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Handsome Heroes and Vicious Villains: More Cliffhanger Serials of the Silent-Movie Era
Handsome Heroes and Vicious Villains: More Cliffhanger Serials of the Silent-Movie Era
by Ed Hulse
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 38.67
4 used & new from CDN$ 33.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic follow-up on the history of the silent serial, June 13 2016
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Ed Hulse has done it again. Handsome Heroes and Vicious Villains, his follow-up to the excellent Distressed Damsels and Masked Marauders, covers the rest of the film studios that produced silent serials in the early part of the 20th Century. This includes Universal, Mutual, Arrow as well as many independents that had not been covered in the earlier book.

Like the first volume, each section is broken down by studio and Ed gives an exhaustive and in depth history for each serial (with some serials receiving more info than others, depending on the amount of information still available for each).

Along with cast and crew information (which occasionally includes biographical material), plot synopsis are provided for many of the serials. Also, as with the first volume, Ed provides trade reviews of many of the serials, as well as exhibitioner feedback on the reception serial releases received in their markets. Fascinating stuff.

As with Handsome Heroes and Vicious Villains, my only regret is the book is now read and I still want more.

Ed, is there any way we can convince you to do a book on the sound serials?

Highly recommend for serial fans, film fans and fans of film history.

Zombies A–Z
Zombies A–Z
by Dan Oliver
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.72
11 used & new from CDN$ 0.90

2.0 out of 5 stars Book about zombie films could use some life, Sept. 29 2015
This review is from: Zombies A–Z (Paperback)
Zombie fan, here, always looking for a good zombie film. I thought an A to Z book on zombie movies would fit the bill. There may be a book out there that does that. Unfortunately, this is not that book.

Entries are erratic. Some have full plot synopsis, trivia, critic reviews and movie mistakes.

Other entries are halfhearted at best, with barely there plot outlines...and that's it. Sometimes the author just ends the plot outline abruptly, halfway through the description.

It's as if the author put in detailed effort only on the films he actually liked and/or were already well known. No effort seemed to be done to research the more obscure titles, which was what I was hoping for when I got the book.

Everyone knows all about NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, EVIL DEAD and THE WALKING DEAD. Yet these four titles have the most ink in the book. Heck, even some of the cast members got mini-bios.

Space in the book that would have been better spent expanding on the more obscure titles. If I wanted a Simon Pegg bio, I would have bought one.

Not recommended.

Clones [Import]
Clones [Import]
Price: CDN$ 12.85
14 used & new from CDN$ 8.00

2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting sci-fi premise, ruined by poor DVD presentation, April 3 2015
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This review is from: Clones [Import] (DVD)
As a sci-fi fan, I am always looking for one of those hidden gems that aren't well known, so I was looking forward to seeing the new release of the 1973 film THE CLONES, a film I had never heard about.

I just watched the new DVD release of THE CLONES and the presentation is terrible. The film is not in widescreen, as it was originally shot, with my first indication that things were amiss being during the opening credits that were partially cut-off on the right side of the screen.

Also disappointing is the picture and sound quality, which is obviously from a a poor VHS transfer. The picture lacks any sharp detail and the sound was muddled, even with the volume somewhat raised.

The film itself was not very good, IMHO, though the story had potential. The sub par quality of this DVD release certainly didn't help.

There are no extras on the disc, which is another shame. A featurette, or especially a commentary, would have added some value to this release.

If this was a legitimate release, it is an abysmal effort by the studio/producers and it will be a real disappointment to anyone who had been looking forward to it.

Not recommended.

I Was That Masked Man
I Was That Masked Man
by Clayton Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.94
26 used & new from CDN$ 14.40

4.0 out of 5 stars So that's who that masked man was..., March 12 2015
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This review is from: I Was That Masked Man (Paperback)
Who doesn't love the Lone Ranger? I love the Lone Ranger. And I admire Clayton Moore and his determinations to live up to the ideals of the iconic character that he portrayed. Often to the detriment of his career, as keeping with the Lone Ranger's code of ethics precluded Moore from taking many roles that didn't fall into that strictly defined sense of morality. Was it the wisest choice? Only Clayton Moore can answer that.

Is this a good autobiography? Yes. Is it great? No. While the book is amiable, it is also a little dull. I really would have appreciated more insight into what it was like to work with people such as Bela Lugosi and Marilyn Monroe, but they are only given a sentence or two, each. And Mr. Moore seems to have no information as to why he was fired as the Lone Ranger, nor why they dropped the case against him. These are the juicy details that any LR fan would want to know.

Still, the book and the subject are enjoyable and there is some good information to mine from this.

Recommended to fans of The Lone Ranger.

Missing Reels
Missing Reels
by Farran Smith Nehme
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.02
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.09

3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise marred with poor writing, March 12 2015
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This review is from: Missing Reels (Hardcover)
When I first read the book review in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, I thought this is the book for me. A mystery, a possible lost silent film and a heap of Hollywood history. I couldn't wait to read it.

Well, I'm sorry to report the book was only half interesting, that being the part about the silent film mystery and the sprinkling of Hollywood history. There is payoff with the mystery, but the denouement felt incomplete.

Unfortunately, the book also has an annoying main character with an equally annoying name, Ceinwen, which is pronounced Kine-wen, which we are reminded about repeatedly throughout the book. She is supposed to be 21 years old, but acts like an immature 15 year-old. And the romance between her and Matthew, another unlikable character, is laughable and unbelievable. It felt like a Fifty Shades of Grey-lite type of sadomasochist relationship. At times, Matthew came across more like Ceinwen's babysitter rather than her lover.

In the end, I really can't recommend this book to anyone. The mystery/history angle is interesting, but not enough to carry the narrative past the unappealing protagonists and underdeveloped writing style.

The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century
The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century
by Margaret Talbot
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.90
26 used & new from CDN$ 3.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating history of the evolution of entertainment in the 20th Century, March 12 2015
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I've been a fan of Lyle Talbot, ever since I first saw him as Commissioner Gordon in the second Batman serial, back in the early 80s, when I picked up VHS versions of both Batman serials from Goodtimes. Since then, I have enjoyed him in many things, from Lex Luthor in ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN, to PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, as well as his numerous other film and television roles. So when I heard about this book, I was curious to see what his daughter (the author) had to offer.

I was quite impressed, and loved the book. Couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. Not only does Margaret Talbot trace the arc of her father's career, from road shows and vaudeville to movies and TV, she charts the course of entertainment in 20th Century America. An immersive and informative read, I must add that THE ENTERTAINER, like its subject matter, is highly entertaining.

Highly recommended to fans of Lyle Talbot, bios in general and/or entertainment history.

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
by William J. Mann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.43
24 used & new from CDN$ 17.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at the Golden Age of Hollywood, March 2 2015
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I love a mystery. I love a real life mystery even more. And the murder of William Desmond Taylor has been one of those mysteries that have fascinated me since I first read about it. So, when this book was announced, I was all in.

I was not disappointed. From the first page, this in-depth, engaging , well-written tome has you in its grip. You feel like you are in Hollywood of the 1920's. The author even researched the weather and other peripheral facts, when constructing his narrative. And not one word is fabricated. All the facts are from meticulous research and all the quotes are in the public record.

The best part? I feel he solved the mystery. But I'm not telling. You'll have to read the book.

Highly recommended.

Stephen King Films FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the King of Horror on Film
Stephen King Films FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the King of Horror on Film
by Scott Von Doviak
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.12
24 used & new from CDN$ 5.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the King of horror..., Oct. 10 2014
I've been a big Stephen King fan, ever since I first read FIRESTARTER, way back in 1982. As a rule, I always read a King book first, before seeing one of the adaptations. I always find this improves the movie for me, as I can fill in the story with what I read in the novel. So being a fan of both King and horror films, I was looking forward to getting some insight on each of the films. Well, brother, let me tell ya, I was not disappointed. A great read, fun, with humour in the right doses. Lots of facts and trivia that I wasn't aware of. I was a little sad when this one ended.

Highly recommend to Stephen King fans, horror fans and film fans

By Your Command: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Battlestar Galactica: Original Series and Galactica 1980 Volume 1
By Your Command: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Battlestar Galactica: Original Series and Galactica 1980 Volume 1
by Alan Stevens
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 50.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Only the Lords of Kobol know more..., Oct. 10 2014
I've always been a big fan of the original Battlestar Galactica series and its spin-off, GALACTICA 1980 (though, to a lesser degree). This book really delves into the making and behind-the-scenes machinations of the series. Also, the insightful commentary really expands ones vision of the show. I've been re-watching the episodes, since finishing the book, and though I'd seen most of them a half-dozen times or so each, I still took away new things from them, due to the information provided in the book. A highly enjoyable and informative read.

Highly Recommended to Battlestar Galactica fans and/or fans of behind-the-scenes stuff.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.28
60 used & new from CDN$ 8.61

5.0 out of 5 stars A thousand words are worth these pictures..., Oct. 10 2014
I love vintage photographs. You know, those black and white snap shots of another time, when people hardly ever smiled at the camera. Each picture just offers up so many questions about its subject. So, when I heard about this book, I knew I had to check it out. Ransom Riggs has done a fine job of welding a tale from these dispirited images and the book is a page turner that's impossible to put down. And the last page is bittersweet, you just want this adventure to continue! Luckily, the second book in a planned trilogy, HOLLOW CITY, is now available. Can't wait to get back in the "loop".

Highly recommended.

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