful read for that reason alone. Yet the content of the book on top of that makes it absolutely superb.
The premise of the novel is one southern black woman's (Janie) journey through life from her early years as a teenager to mid-life, as she attempts to find happiness and that too often elusive ingredient of love in her life. And although at one point she finds it (though it is short-lived and ends tragically) you'll find yourself both happy and sad for her as nothing about this book is formulaic or cliche. It should also be noted that the novel seems to have a fable-like quality to it at times. Not like the magical realism found in "Beloved" as this book seems realistic throughout, but you still can't help but sometimes feel you've stepped into a bit of an Aesoph's fable; but it works as you're never taken out of the moment.
I also have to say that the two chapters where Janine first meets Tea Cake are two of the best chapters (both in writing and in content) that I've ever read. You can actually "watch" them falling in love in a lyrical, magical, and wonderful sort of way. In fact, I've gone back a couple times just to re-read those two chapters, and each time have been unable to keep myself from smiling like a great, big dope (which believe me, is saying a lot for this reader). Also, the last page of the novel is written beautifully as well. I would love to quote it here, but I would not want to ruin the experience for a potential reader, and it is far more effective within the context of the novel once you reach that point.
Judging from the title, it may lead one to think the book may be "preachy" in terms of God and/or religion, but surprisingly, it's not. Granted, in the very last chapter, it does get maybe a tad heavy handed in a couple places, but since the novel has not done anything remotely close to that throughout, you don't even notice it as you continue to let the words of Janie's experience seep into you.
So do yourself a favor -- whether you read classic literature for literary dissection, or simply for sheer enjoyment, you can't do wrong with this book as it's one of those rare treats that incredibly allows for both.

Beloved Tie In
Beloved Tie In
by Toni Morrison
Edition: Paperback
102 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Powerful Book, June 24 2002
This review is from: Beloved Tie In (Paperback)
How to write a review for a book which thousands of articles and reviews have been written on? I'll try to stick to the primary highlights and pros and cons, and let you be the judge. Set in the US after the Civil War, blacks are technically free, but not really as they is still oppression from the white majority. However, in Beloved, that's only one aspect of the oppression, as it also comes in the form of the black community within its self, within people's personal lives, and from... a ghost.
A very unique, but powerful form of prose that Morrison uses is that the storyline is not linear. Meaning you jump around from present to past and from different points of view almost constantly. It works, but you can read it like a regular book and will have to read more slowly. It can be worth it, but it can also be frustrated at times. But by the end, you realize it couldn't have been written any other way, and still have the impact it leaves upon you.Now let me say right now that my description above is a VERY shallow scratching of the surface. There are tons of issues throughout this book for the read to think upon, which is why this book earned both a Pulitzer and the National Book Award. So do not classify this as a "ghost story" as it's much, much more. Indeed, it is more of a post-Civil War story on the black experience than anything else, if you can believe that. In that sense, the "ghost story" seems out of place at first, but it definitely lends itself to the ex-slavery aspect very strongly as you continue reading.
One thing to note that I did not care for, and others may not, is the rather animalistic portrayal and graphicness of the sexual tones throughout the book. It may be accurate of the times, though I don't know, but it is disturbing regardless. All in all, a very good read, and I can see why it's fated to be an instant classic. For that reason, I probably should have given it 5 stars, but I can't say it's my favorite type of book personally. But for any literary critic out there, or anyone interested in the black experience after the civil war, this is a must-read.

Behind Enemy Lines
Behind Enemy Lines
DVD ~ Gene Hackman
Offered by PaperbackshopCA
Price: CDN$ 6.81
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic Attempt to Raise my Patriotic Spirit, June 24 2002
This review is from: Behind Enemy Lines (DVD)
I'm trying to figure out what movie everyone else who reviewed this has seen, since it had to be different than the one I saw, which was extremely poor. If you are looking for a non-feasible, flashy, "try to make us feel patriotic movie," this qualifies. But if you're looking for a quality movie without obvious loopholes, as I do, avoid it like the plague.
Owen Wilson's acting is sad. Not only is the character he plays the stereotypical "frustrated navy pilot trying to be a hot shot daredevil who turns out to be a hero in the end," but his portrayl of the character only helps to emphasize why you hate those characters. And up until now, I did not think I could dislike any character Gene Hackman played, but this movie proved me wrong. Though I say so with no discredit to Hackman as the primary disease in this movie was the script itself.
There are a couple unique tactics the director takes with it, such as sudden pause frames and slow-motion takes. And the special efforts are of course great. But nothing could have saved this script. Overall, it's a very lackluster attempt, and I only gave it a two stars instead of one because Hollywood has done worse. If you want to see Hackman in a real Navy officer role, do yourself a favor and go with "Crimson Tide."

The Green Mile (Widescreen)
The Green Mile (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by Round3CA
Price: CDN$ 0.36
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Powerful Movie, March 1 2001
This review is from: The Green Mile (Widescreen) (DVD)
Did you watch and enjoy "Shawshank Redemption" but found some scenes troubling and hard to watch? Then "Green Mile" will be for you. Like "Shawshank," "Green Mile" is also set in prison and concerns an innocent man who shouldn't be there. The inmate is John Coffey (Michael Duncan) who does an excellent job of being a "gentle giant." Likewise, Tom Hanks portrayl of the head prison guard is excellent. So what makes this movie unique?
John Coffey has a special ability (don't read further is you hate spoilers) and that is to heal people in a unique way you just have to see. However, it does tax him, and Tom Hanks and the other guards (except one which you'll learn to hate) take a liking to him -- yet he's sentenced to die at their hands. So the human condition and "what's right" is certainly addressed and will make you think.
And where does the "Green Mile" come into play? The "Mile" deals specifically with the death row area of prison. That said, there are some scenes and images which are disturbing and hard to watch (primarily, scenes involving the execution of prisoners by the electric chair) which will stick with you for a long time afterwards, so it's not for young kids or weak stomachs. But if you're not in either of those categories, I'd highly recommend it. Also note it's slightly longer than 3 hours, and while it doesn't have an "epic feel" to it, the time will go quickly.

Patriot, the
Patriot, the
VHS
Offered by thomasvideo
Price: CDN$ 15.00
14 used & new from CDN$ 2.62

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Classic, but still decent, March 1 2001
This review is from: Patriot, the (VHS Tape)
It would appear the general reviews have been all good or all bad for this movie. Personally, I found it neither "great" but not "poor" either -- it's supposed to entertain, and I was entertained. I think too many people feel that "war movies" must be epic in scale and very grandiose. I don't know if the bar was raised too high with "Saving Private Ryan" or what, but it's unfair to a movie like "The Patriot." It's better than the much of what's out there, but it's not meant to be a classic.
Some reviews also seem to imply that it's a "cookie-cutter" movie of what movies have been like in past years. True to some extent, but I'd say it's more a "cookie-cutter" movie of a Mel Gibson role. You know: man fights for peace, man forced to fight, man kicks butt. But there's more to it than that. He has a family to protect and fight with on occassion, with some very harrowing scenes. Like when in order to save his oldest son's life, he must employ his two younger sons (around the ages of 10 and 12) to fight with him and kill men (the British soldiers) right after seeing their slightly older brother just killed by the British. Very hard to watch and gripping, especially when Gibson's hatred and bloodlust kicks in at the end, and then later when Gibson tries to talk with them about it afterwards. Yes, to the critics out there, it's not at all likely that Gibson and his two young sons could have taken out all 20 soldiers, but your gonna find elements of Hollywood in there at different points, yet it doesn't have to ruin your enjoyment of the movie.
So if you're looking for realism everywhere, you won't find it, but it's not a terrible stretch of the imagination. A final word of warning -- there are some rather bloody scenes (especially one predominant one in the scene I mentioned above) so it's not the type of movie for young kids. I won't buy the movie myself, but I rented it and I'm glad I did. If it were allowed, I'd actually give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 4.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, Awe and Wonderment, Nov. 7 2000
First of all, if you've never heard of "The Hobbit" or the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy, I'd be very surprised. Some have deemed them the "greatest works of the 20th century." (But not having read all the books this century, I couldn't say.) But you will be VERY hard pressed not to justify spending ... for these four books.
First of all, "The Hobbit" is basically a prelude to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Tolkien didn't know what he was getting into when he wrote "The Hobbit," but once the public swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, he delivered the rest with the same kind of magic that has made this a classic.
"The Hobbit" is about Bilbo Baggins--a simple hobbit (a race of gentle, liesurely, dwarf-sized people whom Tolkien created)--who gets wrapped up in adventure when he has absolutely no intention of getting involved in one because of Gandalf, the wizard. (Probably the second most famous wizard in literature, after Merlin.) Anyway, Bilbo, Gandalf, and 12 dwarven companions set out to reclaim the dwarven mountain city which was stolen years ago by Smaug, the dragon. And as the case is for many great books, the adventure is both in the destination AND the journey.
The trilogy which follows is a tad grittier than "The Hobbit," and does not center around Bilbo Baggins, but rather his younger cousin, Frodo. It's simply a matter of taste on which you'll prefer--some will enjoy "The Hobbit" the best, while others the following trilogy.
They are books I'd read to my children (someday when I have them) and I can't wait to watch their eyes widen with imagination. They are not "children's books" but children will still enjoy them (especially "The Hobbit") as will adults. They are those rare books that anyone at any age can enjoy. I and my wife are reading "The Hobbit" together (she's never read it) and though she doesn't like fantasy, she is LOVING this book and can't wait to find out how it ends.
The only reason I can think of that you would not get these 4 books for a mere $20 is that you already have them, or you'd rather get them in hardcover as nice display pieces on your library shelves. Understandable. But otherwise, give this a try, either for the first time, or the 3rd as is my case. It's the great grand-daddy of the whole fantasy genre, and deserves the credit it's due for that, but primarily because they are great stories.
By the way--there is work being done on a movie trilogy for the "Lord of the Rings," with the first one coming out Christmas of 2001. I would recommend you read the books first. Hopefully, the movies will catch that same awe, wonder, and magic, but just to be safe--read the books!

Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain
by Charles Frazier
Edition: Paperback
209 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars My First 5 Star!, Aug. 1 2000
This review is from: Cold Mountain (Paperback)
Let me just say I REALLY enjoyed reading this book and one day down the road, I'm sure I will be reading it again. Why? The writing, plain and simple. It is BEAUTIFULLY written. You get the feeling that each and every word was painstackingly thought out and purposely placed. A very, VERY good read!
The story centers around Inman as he works his way back home after deserting the Confederate army, all the while thinking of Ada, the woman he thinks he was meant for. And about 1/3 of the book is from Ada's perspective, as she contemplates life and Inman, the man she almost wonders if she wasn't destined for. What's most fascinating to me, is that Inman and Ada are actually the author's great-great-grandparents, and so the author's heart is VERY much into the story and makes it as good as it is.
A minor con that some readers may find, was some of the words you just don't know! I found myself looking up many words to fully understand what was being said. For instance, I remember looking up one word (can't remember it) which meant "a wicker basket made of [some certain plant/and or material]." Am I complaining? NO! I really appreciate that kind of detail and it made me want to know my English better! And I certainly didn't need to have a dictionary handy to enjoy it, and neither will you. If you REALLY know your vocabulary, you'll enjoy the book even more than I did.
One very minor complaint I have to mention is that there wasn't much of a feeling of suspense. But it's very forgivable as the words just roll around in your brain, and if you're one of those people who mark beautiful passages and/or quotes in books, you may find yourself needing a second highlighter! A highly recommended read, and I would actually give it a 9.5 out of 10 because of the lack of suspense, but you won't read it for suspense so much as you will to appreciate the language. And if you're like me, you'll agree that for a first time author, you'll find yourself hoping Charles Frazier writes many more novels!

The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession
The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession
by Tim "LaHaye "
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.55
115 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Content vs. Theory vs. Writing, Aug. 1 2000
I am going to put the same review on each of the "Left Behind" series books because my reaction to each of them is basically the same. (For actual content, read Amazon's description above. For my bent on the series, read on.)
There are basically three main theories concerning Christ's return, based off scripture, and though I won't get into them here, this one is off the pre-tribulation theory. (Which is actually the same one I believe in.) The problem is, I know why I believe in this particular theory, whereas other Christian may simply read this book and say, "Oh, so that's what's going to happen!" Well, before you do that, check your Bible and other sources, and don't just base it off these books. OK, time to step off my soapbox...
As far as writing talent, I have been VERY disappointed with all the books in this series. At first, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking the writing was so simplistic so younger kids could read them too, until I discovered they have a young kids version out for this series, at which point I was just saddened. So don't expect a well-written novel, as I feel each book's writing has become more and more simple with each release. And by this, I don't mean the story doesn't flow, because it does. It's just written in such simply words that even a grade-schooler could read it without any problems.
As far as content, you'll find stuff in here you like, I don't doubt that, but if you're like me, you'll be skimming many areas because you don't care about every single step that every single person takes to get from point A to point B. It's a tedious read at parts, but if you like the study of the end times, as do I, or like reading Christian novels, as do I, then these books will suffice. But don't base your belief system off them until you know more than just what's presented here, and certainly DON'T read them if literary content is your main goal as you won't find well-WRITTEN novels here. If it weren't for that fact alone, I'd be devouring these books as they came out, but as it is, I've read them after friends buy them and are done with them since I am interested in the story, but not the work it takes for me to constantly forgive the writing.

Assassins: "Assignment: Jerusalem, Target: Antichrist"
Assassins: "Assignment: Jerusalem, Target: Antichrist"
by Tim "LaHaye "
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.55
100 used & new from CDN$ 0.05

3.0 out of 5 stars Content vs. Theory vs. Writing, Aug. 1 2000
I am going to put the same review on each of the "Left Behind" series books because my reaction to each of them is basically the same. (For actual content, read Amazon's description above. For my bent on the series, read on.)
There are basically three main theories concerning Christ's return, based off scripture, and though I won't get into them here, this one is off the pre-tribulation theory. (Which is actually the same one I believe in.) The problem is, I know why I believe in this particular theory, whereas other Christian may simply read this book and say, "Oh, so that's what's going to happen!" Well, before you do that, check your Bible and other sources, and don't just base it off these books. OK, time to step off my soapbox...
As far as writing talent, I have been VERY disappointed with all the books in this series. At first, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking the writing was so simplistic so younger kids could read them too, until I discovered they have a young kids version out for this series, at which point I was just saddened. So don't expect a well-written novel, as I feel each book's writing has become more and more simple with each release. And by this, I don't mean the story doesn't flow, because it does. It's just written in such simply words that even a grade-schooler could read it without any problems.
As far as content, you'll find stuff in here you like, I don't doubt that, but if you're like me, you'll be skimming many areas because you don't care about every single step that every single person takes to get from point A to point B. It's a tedious read at parts, but if you like the study of the end times, as do I, or like reading Christian novels, as do I, then these books will suffice. But don't base your belief system off them until you know more than just what's presented here, and certainly DON'T read them if literary content is your main goal as you won't find well-WRITTEN novels here. If it weren't for that fact alone, I'd be devouring these books as they came out, but as it is, I've read them after friends buy them and are done with them since I am interested in the story, but not the work it takes for me to constantly forgive the writing.

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