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Detour

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Clones [Import]
Clones [Import]
Price: CDN$ 12.49
20 used & new from CDN$ 6.98

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$ 19.81
31 used & new from CDN$ 13.26

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$ 19.44
41 used & new from CDN$ 8.81

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$ 31.00
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.61

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$ 21.94
42 used & new from CDN$ 15.44

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$ 19.75
28 used & new from CDN$ 17.93

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
12 used & new from CDN$ 18.64

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$ 14.43
63 used & new from CDN$ 4.54

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.

Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy
Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy
by MR Ken Osmond
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.16
10 used & new from CDN$ 18.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Why, you are looking lovely today, Mr. Osmond..., Oct. 7 2014
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I was a fan of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, growing up. I can remember racing home every day at lunch to watch an episode. So when I heard that Ken Osmond would be attending last weekend's comic convention in Hamilton (about 40 minutes from where I live), I knew I wanted to meet him and get his autograph for the collection.

I always like to check and see if a personality I am going to meet has a biography out, and in this case Ken Osmond did, so I picked it up and read it prior to meeting him on Saturday.

Quite the life, besides acting, Ken has been a helicopter pilot, worked in the aeronautical field and served as an LA police officer, where he was shot twice (!) in the line of duty. The first time, he was shot three times at point blank range, but his vest and belt buckle saved him.

In addition, Ken has been mistaken for John Holmes (the porn star), who Ken unsuccessfully tried to sue for using his name, and been mistaken for Alice Cooper (as Alice was once quoted saying "he was an Eddie Haskell growing up”, which was mistaken as "I was Eddie Haskell growing up").

What I loved reading about was the family atmosphere on the set of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, and later, THE NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. Apparently there were no divas, everyone got along and they are all still close today. It is always refreshing to hear that.

A fun read and he’s definitely had an interesting life. And like Jerry Mathers says in the foreword: Ken is a great actor, because, in real life, he is nothing like Eddie. After meeting Ken, I can say, “that Eddie is a real swell guy”.

This is a highly recommended read for fans of the Beav, and/or that rascal, Eddie. Heh, heh heh.

Detour-Film Noir [Import]
Detour-Film Noir [Import]
Price: CDN$ 13.13
19 used & new from CDN$ 7.39

4.0 out of 5 stars That's life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you., Sept. 30 2014
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This review is from: Detour-Film Noir [Import] (DVD)
Detour has been one of my favourite films, and my favourite film noir, since I first had the chance to see it on the old late-night movie show out of Buffalo in the late 80s/early 90s. Can't recall the show's title, but they all acted like hep cats. A cool show that introduced me to a lot of out there stuff.

Unfortunately, being a Public Domain film, the various versions that are out there have left much to be desired, and its PD status has stopped many DVD companies from putting in the time and effort to restore this masterpiece of film noir.

I am pleased to report that Film Chest's release of DETOUR (1945) is the best one yet. Dialog is crisper and clearer than in any previous release. And the picture is a revelation.

The only thing that would make this even better is a full length commentary from a film historian.

Highly recommended upgrade.

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