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unicornelia (NJ, USA)

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Fluke
Fluke
by James Herbert
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
6 used & new from CDN$ 8.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular!, Jan. 16 2004
This review is from: Fluke (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is as beautiful, moving, riveting, and profound as its film version, and explains further the concept of reincarnation. A man returns to life on Earth as a dog...trying desperately to adjust to his new life, he is constantly beset by confusing flashbacks to his former life as a man. Why is he one of the few who remember? And should he go back home to find his human family? These questions and more are answered in "Fluke."
I've read this book many times and still find it fascinating; it's written simply but beautifully, in language anyone can appreciate fully. The author obviously has a vivid mind and understands how the world looks through a dog's eyes; or perhaps he has been a dog in past lives. I know that I have. I highly recommend this lovely, exciting adventure.

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo
Offered by Deal Tavern USA
Price: CDN$ 19.14
11 used & new from CDN$ 1.99

1.0 out of 5 stars You know I love Nemo, but this isn't even fun!, Dec 28 2003
This review is from: Finding Nemo (Video Game)
Forget for a moment the wonderful movie that inspired this game. The game itself is horrible! It is much too difficult for even a 16-year-old gamer like myself to play without getting frustrated by the second level! On the one hand, it's dull because the entire game consists of performing the same tasks over and over. Yet, it's extremely difficult because you're given so little health and so many opportunities to lose it--and far too few to recover it. A challenge? It's beyond "a challenge" when you run into twenty times as many dangerous fish, scallops that pop up at you every second, and clams that require pearls to be placed inside them as you encounter the anemones needed to "rub up against" to regain your "health." Not to mention those infernal "currents" that the Nemo games are obsessed with throwing at you! It never fails to take a good six attempts or more to get through those blasted things. And what's more, the chomping mollusks, biting fish, and churning currents were quite plainly the ONLY good ideas they had for these games, because they're the only things you continue to meet with. It almost isn't worth the trouble of advancing to the next levels when you know they're only going to contain more of the same...even though you want to meet the other characters and conquer the bloody game, so it's very irritating. Perhaps the worst part of it all is that, should you run out of health in a level--no matter how far you've managed to come!--you must start the entire thing over from the beginning. Losing all one's health is all too easy in such a game as this to justify the fact that starting over is required when it runs out. Like all Gameboy games, the character's don't talk, if you're wondering. And the graphics are mediocre. I was extremely lenient on the other Nemo video games in my reviewing, but not this time. I am tired of buying poor games simply because I can't refuse anything with Marlin and Dory on it when I see it in the store. Therefore, I'm trying to warn others now: This game is impossible for little kids. It's annoying for anyone older. As tempting as it is, I really wouldn't recommend it.

Finding Nemo Ocean Favourites
Finding Nemo Ocean Favourites
Price: CDN$ 7.31
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Cute but wouldn't be worth the price of a regular CD., Dec 26 2003
Some of these songs are worth owning. I admit I only bought the CD because 1) I am completely and utterly obsessed with "Finding Nemo," 2)The box was cute, it had Gurgle on the back XD, 3) Many of the tracks looked pretty decent, and 4) the price. Well, here's what I found:
1. Sea Cruise--an original song that we KNOW is an original song (by that I mean, not written for the movie or the CD) because we've heard it before. Good song. 4/5 stars.
2. Fish School. Sort of a lame exercise in songwriting. 2/5 stars.
3. Gone Fishin'. I do not understand why they would select songs about fishing for a movie whose tagline is "FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD"! Seriously, they need to learn that just because a song mentions the word FISH in it DOES NOT necessarily make it a fish song, and it doesn't always belong in an "Ocean Favorites" collection!! A reasonably enjoyable tune, however...just inappropriate. 2/5 stars.
4. Joy to the World. An "OK" song with at least *some*thing to do with fish. I thought this was the Christmas song "Joy to the World" and thought, "OH WOW! A Nemo Christmas carol?! Must have it!" Sadly it was a bit of a disappointment in that respect. 3/5 stars.
5. Under the Waves. Not so bad but forgettable. 3/5 stars.
6. Catch a Wave. This one's a stretch; it's a song about surfing, and there's no surfing in the film at all.
7. Octopus's Garden. A bizarre little tune about being in an octopus's garden in the sea! Has a recognizable rhythm to it; not bad. 4/5 stars.
8. Turtle Rock. Another song about a dance no one knows how to do! But, it's cute...a nice beat, catchy words, appropriate for the movie. The one line about "A little starfish is gonna dance with me" makes me think of Peach in the ocean dancing with the singer!!! 4/5 stars.
9. Fishin' Blues. A little folksong about a woman taking her baby fishing! Again, what is with the fishing songs?! 2/5 stars.
10. Saturday Night Fish Fry. This is by far the WORST! It's absolutely HORRIBLE! This song doesn't belong on the CD. It's a song about a guy who goes to New Orleans and parties all night at a big fish fry! Yes, isn't it awful?! A FISH FRY! One of those senseless, pointless gatherings of chubby folk to eat a bunch of fried fish. This REALLY demonstrates the principle of throwing a stupid song on a CD just because it mentions the topic once or twice. This has nothing to do with fish except for eating them! It's about a party! It goes against the movie with its fish-friendly theme! 0/5 stars!!! (Okay, 1/5. They like when you don't do the whole 0/5 thing.)
11. Wipe Out. Great instrumental that you've definitely heard before. B-) 5/5 stars.
12. Three Little Fishies. A song about 3 fish like Nemo who stray from their mom, meet a shark, and then swim back to her in fear. 3/5 stars.
13. Beyond the Sea. NOT the same rendition as on the soundtrack! This is the best song on the CD. It's sung by a woman, and it's terrific! Fresh, new sound, but not too different from the original. 5/5 stars.
So...judge for yourself whether it's worth buying or not.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
VHS
4 used & new from CDN$ 8.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Every-Year Holiday Classic!, Dec 7 2003
This is one amazing show that everybody loves. The unforgettable characters and memorable music make "Rudolph" one of the videos my family never fails to watch each winter. See, I'm 16 years old and didn't grow up with all these stop-motion, "Animagic" Rankin/Bass holiday special shows, but I do love them. For the longest time I watched "Rudolph" every Christmas and "Peter Cottontail" every Easter, but didn't know the wealth of other wonderfully great shows awaiting me. Luckily just today I finished watching the Rankin/Bass marathon on TV, and was introduced to some other incredible classics that I must buy: "Pinnochio's Christmas," "Jack Frost," "The First Christmas," "The Little Drummer Boy," "Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey," "The Year without a Santa Claus" (the best one), "Rudolph's Shiny New Year," and more. I know most of the voice acting because I enjoy watching older TV sitcoms and game shows, in which all these 70's actors and actresses starred. "Rudolph" will always remain a favorite part of my holiday traditions. The characters of Yukon Cornelius, the Bumble, Clarice (Rudolph's girlfriend), and Hermey, along with the songs like "Silver and Gold" and "Santa's Elves"--oh, and let's forget the BEST part of all, those poor little Misfit Toys!--make this one video you can't afford to miss.

Year Without/Santa Claus
Year Without/Santa Claus
VHS

5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Believe I'd Never Heard of this one before!!!, Dec 6 2003
I'm 16. My mother and I were watching a Rankin/Bass Christmas marathon. For years we had known and loved "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Peter Cottontail," and we'd seen a few minutes of "Jack Frost" here and there, but somehow we had let "The Year Without a Santa Claus" get passed up. Luckily we saw it this year and were thoroughly delighted; it's now among our favorites. This story was totally charming. Right from the beginning, those two dumb elves were funny. Mrs. Claus was awesome...I recognized the voice of "Hazel" the maid! I ALWAYS knew Vixen was a female reindeer...the only one on Santa's team, I might add. And Vixen is a central figure in this movie. She's adorable. A feminist Christmas special?! COOL! Santa and the elves travel to a hot southern town in Dixie that never gets any snow. Santa helps a non-believing but still very good little boy change his mind and believe in him (even though the boy doesn't know it's him!)
Okay, okay, so I'm going to say what everyone else already said and knows: The best part of this, the show-stealing scenes, were those with Snowmiser and Heatmiser. The two constantly bickering brothers who seem kind of villanous but are actually pretty nice. (They seriously reminded me of my own brothers.) Their songs are SO catchy, they had my mom literally up and singing them while dancing up a storm. (This was, mind you, the first time we'd ever seen this!) Soo...there you go. The children singing "Blue Christmas" to get Santa to come back to the job was a tender moment. And of course, the Mother Nature scene rocked the house. Again, we see a female taking the screen, and in her cute little house with a nice green lawn and rainbow too. Unlike some of the other stories in this 'family' of videos, this one doesn't-as someone pointed out-center on the historical meaning of Christmas. But it still gets its point across and manages to be a touching, enjoyable treat for all. And then there's the question, does it touch upon goddess-worshipping neo-paganism? Well, all I have to say is that never occured to me...but if it does...then ROCK ON RANKIN/BASS!! Or..well..you know what I mean. Keep being watched faithfully by fans each year. And the Miser Brothers can rock on, too. Ya gotta love it when Mother Nature starts talking about her two sons and they go calling her "Mother dear." She tells Mrs. Claus: "They gave you a hard time?" And Mrs. Claus says, "Yes, but I'm sure they didn't mean to..." And Mother Nature tells her honestly, "Oh, yes they did!" Great stuff. Great, great stuff.

Nestor: The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
Nestor: The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
VHS
5 used & new from CDN$ 34.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Nestor is so Precious!!, Dec 6 2003
Nestor is just the cutest little donkey. I liked the song sung about him throughout this film. It's not exactly the most exciting Christmas story, but it's worth at least one viewing to give it a chance. Not the most popular, a lot of people probably have never even heard of it! Indeed, at 16 years old, I hadn't either until today. After seeing it, I can honestly say I'm glad I did. Nestor turned out to be a hero. His long ears were a liability just like Rudolph's nose at first--then they became an asset, and now everyone loves the long-eared Christmas donkey.

Jack Frost
Jack Frost
VHS
2 used & new from CDN$ 19.87

4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Frost was very likable., Dec 6 2003
This review is from: Jack Frost (VHS Tape)
This was the first of many Rankin/Bass holiday specials I saw on TV (the only ones I owned on video being the popular "Rudolph" and "Peter Cottontail.") I was pleased by this one too. In fact, I recall seeing part of it once last year on TV too--it also seems to be one of the more popular ones. Anyway, the idea that a girl is in love with "Jack Frost" and then Jack Frost, who's lonely, becomes human because he thinks she really loves him, was, I thought, quite adorable. So "Jack Snip" the tailor moves in with the girl's family. I liked the song they sang while unwrapping an empty box and pretending it was "just what they'd always wanted." It was sad, yet cute. Snip, the snowflake-maker, followed Jack to Earth to help him reach his human-like goals by spring and remain a human, and also to keep out of trouble. The story only began to drag a little when the "k-nights" came into it, and the snowed-in castle. In the end, the girl marries the man she truly loves, her "knight in golden armor." And of course, Jack Frost is present at her wedding. It's really a very nice tale.

First Christmas, the
First Christmas, the
VHS
4 used & new from CDN$ 19.97

4.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Story., Dec 6 2003
This review is from: First Christmas, the (VHS Tape)
The poor little shepherd boy, Lucas, was blinded by lightning. He sang in the nuns' nativity play as a member of the angel choir. An adorable dog helped care for him in the abbey during the Christmas season. Some local pranksters hid his sheep, who then escaped into the forest. In the end, Lucas regained his sight because of snow, which usually never fell in his area. I saw this on TV today and was charmed by it. A hartwearming, enchanting Christmas story.

Pinocchios Christmas
Pinocchios Christmas

4.0 out of 5 stars I Really Enjoyed This., Dec 6 2003
This review is from: Pinocchios Christmas (VHS Tape)
While not the kind of masterpiece that "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" or "The Year without a Santa Claus" were, this story is completely decent. It deviates from the normally accepted version of Pinnochio, but overall it's not bad at all. The best character is the ditzy, feeble-minded but generally kindly cat who for some reason is stuck working with the sly fox. "Jiminy cricket" has an odd accent and comes in during the second half of the story to attempt to guide Pinnochio, who just can't help getting into trouble. In the end, he has a very merry Christmas with Gepetto and his new little girlfriend puppet. Cute.

Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Rudolph's Shiny New Year
VHS

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., Dec 6 2003
I love the original "Rudolph" and thought this was decent, but nowhere near as good as some of the other Rankin/Bass films. The story kind of fell flat and wasn't all that entertaining. Instead of feeling like clever and amusing tale, it felt like a repititious one following the pattern of the others because it couldn't really stand on its own. Unfortunately, some parts were enjoyable, and the whole thing was certainly good for at least one viewing. But in the end, you were left with no unforgettable new characters or songs to cherish. Happy, the baby new year, ran away, and Santa & Father Time needed Rudolph to find him. With the help of a whale, Rudolph travels through an archepelago and goes back in time and visits many fairy-tale characters (and a singing caveman) in his search until he finally meets with success (as we always knew he would.) I liked it but there is no comparison with the first Rudolph or anything else. The first one was amazing. This one didn't do anything special for the character of Rudolph. It was just "alright."

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