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Profile for Laurence R. Hunt > Reviews

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Content by Laurence R. Hunt
Top Reviewer Ranking: 294
Helpful Votes: 179

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Reviews Written by
Laurence R. Hunt "Laurence Hunt" (Kenora, Ontario, Canada)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Ascension
Ascension
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 18.88
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 50s-60s scifi, accomplished almost flawlessly, Feb. 3 2016
This review is from: Ascension (DVD)
This is absolutely one of my favourite-ever scifi series. On my scale --- which may not be the same as yours --- it scores at the top on every major and minor metric. I honestly believe the entire crew did virtually nothing wrong start to finish. Now my primary metric for scifi is that a real, imaginative world is created that is inviting and believable at the day-to-day level, and that the viewer is drawn in to establish an increasing commitment over time. I score Ascension 100% on this metric. I also tend to like a 50s and 60s feel, as in my opinion, that is the era when the best science fiction was written ---- maybe that's more personal, but this one again scores 100%, as it's intentionally seeking to recapture a 50s-60s ambience (there were a few 70s and later bloopers, but I was willing to overlook them). As for the story itself, it is engaging and stimulating at every level. This show was produced for one season and dropped. What a loss! I could easily have watched 20 seasons of this one.

Spring BD [Blu-ray]
Spring BD [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Lou Taylor Pucci
Price: CDN$ 23.96
5 used & new from CDN$ 18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chthonic, symbolic, archetypal, unique investigation into the actual nature of love --- from a really original angle, Feb. 3 2016
This review is from: Spring BD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Spring has been cast obligatorily into the horror genre because it has a primordial beast in it (that's a minor spoiler). However, this is not a horror movie at all. In fact, it's arguably more scifi than horror, as it has genetics, epigenetics, molecular evolution and hormone regulation in it, with a dash of oxytocin sprinkled in, for "love," of course! It also has cultural studies, iconography, anthropology, evolutionary biology and European history tossed (very lightly) into the mix. However, this film is not scifi either. No, this is a love story, and it takes such a unique and unexpected angle on the genre that it will require you to think of love in an entirely different way. Love stories inevitably bring with them an element of penetrating the unknown, the mysterious and the forbidden, as love is inevitably about breaking through barriers, perhaps often seemingly impossible ones. Here, the barriers are drawn metaphorically from the horror and scifi genres, but are nonetheless recognizable as communicating romantic narratives. Call up Jung and Campbell for interpretation.... these are deep, chthonic, potently symbolic themes in the archetypal vein. Welcome to Spring, a love story you certainly weren't expecting, and definitely won't forget! Above all, this is a memorable and deeply human story that grabs hold of you and doesn't really ever let go. This one is on my "can't miss" list --- a necessary film.

Vikings: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
Vikings: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 39.97
6 used & new from CDN$ 10.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy a Phase Four product!, Aug. 18 2015
I have not seen the disc, of course, as it's not yet released, but just to second the existing review. If this is a Phase Four release, DO NOT buy it. The Phase Four versions are stripped down to just a transfer of the episode, no subtitles or extra features of any kind. Phase Four is a total ripoff. Get the US version. UPDATE: I bought the 20th Century Fox version in the US. It has all the features that I was looking for, in particular, full subtitles, the broadcast and extended versions, and six special features. Season 3, set in and around Paris, is just as good as the others, and it's as historically based as it can be (we don't know that much, but Rollo has a key role this season). I don't know why the studio allows Phase Four to market an inferior version of the product in Canada.

Nightcrawler [Blu-ray + DVD +UltraViolet] (Bilingual)
Nightcrawler [Blu-ray + DVD +UltraViolet] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Price: CDN$ 15.00
10 used & new from CDN$ 5.98

5.0 out of 5 stars The Beast Inside All of Us, Aug. 2 2015
This is a brilliant if chilling movie, and Gyllenhaal is sufficiently capable in his role as a totally self-interested opportunist that he is able to recruit his fellow actors and engage them at his level. The film is chock-full of insights into how the media world works in the background --- for example, even "news" is not about news, but ratings, and bottom dogs may bend or trample the rules in order to gun their ratings. Gyllenhaal is so calculating in the role that he clearly crosses the line into psychopathy, so this is also an opportunity to gain insight into how an antisocial personality might accomplish his objectives while simultaneously pursuing a career path. I was most struck by how Gyllenhaal never once lapsed even slightly or momentarily from his "reptilian" character. While psychopaths can often be charming, Gyllenhaal's character is probably better described as smooth, quick, unflappable and calculating, as he uses intimidation much more readily than say, flattery or charm (which are also common tools in the psychopath's armamentarium). However, the film is much more than a character study of the psychopathic personality, as it also has much to say about the media business, and about human nature generally. Special credit to Rene Russo for matching Gyllenhaal beat by beat as he escalates into increasingly unsavoury tactics and behaviour.

ProSource Solid Cast Iron Kettlebells Weights for Full Body Workout, 20.4 Kg
ProSource Solid Cast Iron Kettlebells Weights for Full Body Workout, 20.4 Kg
Price: CDN$ 56.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal 45-pound kettlebell at a great price, July 18 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a totally satisfactory 45-pound kettlebell. I'd also buy the same brand in a heavier weight (say, 60#) if I could get it. The handle works well for me with a one or two-hand grip, and my hands are about average size. It sits flat on the floor, and has a nice finish. Ideal for my purposes.

Terminator: Genisys [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD] (Bilingual)
Terminator: Genisys [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Price: CDN$ 19.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 19.89

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A successful addition to the Terminator series --- easily as good a story as the rest, and worthy of the original!, July 17 2015
OK. It seems there have been some critical reviews of Terminator Genisys. Well, if you liked the other ones, then you'll like this one just fine. They didn't do anything wrong. Of course T100s can age, they have human skin. Then there are the polymetal terminators and the new human/terminator hybrids. Confused? Aw, it's not that confusing. Skynet is still bad and has to be stopped. It keeps coming up with new kinds of Terminators to fight humans in multiple timelines (thus, sequels can keep being made). Arnold is still fine as a Terminator, with marginal but meaningful emotions and awkward smiles, Jai Courtney excels as Kyle Reese, and Emilia Clarke is perfectly capable as Sarah Connor. John Connor is a more complex character this time, and that part may have to get fixed in the next one. Hopefully there will be another one. I'm sure Skynet has more tricks up its digital sleeve. No worries. Watch it if you're interested. (I for one don't need to see anywhere near so many things crashing and blowing up, but I guess there are those who do... they won't be disappointed. But there is a plot and quite a few things to think about as well.)

Chappie [Blu-ray + Digital HD] (Bilingual)
Chappie [Blu-ray + Digital HD] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Hugh Jackman
Price: CDN$ 15.00
11 used & new from CDN$ 9.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and thoughtful on many levels --- a total success!, July 11 2015
Chappie was absolutely refreshing, one of the most enjoyable films I've watched in quite a while. It's all about what it means to be a "person." You will have no doubts as to how to answer that question by the time you've finished this one. Yolandi Visser was a real standout as "Mommy," and the acting was strong on all fronts. Credit (again) to Neill Blomkamp as the director, he's definitely on a roll. Mr. Blomkamp excels in showing the many faces of South Africa, bringing the country alive in his work. Actually, when I think about it, this was a brilliant film, and on many levels! It will leave you thinking long after watching... every bit as much as the perhaps more serious (and also excellent) Ex Machina.

JFIT Vinyl Kettlebell Set
JFIT Vinyl Kettlebell Set
Price: CDN$ 145.59 - CDN$ 329.40

5.0 out of 5 stars I can't imagine a better-made kettlebell, May 13 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: JFIT Vinyl Kettlebell Set (Sports)
I recently ordered four J Fit kettlebells (20, 25, 30 & 35 pounds). I already had 10-pound CAP kettlebells, and the J Fit are clearly superior. The dipped vinyl is very thick and durable, and the handles are smooth and well-finished. There is a different colour for each weight, another feature I like. I can't imagine a better-made kettlebell. The thick vinyl is a real plus if you're sometimes impacting your body with them, as it noticeably softens the body contact. The kettlebells also came very clean and in good condition. I ordered them in sets at a discount, and the free shipping was an incredible bonus. There was no delay in delivery, prompt service, despite the considerable weight.

J Fit  Kettlebell
J Fit Kettlebell
Price: CDN$ 39.19 - CDN$ 266.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't imagine a better-made kettlebell, May 13 2015
This review is from: J Fit Kettlebell (Sports)
I recently ordered four J Fit kettlebells (20, 25, 30 & 35 pounds). I already had 10-pound CAP kettlebells, and the J Fit are clearly superior. The dipped vinyl is very thick and durable, and the handles are smooth and well-finished. There is a different colour for each weight, another feature I like. I can't imagine a better-made kettlebell. The thick vinyl is a real plus if you're sometimes impacting your body with them, as it noticeably softens the body contact. The kettlebells also came very clean and in good condition. I ordered them in sets at a discount, and the free shipping was an incredible bonus. There was no delay in delivery, prompt service, despite the considerable weight.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
Kingsman: The Secret Service (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Colin Firth
Price: CDN$ 9.99
10 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of its genre... and it might be a new genre!, April 1 2015
Kingsman is just a little over the top, as it's laced with comic book violence, but somehow, that manages to stay in the background. So, start with a little bit of the Matrix, add in a big helping of "JB" (James Bond, Jason Bourne or Jack Bauer, your pick), and finish, maybe, with Mars Attacks and exploding heads (sorry about that part!)... and wrap it up in a Saville Row suit. How does that sound? Samuel Jackson is a smashing (eccentric) bad guy, newcomers Sofia Boutella and Taron Egerton look to be on the rise, and then you have the dependability of Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and a couple of other familiar names. In summary, a suitable evening's diversion. I hope they do a sequel... I have a soft spot for underground lairs and high tech gimmicks, etc., etc.

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