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Sid Meier's Civilization V: Game of the Year Edition
Sid Meier's Civilization V: Game of the Year Edition
Offered by Digitalville CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99
4 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BRUTALLY UNCIVILIZED, Jan. 8 2013
Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
The working relationship between a game designer and his publisher is never a simple one. So I would not know where exactly to place the blame, Sid Meyer or 2K GAMES. But in the end, it does not matter. Because it is simply sad to see a great gaming franchise came to this.

THIS IS NOT A CIVILIZATION GAME
A great number of major features of this beloved series have been simply removed. A fellow gamer called this Civilization V, "Civilization For Dummies" and he is absolutely right.
There is no trading maps or technologies. There is no claiming resources outside your borders by building a colony. There is no need for transport ships as, apparently, units are now all..amphibious (and they need 15-20 turns to cross an ocean!). There are no city-growth milestone requirements (granary, aqueduct, refrigeration). There is no culturally conquering an enemy city (detonating a "culture bomb" by consuming a Great Artist will only get you extra territory tiles but no cities). There are no spies nor health/pollution balance. And there are no armies (please read on).

ARMY CASTRATION
Someone please tell me what was so wrong with armies that had to be yanked out? Napoleon almost conquered Europe with one army. Germany almost conquered the eastern hemisphere with three and the US still holds a two-and-a-half armies doctrine. How can a turn-based game be called Civilization unless one can emulate, well, a real civilization? Building an army, seasoning it on minor conflicts and then going for the enemy's capital was one of the most fun parts of any Civilization game. Why, Sid? Just tell me that.

YOU MAY BE ABLE TO LAUNCH INTO SPACE - YET CANNOT CLIMB MOUNTAINS?!
Movement should be hindered by rough terrain. Units that have 3 or 4 moves on the plains should not be expected to do more than 1 or 2 on a mountain, right? Well, no. Mountains seem to be those magical places no unit can climb or pass through (not even ...helicopters of jet fighters!). And I cannot see how this makes for more complicated strategic decisions than timing your movements, claiming the high ground and having a bonus for elevated artillery?

UNIT STAMPEDE
A major issue for me, this was what really ruined the game. For some unfathomable reason units cannot be stacked. A worker can coexist with a military unit but that's it. Artillery and shock-cavalry are very vulnerable to attacks and (with the new hexagon layout) one would need ...six defensive units to protect a single artillery battery.
As a result, units keep getting on each other's way (especially when ordered to move for distances that require more than a turn), they refuse to even pass through friendly units (!) and the "tactical" considerations that result from this are trivial. And whenever besieging an enemy city, one has to endlessly maneuver his units around it (while exposed to its bombardment) whereas wounded units are never easy to withdraw.
You cannot even garrison more than a single unit within a city. Not that it would make a difference, since the garrisoned unit is not automatically awaken to fight back when the city is under attack(!), the city is left to defend itself.

CAN YOU REALLY COMMAND WITHOUT A...CENTRAL COMMAND?
The economy is nose-diving into the red and you want to reduce the percentage going into research for a while to avoid having units of yours deleted one by one? The fickle people of your civilization are unhappy and you want to placate them by increasing their entertainment allocation? You have discovered conscription and you want to upgrade all your musketeers into recruits? Well, tough luck! There is not central command screen to do so. Only advisers that you have to thank for annoying you.
You have very little control of your cities resource distribution and zero control of your national economy. And units have to be hunted down and upgraded one by one.
Speaking of the economy, when are we going to see a Civilization game where one can run and manage a national debt?

NO FREE EYE-CANDY IN THIS UNIVERSE. NOT EVEN A STALE ONE.
The game does look new and polished and the units are well designed but not cutting edge and not without a steep hardware price. If you expect anything comparable to STARCRAFT II crispiness you will be disappointed - at my 1280x1024 resolution it is not easy to discern roads from railroads.
The system I am running my copy consists of a P7 920 on a MSI Eclipse with 3GB of RAM and an ASUS nVIDIA GTX-480. Even with a couple years old PC in a WinXP environment (I refuse to forgo my game collection for the latest Windows OS), apparently I cannot even try the highest DX9 settings (the game crashes at launch) but I managed to optimize them with a mix of high and medium. Even then, whenever I scroll to a different location of the map, I can see the image fleshing out, just like zooming in a Google-Earth map.
So one can only wonder: why should one need a Cray to run a Civilization game at full?

A CIVILIZATION SOLD LIKE A SALAMI
In slices. DLC slices, that is. So far there have been over a dozen DLCs. All are sold separately and each one contains a small portion of what was supposed to be an essential part of the game. Were there any Civilization games in the past that did not include the Babylonians or the Persians? No. And when was the last time a Civilization game cost over $150 to be complete? Well, never.

STEAM OF WAR
The game requires OnLine Activation (and perpetual reactivation every few days) and has to be tied to a STEAM account. Effectively this means that the game is a piece of rentware the buyer never really owns and yet it is sold at full price. I realize that to some people this may not be a serious issue so, in case you are wondering, I deducted a single star from my overall rating of the game because of its DRM scheme. To every other gamer however, you can now make an informed decision.

This was a major disappointment. I never though I'd say this but I while playing the latest Civilization game I caught myself wondering if they would ever make...Call To Power III.

New gamers, steer clear of this mess, this is not what a Civilization game plays like.
Seasoned gamers, we know better than to call this a Civilization game.

Sorry Sid, EPIC FAIL.

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season
DVD ~ Johnny Galecki
Price: CDN$ 19.97
37 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars THE UNIVERSE IS STARTING TO CONDENSE, Jan. 2 2013
In the cult tradition of SPARTACUS, the halls of every science department now echoes: "I AM SHELDON"!

Currently into its fifth season, THE BIG BANG THEORY proved to be one of the most funny TV sitcoms ever aired. Even if the show seems to have slowed down form its initial explosive impetus, I had not laughed out loud this hard ever since the best days of FRASIER and SEINFELD - and BIG BANG is **consistently** brilliant!

Sheldon Cooper is unavoidably the king of the show - the massive black hole this Universe revolves around if you will. A child prodigy, now a 24 years old theoretical physicist PhD with absolutely no social skills or known sexual drive. Sheldon may be on the verge of unifying the fields but cannot drive a car to save his life or break a smile even remotely resembling that of a mere homo sapiens.
His equally super-intelligent (yet sexually confused girlfriend), Amy Farrah Fowler, (which Sheldon finally claimed) received a far more enlarged role this fifth season. However, she was not a very good addition and she unbalances the show. Her character only manages to blur the focus form Sheldon (there is only room for one idiosyncratic genius!), diffuse a number of comically charged situations and gum up the show's flow.

Leonard Hofstadter is Sheldon's roommate and primary ...keeper. An experimental physicist himself (who Sheldon tries to "help" by steering him towards a teaching career), he juggles Sheldon's idiosyncrasies with his personal neurosis - not to mention his crush on his neighbor Penny. Which crush, like lunar eclipses, follow a predicted yet unavoidable periodicity.
Leonard tried his hand in a long-distance relationship this season with his friend Raj's sister, Priya, but he seems to be gravitating back towards Penny once more.

Howard Wolowitz is the only one with no PhD (and Sheldon will never let him forget it). An engineer (whose crowning achievements were a mechanized arm that is used in the space shuttle and a liquid waste management solution), he also managed to wreck the Mars Rover in hopes of landing a girl (but he made sure no one can prove anything).
The fact that he is a short man with a severely outdated and misguided sense of fashion, still lives with his mother, insists on using a collection of pickup lines straight from men's magazines advice columns - and yet carries himself as God's gift to women is just hilarious.
Howard used to be the show-stealer. Whenever he entered the scene you just knew he would offer such an outrageous perceptive that would render you speechless. Now, if only Howard's character was allowed to continue in its stellar trajectory. He has been weighted down by his fiancée, Bernadette, who is very likeable, but also is cramping his style. Not to mention that she, slowly yet inescapably, is turning into his scary mother.

Rajesh Koothrappali is a particle astrophysicist with a fashion sense close to absolute zero and a severe case of shyness - to the point that he cannot speak in front of women unless inebriated. He keeps using the "poor Indian" defense although his father is a rich doctor who drives a Bentley. His character, even in the fifth season, remains underdeveloped.

Then there is Penny. She is the proverbial good girl next door who came to California with stardom aspirations but so far works as waitress and suffers a sequence of bad boyfriends (Sheldon has in fact calculated the exact number of them, extrapolated from a bell-curve that started at 14)- and, obviously, from her neighbors.
One of the best fifth season moments: slipping in the "Who is the greatest?" cheer between Sheldon's patented knock of repeated "Penny!".

The show unavoidably makes use of previous sitcom combinations (the odd couple, the unfulfilled love-interest mismatch) but even if one manages to discern them they are used in such a fresh manner that all that is left is great entertainment!

The way to truly enjoy this is to own it on DVD. The writing is so smart and the jokes fly so fast (many of them non-verbal) there is just no way to savor it during its weekly air time. Well, may be Sheldon could but then again, who can compare his intellect with his?

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Big Bang Theory - Complete Season 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
The Big Bang Theory - Complete Season 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

5.0 out of 5 stars A WHOLE NEW UNIVERSE OF INTELLIGENT LAUGHS!, Dec 9 2012
In the cult tradition of Spartacus, the halls of every science department now echoes: "I AM SHELDON"!

Currently into its sixth season, The Big Bang Theory proved to be one of the most funny TV sitcoms ever aired. Even if the show seems to have slowed down form its initial explosive impetus, I had not laughed out loud this hard ever since the best days of Frasier and Seinfeld - and Big Bang Theory is consistently brilliant!

Sheldon Cooper is unavoidably the king of the show - the massive black hole this Universe revolves around if you will. A child prodigy, now a 24 years old theoretical physicist PhD with absolutely no social skills or known sexual drive. Sheldon may be on the verge of unifying the fields but cannot drive a car to save his life or break a smile even remotely resembling that of a mere homo sapiens.

His equally super-intelligent (yet sexually confused at times girlfriend), Amy Farrah Fowler, received a far more enlarged role since the fifth season. However, she was not a very good addition and she unbalances the show. Her character only manages to blur the focus form Sheldon (there is only room for one idiosyncratic genius!), diffuse a number of comically charged situations and gum up the show's flow.

Leonard Hofstadter is Sheldon's roommate and primary ...keeper. An experimental physicist himself (who Sheldon tries to "help" by steering him towards a teaching career), he juggles Sheldon's idiosyncrasies with his personal neurosis - not to mention his crush on his neighbor Penny. Which crush, like lunar eclipses, follow a predicted yet unavoidable periodicity.

Leonard tried his hand in a long-distance relationship with his friend Raj's sister, Priya, but he seems to be gravitating back towards Penny once more.

Howard Wolowitz is the only one with no PhD (and Sheldon will never let him forget it). An engineer (whose crowning achievements were a mechanized arm that is used in the space shuttle and a liquid waste management solution), he also managed to wreck the Mars Rover in hopes of landing a girl (but he made sure no one can prove anything).

The fact that he is a short man with a severely outdated and misguided sense of fashion, still lives with his mother, insists on using a collection of pickup lines straight from men's magazines advice columns - and yet carries himself as God's gift to women is just hilarious.

Howard used to be the show-stealer. Whenever he entered the scene you just knew he would offer such an outrageous perceptive that would render you speechless. Now, if only Howard's character was allowed to continue in its stellar trajectory. He has been weighted down by his fiancée, Bernadette, who is very likeable, but also is cramping his style. Not to mention that she, slowly yet inescapably, is turning into his scary mother.

Rajesh Koothrappali is a particle astrophysicist with a fashion sense close to absolute zero and a severe case of shyness - to the point that he cannot speak in front of women unless inebriated. He takes the "metrosexual" lifestyle a little too literal for his own good and he keeps using the "poor Indian" defense even if his father is a rich doctor who drives a Bentley. His character, even in the current sixth season, remains underdeveloped.

Then there is Penny. She is the proverbial good girl next door who came to California with stardom aspirations but so far works as waitress and suffers a sequence of bad boyfriends (Sheldon has in fact calculated the exact number of them, extrapolated from a bell-curve that started at 14)- and, obviously, from her neighbors.

The show unavoidably makes use of previous sitcom combinations (the odd couple, the unfulfilled love-interest mismatch, the fish-out-of-the-water) but even if one manages to discern them they are used in such a fresh manner that all that is left is great entertainment!

The way to truly enjoy this is to own it on DVD. The writing is so smart and the jokes fly so fast (many of them non-verbal) there is just no way to savor it during its weekly air time. Well, may be Sheldon could but then again, who can compare his intellect with his?

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Torchlight - Standard Edition
Torchlight - Standard Edition
3 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars DIABLO III: THE PG VERSION, Dec 5 2012
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This game sure comes with some serious pedigree: Travis Baldree, designer of Fate, and Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer, co-designers of Diablo I & II put their heads together and came up with an action hack&slash isometric RPG game that can appeal to all ages. The result is a good game that will keep us hacking and summoning - until the ...3rd coming that is.

In fact, the game developers made sure to often pay tribute to the DIABLO Series: from the background music while at the town-camp (you would recognize those Tristam guitar riffs anywhere!), to the draining health and mana fountains and to the voice announcing & warning, you cannot miss the timeless DIABLO influences. Having said that, I found TORCHLIGHT to be something between a DIABLO and a FATE game.

If you have experienced any of the FATE games you will be reminded of them often, although the heroes here are not children. The village NPCs will keep giving you straightforward quests (usually a go-and-fetch excuse to dwell deeper into the dungeon). Extra dungeons, however, can be accessed by accepting the extra quests of the male NPC in the south and by purchasing dungeon maps of various levels from the local merchants. Also, sometimes a spectral animal appears while in a dungeon: slaying it will open up a bonus dungeon where better equipment often becomes available. There is no traveling to/from town while in a bonus dungeon, so you better keep an empty inventory before entering it.
Yes, you do get a pet (a dog or a cat - but you can interchange them by purchasing and feeding them a special fish) and, yes, you can transform them by feeding them different types of fishes. Fishing is carried out in pretty much the same fashion: you wait for two concentric circles to merge and their color to change from pale blue to purple but it is less important than it was in FATE (so far I brought in nothing else but fish - no equipment or valuable items).

Now, when not playing an AD&D RPG (where I always choose to be a Paladin), I like to play other RPGs as a warlock, a fighting mage. The Alchemist class allows you to both cast powerful spells and exchange blows in the midst of the action (the other available classes is the Destroyer and the Vanquisher). The Destroyer is the up-close-and-personal tank warrior whereas the Vanquisher is the ranger.
When leveling up as an Alchemist, make sure to get both the (steampunk!) golems and the Ember Strike spell. Together with some good shielding spells, nothing can stand in your way.

Try not to go broke. At first I though, "finally, an RPG that is not stingy with its money". But that was only at first. Items are less expensive at the shops but (surprise!) they also sell for a pittance. The good news is that money drops like rain from slain foes. The money-hole is the enchanter: attempting to further enchant your equipment will deplete your funds faster than you would imagine! And you also run a considerable risk of having all of its enchantments removed. No post-dated checks are honored. No credit cards accepted. I tried.

You WILL get swarmed so be prepared. Place healing potions, defensive and knockback spells on quick-slots (1-0); equip your pet with self or group healing spells and a powerful summoning spell; and never forget to first stay alive and then keep pounding on your enemies. In the heat of the battle it is best to deactivate (Alt-key) the fallen-items labels (more on this later on) and to always keep an eye on your health and mana levels. Respawning is not free: it will cost you either time, money or experience.

The inventory seems small but, in fact, it is more than adequate. Potions and scrolls are stackable up to 20 and (more importantly) every item takes up only one inventory square (no, you do not have to carry your fishing pole, it is just there).
You can send your pet to town to sell off its inventory and the time it needs to return is much less that what it did in FATE.
And there are treasure rooms you can only access by finding and pulling levers (sometimes in specific sequence) to open doors or turn bridges.

Now, some negative points:
(1) the game is only a dungeon crawler, there are no outdoors locations.
(2) the graphics of the the spells are very impressive but they can become really confusing as well. Even at maximum settings, unless the fallen-items labels are deactivated you will not be able to actually see much of the battle. That means alternating between fighting and looting - but it also means missing some important interactive objects (levers or ballistas). Also, when electric, fire, ice and poison spells get mixed the result is not something one can discern friend from foe in. It makes no tactical difference (you cannot harm yourself or your company) but it sure would be more enjoyable if you could aim more than...80% of the time.
(3) the environments are beautifully designed but your path is often blocked by obstacles that visually you could easily bypass. Sometimes you find your hero running in place, stopped by a ...pebble.

Finally, some closing suggestions to the developers for a future patch: (a) add the possibility to order our pet to bring back potions and identification scrolls when sent into town, and (b) make it possible to change class in mid-game (keeping the level and redistributing the skill points).

All in all, TORCHLIGHT is a very enjoyable experience. It is easy to master, it is beautiful and it is fun for the whole family.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Mad Men: Seasons First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth [DVD Complete Box Sets 1 2 3 4 5] NEW
Mad Men: Seasons First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth [DVD Complete Box Sets 1 2 3 4 5] NEW

5.0 out of 5 stars A CAROUSEL OF NOSTALGIA, Nov. 25 2012
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.

Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.

From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (suave John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones and refined Jessica Paré as his first and second wife, respectively), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.

The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!

This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes seasons 1 though 5, everything that has aired up to now. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mad Men: The Complete Fifth Season
Mad Men: The Complete Fifth Season
DVD ~ Jon Hamm
Price: CDN$ 10.49
14 used & new from CDN$ 10.49

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL YOU CAN TRULY OWN, Nov. 24 2012
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.

Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.

From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (hilarious John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones and refined Jessica Paré as his first and second wife, respectively), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.

The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!

This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes season 5. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mad Men: The Complete Fourth Season
Mad Men: The Complete Fourth Season
DVD ~ Jon Hamm
Price: CDN$ 10.00
23 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAMS WORTH FIGHTING FOR, Nov. 24 2012
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.

Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.

From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (hilarious John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones and refined Jessica Paré as his first and second wife, respectively), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.

The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!

This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes season 4. There is one more. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mad Men: The Complete Third Season
Mad Men: The Complete Third Season
DVD ~ Jon Hamm
Price: CDN$ 10.49
16 used & new from CDN$ 10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars FRAMING PHONE CALLS, Nov. 24 2012
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.

Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.

From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (hilarious John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones as Don's ex-wife), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.

The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!

This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes season 3. There are two more. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mad Men: The Complete Second Season
Mad Men: The Complete Second Season
DVD ~ Jon Hamm
Price: CDN$ 10.49
20 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TAKE IT. BREAK IT. SHARE IT. LOVE IT., Nov. 24 2012
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.

Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.

From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (hilarious John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones as Don's wife), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.

The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!

This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes season 2. There are three more. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mad Men: The Complete First Season
Mad Men: The Complete First Season
DVD ~ Jon Hamm
Price: CDN$ 9.88
23 used & new from CDN$ 5.51

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CAROUSEL OF NOSTALGIA, Nov. 24 2012
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.

Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.

From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (hilarious John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones as Don's wife), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.

The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!

This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes season 1. There are four more. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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