Profile for Laurence R. Hunt > Reviews

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 426
Helpful Votes: 90

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Reviews Written by
Laurence R. Hunt "Laurence Hunt" (Kenora, Ontario, Canada)
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The 100: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français)
The 100: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 34.98
3 used & new from CDN$ 34.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A relatively strong entry in the teen/young adult genre, with more science fiction themes than most, Oct. 26 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a teen/young adult show that is in competition with franchises such as Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent. For those who like science fiction, it is much more science fiction-based than the others. The space station is incredible, a real advancement in CGI and physical set. That being said, the action takes place primarily on a post-apocalyptic earth, and the storylines are built primarily around teen/young adult themes -- varying in maturity level. The protagonist and her family are really great, and there are several strong characters. Quite a few of the foundations and premises of the show are questionable, though obviously you can take them or leave them. In summary, I will call it "best in class," but it's for the younger ones in the family. It's not really an adult show.

Continuum: Season Two [Blu-ray] [Import]
Continuum: Season Two [Blu-ray] [Import]
Price: CDN$ 50.02
19 used & new from CDN$ 37.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Continuum creates an imaginary world that draws us in and makes us want to stay, Oct. 25 2014
It has already been said that the Continuum story is improving, and I agree. By season two, it has become much more than a "time travel/police procedural" series. The reflections on developing technologies and where they might go are particularly interesting. Every episode starts with a scene of future Vancouver, and these are particularly well done -- I would rate these among the best I have seen in the development of possible futures! The characters are varied and multi-dimensional, though perhaps not all of them deeply so. A lot of thought has gone into how evolving technologies might influence human behaviour and culture. As is so often the case in film and television, the effort to delve into political topics is amateurish by contrast, though the basic idea that a combined anti-business/anti-technology movement might influence how the future unfolds is a good one, and obviously woven from current and quite realistic threads. Bottom line: I found myself easily suspending disbelief, and liking both worlds depicted (present and future), to the point that these were places I felt I would really like to be, if only to develop greater understanding and to capture the feel of what these worlds might be like. Simon Barry is a fairly junior creator, who has done limited previous work. If this is what he's capable of, I think his future lies ahead of him, and it's going to be a necessary one to follow. My understanding is that this is not a big budget show, though it hardly feels cheap. In balance, I view this series as an advance in the production of television science fiction, one of the best on now, and one that will stand among the best as time passes.

Heatstroke [Import]
Heatstroke [Import]
Price: CDN$ 16.60
19 used & new from CDN$ 11.66

3.0 out of 5 stars An uneven effort that succeeds at some levels - the deep faults are surprisingly ignorable, Oct. 25 2014
This review is from: Heatstroke [Import] (DVD)
OK. Let's start with the weaknesses. Formulaic plot. Jarring gaps in narrative. Stereotyped bad guys. Dumb behaviour causing the thematic problem. Now that that's out of the way, the scenery is fascinating, and the two female leads are absolutely fine in carrying out their roles. This is a part of the world we rarely see in film, and the settings are edifying. Also, the scientific material on hyenas is very interesting, and the development of a theme around their behaviour is pretty clever. This is a deeply flawed movie, but I didn't find it that hard to watch, and my memories of having seen it are mostly positive.

Snowpiercer / Snowpiercer, le transperceneige (Blu-ray) (Bilingual)
Snowpiercer / Snowpiercer, le transperceneige (Blu-ray) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Chris Evans
Price: CDN$ 19.96
5 used & new from CDN$ 18.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allegory presented as science fiction... and succeeding, Oct. 24 2014
Snowpiercer is clearly brilliant, though also weird, and fascinatingly and effectively international, which is a very nice twist. I'm pretty sure it's meant as an allegory of the class system and the corresponding obstacles to mobility between classes (as represented all too transparently by sections of the train). It's also meant to have the feel of a graphic novel, and it easily pulls that off... you could think of many scenes also as "panels." Now, you might ask, what does a train that never stops moving have to do with the environmental apocalypse? Well, it's a thin line of reasoning, but the idea is that the train was set up by a visionary as a self-contained, sustainable ecosystem, and... he just happened also to like trains that travel all the way around the world once a year (without track maintenance staff?). Yeah. You can ONLY read it as an allegory. But the acting and character development is outstanding, as are the visuals, the pacing, etc. It's also nice to see the work by a Korean director with quite a few Korean actors. And while Snowpiercer's analysis of the class system is spotty at best (Marx for kindergartners, maybe?), the allegorical emphasis on obstacles to mobility is worth giving further thought to. Finally, there is an ending worthy of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which is in fact an allegory in the same vein (no, I'm not kidding!). So, should you see it? Well, if it sounds interesting, based on what I just wrote, then yeah, go ahead! It's easily one of the most interesting science fiction ideas out there right now, and it escapes the narrow formulas that ensnare the majority of cinematic efforts at science fiction (film has not done well by science fiction, in balance, in fact, television has done much, much better). Is this one of the best science fiction films of recent years? Absolutely.

I'll Follow You Down [Blu-ray] [Import]
I'll Follow You Down [Blu-ray] [Import]
Price: CDN$ 26.64
17 used & new from CDN$ 17.30

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a stage play more than a film!, Oct. 24 2014
I'll Follow You Down is NOT a typical scifi-suspense-thriller. There are no automatic weapons or time cops. There is no high-tech research centre. There is in fact no "action" as delivered by most cinema these days, and only minimal, situationally necessary violence. The film is presented and paced like a stage play. The first hour (or more) is used to set the stage for the decisive events that occur in the final act, if you will. It is certainly slow-paced and "talkie," and calls the viewer back to another, earlier era in film-making. Honestly, the acting is not gripping, the characters aren't deeply developed, and suspension of disbelief in the technological ideas is difficult, if not impossible. Nonetheless, there is a level at which this modestly-budgeted made-in-Canada effort does succeed. That is, I found myself truly caring how everything would play out for the characters, and for how they would resolve their struggles with their dilemmas... which were mostly further losses following (minor spoiler) a father's disappearance early on. The themes were universal enough to be engaging. I'd say that the majority of the issues addressed were unstated, and the film's resolution of most of them was equivocal at best. The time travel theme has been much better developed elsewhere, yet, this film still had something, perhaps unique, to say. Finally, the "disappeared" father must face a stark dilemma, and the final minutes of the film deliver the moral of the story, which, if simplistic, did not ring false, at least in "this timeline." In terms of contemporary productions, an effort like Continuum develops a far more sophisticated and complex vision of time travel --- one that makes you stretch, and stretch again. This film doesn't do that at all, nor does it attempt to. The idea of time travel is really secondary to the primary and overriding moral theme. But... please allow me to conclude it like this: Had this been a stage production, it would in fact have worked --- and that is not easy to say for most ideas developed in science fiction film. This is a slow boiler for a quiet and contemplative evening, and not much at all like most other science fiction movies.

Ringside Super Bag Gloves, Large, Black
Ringside Super Bag Gloves, Large, Black
Price: CDN$ 62.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible gloves of top quality., Aug. 23 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are incredible gloves of top quality at a good price. They are firm/tight-fitting and sturdily-constructed, as they should be, with no noticeable slippage. Very pleased with this purchase. The Ringside brand seems to produce products at a consistent, high standard.

TKO Medicine Ball Display Rack
TKO Medicine Ball Display Rack
Price: CDN$ 134.40
4 used & new from CDN$ 134.40

5.0 out of 5 stars A sturdy, well-made, versatile product., Aug. 23 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a sturdy, well-made, versatile product. I will caution that it is designed for the older style (larger) medicine balls. The holders are larger than would work for some of the newer, smaller weighted balls, particularly those that are "soft-grip," as the U-shaped holders will put a crease in those. However, I have quite a few weighted balls of various styles, and this has been perfect for my purposes. I can't imagine how this stand could be better made. I should add that the price on this product was highly variable, literally hopping around over the few weeks I was watching it. I was able to purchase this under $90 with free shipping, which feels like a very good deal.

Trademark Innovations Speed Training Hurdles, Pack of 5, 12-Inch
Trademark Innovations Speed Training Hurdles, Pack of 5, 12-Inch
Price: CDN$ 32.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well-made, lightweight training hurdles., Aug. 23 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a very reasonably priced product for the home gym. These hurdles are light, sturdy and well-made in all respects. I cannot think how they could be improved.

Black Mountain Products Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings
Black Mountain Products Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings
Price: CDN$ 41.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product., Aug. 23 2014
I am totally pleased with these rings, which I have just installed. In my setting, I am using them in a fixed position, so I am not using the straps (rather rope loops). Though I am rating only the rings, the straps look to be of good quality with a sturdy buckle. The rings are of good size, extremely sturdy, and reasonably light. They have a good feel on the hands, and are comfortable while supporting full body weight for periods of a minute at a time or so. I am glad that I have added these to my home gym. I am now very pleased with everything I have ordered from Black Mountain. They seem to be producing to a high standard.

Black Mountain Products Dual Stability AB Wheel Roller
Black Mountain Products Dual Stability AB Wheel Roller
Price: CDN$ 28.85
4 used & new from CDN$ 23.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a class by itself., Aug. 23 2014
This is a superior roller, and I have used others. It is in a class by itself. The best handgrips I have seen, much superior to the soft foam that most of them have. Nicely finished. The wheels are somewhat smaller than the ones you commonly see, but that causes no problems that I have identified. Best in class.

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