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Chris Johnson

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WTC: The First 24 Hours (9.11.2001) (Widescreen)
WTC: The First 24 Hours (9.11.2001) (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Étienne Sauret
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 46.22
14 used & new from CDN$ 9.07

2.0 out of 5 stars Cold, Sept. 18 2002
Although the opening segment of this film shows a couple of jumpers and one of the towers down, the vast majority of this is just shots of the devastation and the beginnings of the rescue and clean-up with no music or narration of any kind. The filmmakers may have thought both of those intrusive(and in some 9/11 videos they have been) but the absence of both here made this rather cold and unemotional, almost 9/11 as work of art. There is nothing here about what 9/11 did to people.

Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs
Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs
by Michael Shulan
Edition: Hardcover
14 used & new from CDN$ 47.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory, Sept. 18 2002
Although there are a number of excellent 9/11 photo essays on the market, this is the one you MUST have. With contributions from professional photographers and from ordinary people with disposable cameras, this is best photographic record of that day that I have seen. Although I was nowhere near New York, I get more of a feel for what 9/11 must have been like here than in any other 9/11 book out there. Be warned that there is genuine horror in these pages. But I cannot conceive of a record of that day done any better than this.

The Wild World of Batwoman (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
The Wild World of Batwoman (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
DVD ~ Joel Hodgson
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 69.84
6 used & new from CDN$ 42.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Ching Chang Chong Chung!, Sept. 16 2002
Let's see. This movie starts out with a murder in an alley for some reason. Then we go into this club where nothing but girls are dancing(Mike:" Whoa! That's 40 pounds of butt in 30-pound butt capacity pants."). There's this crime-fighting woman named Batwoman who's got these bikini-clad assistants who basically just kiss guys and dance a lot.
A villain named Rat Fink steals an atomic hearing aid with the help of these two hoodlums and this goofy scientist named Neon and his Igor-like sidekick named Heathcliff. Along the way, there's this soup that makes you dance without music. There's a seance in which this spirit speaks what the moviemakers think is Chinese("Ching Chang Chong Chung!"). And there are these monsters in a cave.
So far, this is my favorite MST3K. ...
The movie is one of the most dreadful ever made and is still hard to take even with the commentary. But this is one of MST3K's best efforts.

The Emergence of Russia 750-1200
The Emergence of Russia 750-1200
by Simon Franklin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 82.50
19 used & new from CDN$ 56.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, Nov. 7 2001
I can't speak or read Russian and I'm not a trained specialist in Russian history. All I am is a person who is fascinated by the history of that great nation and people. And this book seems to me to be pretty close to essential for anyone who shares that interest.
The Emergence of Rus tells of the origins of the Russian people and the first great Russian state at Kiev. Given that few written sources are available for the time period, this book relies heavily on archaelogical information early on. Such written sources as exist are compared and contrasted and the conclusions drawn seem eminently reasonable. Even though there is a lot of archaelogical data presented in the first part of this book, it is by no means dry. Franklin and Shepard have a interesting story to tell and they tell it very well. I found The Emergence of Rus to be a very good read, something I'll definitely go back to.
If you are interested in Russian history at all, this book is highly recommended.

The Beginning of the End (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
The Beginning of the End (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
DVD ~ Peter Graves
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 73.73
11 used & new from CDN$ 21.95

5.0 out of 5 stars One of MST3K's best, July 25 2001
There have been many great movie teams over the years. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are just a few. Well I think you can add another pair to this list. "Director" Bert I. Gordon and MST3K.
I don't know why, but MST3K always turned it up a notch for a Bert I. Gordon flick. Bert I. always made them sharper and funnier. Here, MST3K takes a swing at Gordon's ludicrous giant grasshopper movie, Beginning of the End and jacks this hanging curve into the upper deck. As usual, Bert I. gives MST3K more than enough to work with. Cars start by themselves. Central Illinois looks like Arizona. And no one will be seated during the terrifying grasshopper "attack" in which hundreds of normal-sized grasshoppers crawl over postcards of downtown Chicago.
I didn't notice a slow spot the whole time. Mike and the bots were hysterically funny from start to finish, including the side bits. And as seems to be usual for an MST3K DVD, the regular movie is also included here, in case you want to do some amateur MST3King. This would be a good one to try this at home with. It's a target-rich environment.

Calvin: A Biography
Calvin: A Biography
by Bernard Cottret
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 5.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Supurb biography of a misunderstood man, July 7 2001
This review is from: Calvin: A Biography (Hardcover)
Whatever else may be said about French intellectuals, French historians are the finest in the world. Their biases don't get as flagrantly in the way as is sometimes the case with British and American historians. They are less chatty than the British can often be and they are far less inclined to the grand, sweeping statement than the Americans. The best of them observe even French people and events with scientific detachment.
This new biography of Calvin could only have been written by a Frenchman and Bernard Cottret does a wonderful job. The Calvin who emerges here is a far more complex figure than the cartoon that other historians have drawn. Far from a firebrand, John Calvin was a remote, shy, almost withdrawn figure who had whatever offices he held forced upon him. Geneva had gone in for Reformed Protestantism long before he arrived there and Calvin's Geneva was far from the "theocracy" it is often caricatured as.
Calvin's faults are not papered over; Cottret does not attempt to hide his displeasure at the burning in Geneva of many accused of witchcraft or of the burning of Michael Servetus, for example. But in the case of Servetus which is dealt with extensively here, he points out that Geneva only did what the Roman Church would have done if it had the chance and that Calvin actually cooperated with the Roman Catholic Church in this matter, seeing Rome as less of a threat than certain radical Protestants, rather cutting the ground out from under those who believe Calvin was rabidly anti-Catholic.
All in all, Calvin is an outstanding book that I cannot recommend too highly.

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer, Personal Size Edition
The 1979 Book of Common Prayer, Personal Size Edition
by Oxford
Edition: Hardcover
2 used & new from CDN$ 767.20

2.0 out of 5 stars How are the mighty fallen!, June 7 2001
One's opinion of the current Book of Common Prayer is naturally going to be shaped by one's experience with previous editions. To lay my cards on the table, I grew up on the 1928 edition. And this version does have two very nice features. The Psalter here is clear and eminently readable and the liturgy for Compline is great as a private devotion, one that I've used many times.
But that's pretty much it. Now and then, the theology is appalling. Removing the phrase "miserable offenders" from the confession, for example(we can't call people that;they might feel bad about themselves). Thee's and thou's are arbitrarily stuck into modern prayers, as if pronoun trouble was all that bothered Episcopal conservatives. And the whole book is such an inept hash that it will not surprise me if it is substantially revised again very soon.
This edition of the Book of Common Prayer is not as egregious a disaster as the current Episcopal hymnal. But if you would like a great Christian devotional book in the English language, get the 1928 version of this(or the 1662 English version)and see how this sort of thing should be done.

Keepers of the Kingdom: The Ancient Offices of Britain
Keepers of the Kingdom: The Ancient Offices of Britain
by Bruce Alastair
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 42.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, June 6 2001
The American Revolution was unfortunate in one minor respect. United States national politics and governance is terribly boring. The office-holders on this side of the Atlantic are called President, Senator, Congressman, Under-Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs and other dull republican titles. We don't get to have a High Almoner, a Swan Marker, a Boy Bishop, or any of the other offices the British have accumulated over the centuries. Not even an Herb Strewer.
This book examines the histories of many of Britain's historic offices, both ancient and relatively modern. The office-holders are beautifully photographed, many in their distinctive dress and regalia. Many of these stories are fascinating. I never knew, for example, that the Bishop of Norwich is also legally the Abbot of St. Benet-at-Holme or that anyone visiting the Hospital of St. Cross can still get the Wayfarer's Dole, a piece of bread and a cup of beer, merely by asking for it.
Essential for anyone interested in history. Also, a fascinating read.

Sergey Rachmaninov: Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 31
Sergey Rachmaninov: Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 31
Price: CDN$ 34.71
23 used & new from CDN$ 23.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly, June 1 2001
This Protestant loves beautiful church music whereever he can find it. And Russian Orthodox church music is just about the most beautiful in the world. As a Protestant, I obviously do not how this SHOULD sound. I only know that some of this music is so hauntingly lovely it's scary. I also know that the choir is outstanding here and that the sound quality of the CD is extraordinary.
Buy this. You won't regret it.

1812 Overture With Chorus; Voy
1812 Overture With Chorus; Voy
Price: CDN$ 20.65
21 used & new from CDN$ 11.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, May 31 2001
Cutting to the chase, this is quite simply the best version of the 1812 Overture I have EVER heard. It's so good that this CD would be a steal if that was the only selection on it.

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