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Profile for K Scheffler > Reviews

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Content by K Scheffler
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K Scheffler (Canada)

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Generals Die In Bed: A Story from the Trenches
Generals Die In Bed: A Story from the Trenches
by Charles Harrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.07
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A few points..., July 2 2008
I read this book years ago, and it is a very good book; however, in recently obtaining a copy to sell through Amazon Markatplace, I noticed several things about this book:

1) This is NOT a "children's book"

2) There is a photo of a dead German soldier, his helmet removed and apparently covered with flies; the caption states that the picture was taken after a "Canadian Charge". The use of the word "charge" is questionable, kind of misrepresents the nature of combat in 1916, when the photo was allegedly taken.

3) Another photo proports to be of Canadians "attacking under smoke" in 1916. Lack of helmets suggests much earlier in the war and/or a training exercise.

Windsor Castle: A Royal Year
Windsor Castle: A Royal Year
DVD ~ Barbara Flynn
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 358.28
11 used & new from CDN$ 22.96

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes at Windsor Castle, May 13 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Windsor Castle: A Royal Year (DVD)
Windsor Castle: A Royal Year is a must have for anyone interested in the Royal Family. It consists of three episodes dealing with various aspects of the behind the scenes work that goes on at Windsor Castle, the Queen's official residence and one of Britain's most significant tourist destinations. Over the course of the year that this documentary was filmed, the Queen hosted a celebration to mark the centenary of Entente Cordiale (episode 1) and Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles at St. George's Chapel (part of episode 3). Disc #2 consists of about two hours worth of extended scenes and other brief clips not included in the three episodes. All and all, a very fascinating documentary.

Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada
Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada
by Michael Gonder Scherck
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.26
9 used & new from CDN$ 20.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting overview of pioneer life, Jan. 29 2008
For anyone interested in beginning reasearch into pioneer life in Ontario, Canada, this book is a good place to start. It covers all aspects of what it was like to be a pioneer in a general and easy to read fashion. Included are a number of photographs of furniture, toys, tools, architecture, etc.

This book was first published in 1905 and reprinted by Coles in the 1970s (a copy of which I use for this review); since it is now out of copyright, it has been digitalized by the University of Toronto and is available through the "Internet Archive" website.

Devil's Playground ~ Amish Rumspringa Documentary
Devil's Playground ~ Amish Rumspringa Documentary
DVD ~ Velda Bontrager
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 61.45
12 used & new from CDN$ 24.88

3.0 out of 5 stars Amish youth gone wild: sympathetic of sensationalistic? - must also watch with commentary, Jan. 13 2008
I suppose that I have a somewhat overidealized appreciation for the Amish, and when I first heard about this documentary I figured it was just a sensationalistic attempt at exploitation. I had no intention of watching it, but a few years later after reading Rumspringa, I finally decided to see what it was all about. I'll admit, the first time it really shocked me, and I considered it to be just what I had expected it to be. I watched it again several times, my feelings about it unchanged; after shelving it for about six months, I've watched it again a number of times, and my attitude towards it has change a little. I no longer consider it to be "exploitation" as it does try to depict the Amish in a somewhat sympathetic manner, and in some respects the true underlying goodness of the Amish people filters through despite the movie's subject matter. Having listened to the commentary--which is essential if you really want to understand the documentary itself--it does strike me, though, that the movie has to be viewed with a critical eye. While the type of behaviour depicted is clearly something that does occur among modern Amish youth, what's not clear is how widespread it is. According to the director, it took quite some time to find the people featured in the movie; no one wanted to be involved in the project at first, and so eventually it was mostly only people who were pretty fargone that did because they didn't really care anymore what people thought. So we have Faron--drug addict and dealer--as "the main character," and Velda, who left the church because it wouldn't allow her to be "the girl I want to be" and is now is shunned by her family, figuring prominently, as well. The former extremely rare, the latter with an axe to grind. Some of the lesser "characters" are not as extreme, and a few even decided to join the church in the end, but it's difficult to say for sure because they don't received the same attention. Moreover, in the commentary, it's easy to tell where the director's etc. sympathies lie--praise for Velda for writing and publishing a "feminist poem," critical remarks about certain Amish practices, the director's naive claim that maybe Faron would be a meth addict if he could just continue his education--not to mention the general tone of the discussion. Another thing to keep in mind: the documentary is very brief and general when it comes to Amish culture and history; it does not differentiate between the various sects, for instance. Of lesser significance, the inclusion of home movie clips does not make it clear that these people are not related to anyone in the movie, nor are they in fact even Amish. I understand why they were included, but it seems a little deceptive to me; well, I think they could have been left out altogether, or included as extras. So in the end, I'm left with mixed feelings about the movie; it was certainly fascinating and revealing, but there is an underlying agenda and it is does not fully explore the nature of Amish culture by which the viewer can measure the behaviour depicted in it. Is this kind of behaviour really the product of being released from a strict religious culture, or is it something that these children would have engaged in anyway had they not been born Amish and thus an example of why the Amish are justified in their rigid worldview? Many will conclude from this documentary that it is the former, while I tend to think the latter is correct. In the end, I would recommend the movie, but caution that it should be viewed critically.

Hero
Hero
by Brian Nolan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Canadian Ace, Jan. 12 2008
This review is from: Hero (Mass Market Paperback)
Buzz Beurling was perhaps the best combat pilot in Canadian military history. He was a complex person, and while this book comes nowhere near telling the full story, it nevertheless is a facinating and lucid account of his short and intense life. Born into a strictly religious household, he developed an early fascination with aviation and single-mindedly devoted towards his goal of becoming a pilot. This led him to the United States, and then eventually back to Canada when the war began where he was rejected by the RCAF, forcing him to join the RAF in England. Like Canada's World War One flying hero Billy Bishop, Beurling was very much a loner; the disciplinary issues that this caused eventually led to his transfer to Malta. It was here that in a short period of time record the majority of his kills. After sustaining an injury--and surviving a crash on a transport aircraft on which he was a passanger--he returned to Canada, a reluctant hero. He eventually returned to combat, but after recording only a few more kills, was grounded becuase of disciplinary issues. The book also discusses his marriage in 1943 to Diana Whittall, which ended in divorce the following year because of his emotional immaturity; his supposedly platonic relationship with another female companion in the United States that developed after the war; and the somewhat vague dealings with both the Arabs and the Israelis in the post-war years. Although the full extent and true nature of the latter will likely never be known, this part of his story is not dealt with as thoroughly as it could have been, in my opinion. Whatever the case, and whether it was through sabotage or simply an accident, Buzz Beurling met his untimely end in 1948 while on his way to join the Israeli Air Force.

Fifth Element [Import]
Fifth Element [Import]
VHS
4 used & new from CDN$ 1.45

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks certain elements needed for a good movie., Dec 8 2007
This review is from: Fifth Element [Import] (VHS Tape)
There's not much good to say about this movie; while at times the special effects are decent and the humour genuinely funny, all and all The Fifth Element is marred by mediocre acting, poor costume and set design, and generally a lame concept and plot. The prdictable ending couldn't come soon enough and this video will likely find a permanent abode in my "never to watch again" shelf in my closet.

Wimbledon (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Wimbledon (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kirsten Dunst
Price: CDN$ 9.97
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars generic romantic comedy, June 14 2007
This is nothing more than a generic romantic comedy, so don't expect al that much from it. It is charming at times, but overall is pretty bland and really not worth discussing.

Fargo
Fargo
VHS
Offered by vidsale
Price: CDN$ 19.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected., June 14 2007
This review is from: Fargo (VHS Tape)
I never really thought much of this movie based on the short clips of it that I've seen, and managed to avoid it until a short while ago, when I came across the video for sale for a loonie and for some reason decided to buy it. Needless to say, it was better than I had expected, although it was rather on the grim side. It amazes me somethimes how flippant American culture can be about such brutality. I wonder if the people responsible for this movie realize the fact that these kinds of movies normalize this kind of behaviour. But what do they care, in the end it will only given them or other Hollywood-types more "actual events" to base movies on.

Meet the Hollowheads [Import]
Meet the Hollowheads [Import]
DVD ~ John Glover
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 110.66
6 used & new from CDN$ 20.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meet the Hollowheads? -- Rather wish I hadn't., June 14 2007
I just could not get into this movie. From the get-go, the poor set design and props, along with a nonsensical screneplay, had me regretting buying this stinker. At times, despite the obvious fakeness of the props, things get somewhat gross when the slimey diet these people subsist on becomes to focus of attention. I suppose it's inevitable that the bizarre quirkiness of this kind of movie is going to gain a "cult following" who will insist that it is a "cult classic". But don't let that fool you; if you have any sense of taste, you won't find much in this movie worth watching.

"D-Day, the Sixth of June (Widescreen)" (Bilingual) [Import]
"D-Day, the Sixth of June (Widescreen)" (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Robert Taylor
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 38.66
12 used & new from CDN$ 3.97

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War movie?, June 2 2007
For the first five minutes I thought that this was going to be one of the best war movies I'd ever see, but then suddenly the movie back tracks to the years preceeding the D-Day invasion to document the love triangle that developed between a gorgeous woman and two of the officers in the commando unit. This lasts for much of the rest of the movie, with only five or ten minutes in the end consisting of a reasonably decent combat sequence. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of infidelity being masked as "romance," which made the movie all the more annoying to watch. This should simply not be considered a "war movie" or a "classic".

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