countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more scflyout Pets All-New Kindle Explore the Amazon.ca Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools
Profile for Celil Parker > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Celil Parker
Top Reviewer Ranking: 48,806
Helpful Votes: 19

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Celil Parker "Jerry Parker" (région de l'Abitibi, QC)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
The Defense Never Rests: Second Edition
The Defense Never Rests: Second Edition
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sound Defense of Confessional Lutheranism & of Christianity Itself, Albeit One That Ignores an Abiding Error at LCMS' Very Core, July 19 2016
The author of "The Defense Never Rests" (2nd ed., 2015, Concordia Pub. House) is an almost devout follower of the great Lutheran polymath, John Warwick Montgomery, a theologian and lawyer among other things, describing him often within the book in terms such as "the foremost apologist of our day", especially among Lutherans. That is true, but some readers would prefer to read books of more extended and continuous exposition of the content than of Montgomery's basically essayist style and format; most of Montgomery's books are, indeed, collections of his essays. However, as a Christian essayist among apologists of the Holy Faith of Christianity, of the Reformation, and specifically of Confessional Lutheranism, Montgomery has few if any equals among post-W.W.-2 writers. Much of Craig Parton's writing recalls, in approach and internal logic, Montgomery's own writing quite distinctly (and shares that scholar's competence in alike law and Christian theology). It is good that such strong echoes occur in a book that that is of longer-striving dimensions in sustaining the apologetic stance that Parton takes and that Montgomery, in his different way, also had carried out.

Parton's own background in the Neo-Evangelical movement (although he calls it rather less specifically and less accurately "Evangelical") gives him a particularly keen insight into what is good, is not-so-good, and is downright dreadful in modern-day Neo-Evangelical (and, by extension to some degree, Fundamentalist) sectarianism. Parton for the most part evaluates the Reformed tradition aptly, although he tends, in a disconcerting way, to make an only partially apposite case that it throws its lot in with Neo-Evangelicalism and with other sectarian movements, as Confessional Lutheran theologians so often unfairly tend to claim for it. Nonetheless, much in Reformed Christianity truly is dangerously amiss, and Parton rightly zeroes in on that, too, and refutes Reformed Christianity's real faults and failings. For all of that, there is much more in common between genuinely Protestant ecclesiastical and theological communities of believers like Lutherans, Moravians, Presbyterians/Reformed, and Anglicans (including those of the Reformed Episcopal Church, a dynamic denomination that Parton, strangely, completely ignores) than there is between Lutheranism, on the one hand, and Neo-Evangelical (and mostly Arminian, millenarian) sectarianism, on the other.

While Parton clearly identifies with the old Synodical Conference Lutheranism of the Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Synod, and the much smaller Evangelical Lutheran ("Little Norwegian") Synod, he does identify the greatest intrinsic risk to the integrity of these Confessionally Lutheran groups, i.e. the nefarious "Church Growth Movement" (C.G.M.) mentality and methods which some Lutherans in those synods have imported from Neo-Evangelical circles at large. Among the other genuinely Protestant North American denominations, there is resistance by some of their believers that is similar to his own wariness regarding these same or similar C.G.M. incursions, although Parton makes little of that fact.

What Parton very improperly ignores is the abiding defect of Synodical Conference Lutheranism, namely its stubborn adherence to the soteriological paradigm of what is called "Universal Objective Justification" (U.O.J.) and its corollary, "Subjective Justification", which means that L.C.M.S. and W.E.L.S. have a warped and perverse concept of the doctrine of Justification by Faith, which is at the heart of Confessional Lutheranism and of its Book of Concord. The terms naming the defective U.O.J. paradigm are somewhat misleading, since they do not convey to a non-Lutheran outsider just what U.O.J.'s notions are and how bizarrely un-Protestant and un-Lutheran they prove to be. There has grown up a vigourous movement, originating within Lutheranism of Synodical Conference ranks, of breakaway Independent Lutheranism, which rejects and roots out entirely the pernicious U.O.J. (or simply "O.J.") doctrinal paradigm, to return to what the Lutheran Confessions (in "The Book of Concord") rightly mean by "Justification by Faith".

The foremost proponent, among Independent Lutherans, of true Confessionalism in Lutheranism is Ptr. Gregory L. Jackson, who has published several books that deal, in part or entirely, with the U.O.J. threat to Lutheran orthodoxy within Lutheranism's otherwise conservative ranks. It would be good for the reader of Parton's book to follow up his examination of Lutheranism and Christian orthodoxy with Jackson's "Luther vs. the U.O.J. Pietists: Justification by Faith" (distributed through the Web site Lulu). Jackson's other books on Lutheranism, and on Christianity more broadly, also provide fine means to help the reader to assess Independent as well as Synodical Lutheranism as well as other streams of Christianity. Jackson's "Thy Strong Word" (of which a revised edition is available, again from Lulu) is at least as good as anything that Parton has to offer in assessing the truths and values that genuine Lutheranism always has proclaimed.

Lutheranism is one of the very largest manifestations of Christianity worldwide, yet other Christians, certainly those outside of Europe, are strangely unaware of it and/or hold very inaccurate conceptions of what Lutheranism truly is. Parton's and Jackson's books are among those by recent champions of Confessional Lutheranism (among even rather marginal figures of interest count the likes of Theodore P. Letis, of such premature decease, and blessedly numerous other authors both of central and of more occasional interest) which, like the great works by Sasse, Montgomery, R. Preus, and others in the prior two generations or so to their own, most clearly and fully convey the theological, liturgical, and artistic riches of the Lutheran Faith and of the Confessional church bodies which yet flourish to proclaim the Lutheran orthodox faith to other Christians and to the world.


Voodoo Moon
Voodoo Moon
DVD ~ Eric Mabius
Price: CDN$ 8.83
19 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good Concept, Overall, but a Film Like This One Needs More Budget, July 18 2016
This review is from: Voodoo Moon (DVD)
This supernatural horror film suffers mostly from lack of adequate budget to create more atmosphere and heightened cinematic effects. The narrative concept is quite good and, within the narrow constraint of means available, realised successfully. The actors are excellent for such a low-budget production, especially Rik Young as the seductively dapper and beautiful young demon-dude, looking rather a lot, in 2006, like how the sveltely attractive and athletic Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, looks in 2016.

The only misjudgment the made-for-TV movie's conception is the static nature of the final confrontation between the demon fighter, Cole, whom Eric Mabius plays and Rik Young's wickedly demonic character, Daniel, each the nemesis of the other. The two men hurl bolts of power at each other, the force increasing with each one, but there is too little movement or physicality in their battle, really a sort of stand-off, albeit one in which the demon-fighting Cole finally prevails over his wicked adversary. It was not all that consistently evident to the eye, either, except at some moments, that the duel of the two was taking place on the surface of a lake rather than on and off, variously, its shores.

The cinematic cheapie is good of its kind. The cemetery scene in New Orleans was fun to see as was some of the scenery, although the film, generally, is not particularly scenic nor did it require to be that. What was needed was budget and more stunning effects. The movie is enjoyable enough to keep the DVD (Anchor Bay Entertainment N-2078) to watch it again sometime.


Our Gang Great Hits (Full Screen) [Import]
Our Gang Great Hits (Full Screen) [Import]
DVD ~ Our Gang
Offered by MidwestMediaOverstock
Price: CDN$ 19.99
11 used & new from CDN$ 0.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Well Processed Albeit Rather Small Selection of Some Very Choice Episodes of "Our Gang", July 12 2016
There are (unsurprisingly for such perennial favourites among vintage cinema) numerous video reissues of "Our Gang" (the "Little Rascals") available. I have two of them, a good representation of these films, not wishing to have a complete edition of "Our Gang", but desiring to have, on the one hand, a sizable selection and, on the other, to be sure of having one DVD, that, at least, was sure to include my departed mother's favourite, "The Kid from Borneo".

The two DVDs of Little Rascals material especially have satisfied my requirements, namely "Our Gang: over 8 Hours, 16 Features, including 4 Bonus Features", a DVD in the series, “Classic Television [i.e., more accurately, in this case, cinema shorter and longer motion pictures frequently seen on TV] Series” (Echo House Home Entertainment 82899) and, what is specifically under review here, "Our Gang: Little Rascals Greatest Hits" (Good Times Home Video Corp. 05-81095). I was pleasantly surprised that Good Times' own DVD, besides including the particularly sought after episode, was of such superior quality, in both sound and image, to what I would see on the Echo House compilation; it would seem that either the source material was better in quality or that some effort to restore the old films had been made. The improvement is most obvious on the episodes that the two DVDs include in common.

It is fun, though, to view, in whatever condition, thanks to the considerable playing time of Echo Park's rival DVD, so many episodes and also some longer-length related movies featuring one or another of the actors, having become teenagers by the time of the longer films and who had starred as tots in the "Our Gang"; thankfully, my entire family's favourite, Carl Dean Switzer, who had played "Alfalfa" in the "Our Gang" movie shorts, is among them. So, I would heartily recommend both of the releases discussed here, to have a generous sampling of "Our Gang" and, in the case of Good Times' disc, to have some of them to view in really excellent quality.


Family Medical Ency
Family Medical Ency
by Justus Schifferes
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Work for Home Applications of Medicine and First Aid That Deserves Updating to Provide a Revised Edition for Today, June 30 2016
This review is from: Family Medical Ency (Paperback)
I relied on this marvellously helpful health care guide by Justus J. Schifferes for many years, supplementing it -- but never supplanting it -- with other books of the kind. Alas, now one could make a case that it just has become too out-of-date to trust sufficiently any longer; consider, for example, the amazingly effective, still relatively new class of inhalant medications for control and relief of allergies, especially of asthma (e.g., to cite the U.S. and Canadian brand names of two among them, Advair™ and Flonase™), which surpass what antihistamines and other, older drugs and therapies could accomplish to relieve many allergies.

What a pity it is that such an helpful guide (which, widely popular as it was, went through multiple editions and printings as translated into Spanish and Portuguese as well as those in its original English) should lapse from more current usefulness and reliability, due to developments and changes in medicine, in pharmacology, and even in matters of availability of, and of choice among, types (and brands) of home remedies for various sores, wounds, itches, coughs, and many other symptoms and ailments, especially of the kinds and conditions thereof that can be treated and/or relieved safely at home.

This book really has been a classic of its kind. I still regard it with affection and respect and, despite its by now elderly vintage, Even so, I am not likely to relegate it merely to gathering dust. Hopefully someone will come back to this alphabetically arrayed guide to update it, but that (too bad about it) is not likely to happen.


Canadian Medical Association Complete Home Medical Guide
Canadian Medical Association Complete Home Medical Guide
by Lewis Younger
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from CDN$ 6.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Published Medical Guide for the Average Household and One That Facilitates Amateur Study, Too, June 27 2016
Wow! What an imposing publication! I ordered this not even suspecting how monumental this work (of which the ISBN is 1-55363-002-5) really is. It is, according to a statement on the verso of the title page, a Canadian adaptation (presumably, I would guess, updated somewhat during the process of adaptation) of the "A.C.P. Complete Home Medical Guide". The 1105 pages have a large printing and illustration surface, so the page count is all the more impressive for that.

It is the edition copyrighted 2001 being commented upon here, so (in mid-2016) the work is far from being much outdated, so far as the needs of the average user who is unspecialised in medical matters are concerned. Books like this one meant for home use do not have to be at the very "cutting edge" of the discipline of medicine, as texts meant for the use of medical professionals, of course, must be just that; if this book were suchlike, accounting for newly discovered minutiae, it would be only more difficult for the average person to understand and to benefit from it.

The binding is of very fine, full-buckram quality, which is desirable in such a hefty publication of heavy weight due to the size and sturdy thickness of the paper stock used in printing. The book's covers are sober yet pleasing to the eye, a beauty on one's bookself, with an attractive paper dustcover if one care to retain that to envelop the book to display it.

The organisation of the work is topical, in a manner that makes sense easily to the average reader, and the index is comprehensive and clearly presented, thus facilitating easy and rapid access to the contents of the volume. The illustrations, in colour or half-colour, are truly excellent, One can learn a great deal about anatomy and physiology of the human body from studying them, if one care to do that. The entries in the work are well organised and written, clearer than much of what one tends to see on medical matters online when searching the Internet. I trust this work more than I do what I find in such electronic sources.

A splendid work, one to keep on hand for long-time use!


Greenberg [Blu-ray]
Greenberg [Blu-ray]
Offered by e-moveo
Price: CDN$ 5.06
17 used & new from CDN$ 3.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to the Holder of the Best Role in This Dreary Film, March 7 2016
This review is from: Greenberg [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
--- And that role is the family mutt's. He, a big canine named Mahler, is a large and affable German Shepherd, for hound's sake.

However, this is not a "dog movie", despite Mahler the hound's importance to how the plot (such as it is) unfurls. Actually, it is hard to say what it "Greenberg" is at all, except perhaps a psychological (not thriller but rather) snoozer.

The writer and director, Noah Baumbach, thinks of Greater Los Angeles, Calif. itself as the chief character. There's some plausibility in that and -- let's be grateful -- L.A. seldom lets one down as a consciously intended element (rather than posing as somewhere else) in a movie. I grew up in Los Angeles County, first, as a poor white kid in the 1940s in the blighted, overwhelmingly black neighbourhood that Bell/Southgate/Watts together comprise, only later, to any considerable extent, Latino. Then the family, after many moves, settled in North Hollywood/Studio City, a really lovely part of Greater L.A., then, later still, in Long Beach (which I left for once for all in 1967 for the East Coast and, eventually, for Québec). Long Beach, which is not a setting, either, for anything in this film, but similar enough to other L.A. turf, was a city that, back in the 1940s and 1950s, was the working bloke's modest equivalent of the wealthy folk's Malibu vacation playland, at much more affordable prices and with lots of Long Beach's own peculiar funk (such as that of the inimitably tacky Oogla Smith's variety). So, yeah, I do appreciate the film's urban-suburban Los Angeles setting that I experienced with such diversity earlier in life. For all of that, however, a film needs more than that to be of any wide interest to a large public.

The lead (and eponymous) human character himself, Greenberg (first name, Roger), of whom Ben Stiller probably makes as much of a good "go" as really likely at depicting, is a middle-aged, narcissistic, obsessive, self-centred, creepy, and maladapted nerd who irritates and/or alienates almost anyone else in the film. At least, on-and-off, Florence, a young woman of remarkable patience, puts up with Roger Greenberg graciously and amiably, at least much of the time. Some of the other characters would be much more fun in motion picture of less somnolence than in this one.

Thanks to Roger Greenberg's overall irritability and weirdness, as Ben Stiller plays him with those and other personality qualities, this film at least is not one of those many excessively laid-back, So-Cal reveries, although my testimony on that score is that I nearly dozed off, anyway, at several points during the course of the movie. However, "Greenberg" (the edition viewed on widescreen DVD, rather than on Blu-ray, being Alliance 114747) takes more than good casting and setting alone to save it from its inherent flaws. Although I cherish almost any movie with Ben Stiller in the cast, this one is only going to be in my home video collection very temporarily.


Greenberg (Bilingual) [Import]
Greenberg (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Ben Stiller
Price: CDN$ 19.25
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Best Role, in This Mostly Rather Tedious Film, Is a Non-Speaking One!, March 6 2016
--- And that role is the family mutt's. He, a big canine named Mahler, is a large and affable German Shepherd, for hound's sake.

However, this is not a "dog movie", despite Mahler the hound's importance to how the plot (such as it is) unfurls. Actually, it is hard to say what it "Greenberg" is at all, except perhaps a psychological (not thriller but rather) snoozer.

The writer and director, Noah Baumbach, thinks of Greater Los Angeles, Calif. itself as the chief character. There's some plausibility in that and -- let's be grateful -- L.A. seldom lets one down as a consciously intended element (rather than posing as somewhere else) in a movie. I grew up in Los Angeles County, first, as a poor white kid in the 1940s in the blighted, overwhelmingly black neighbourhood that Bell/Southgate/Watts together comprise, only later, to any considerable extent, Latino. Then the family, after many moves, settled in North Hollywood/Studio City, a really lovely part of Greater L.A., then, later still, in Long Beach (which I left for once for all in 1967 for the East Coast and, eventually, for Québec). Long Beach, which is not a setting, either, for anything in this film, but similar enough to other L.A. turf, was a city that, back in the 1940s and 1950s, was the working bloke's modest equivalent of the wealthy folk's Malibu vacation playland, at much more affordable prices and with lots of Long Beach's own peculiar funk (such as that of the inimitably tacky Oogla Smith's variety). So, yeah, I do appreciate the film's urban-suburban Los Angeles setting that I experienced with such diversity earlier in life. For all of that, however, a film needs more than that to be of any wide interest to a large public.

The lead (and eponymous) human character himself, Greenberg (first name, Roger), of whom Ben Stiller probably makes as much of a good "go" as really likely at depicting, is a middle-aged, narcissistic, obsessive, self-centred, creepy, and maladapted nerd who irritates and/or alienates almost anyone else in the film. At least, on-and-off, Florence, a young woman of remarkable patience, puts up with Roger Greenberg graciously and amiably, at least much of the time. Some of the other characters would be much more fun in motion picture of less somnolence than in this one.

Thanks to Roger Greenberg's overall irritability and weirdness, as Ben Stiller plays him with those and other personality qualities, this film at least is not one of those many excessively laid-back, So-Cal reveries, although my testimony on that score is that I nearly dozed off, anyway, at several points during the course of the movie. However, "Greenberg" (the edition viewed on widescreen DVD being Alliance 114747) takes more than good casting and setting alone to save it from its inherent flaws. Although I cherish almost any movie with Ben Stiller in the cast, this one is only going to be in my home video collection very temporarily.


Among His Earliest 1932-35 by Harlequin Records (2002-06-25)
Among His Earliest 1932-35 by Harlequin Records (2002-06-25)
Offered by IMG store
Price: CDN$ 46.62
3 used & new from CDN$ 46.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Latin and Nostalgic: Xavier Cugat's Early Recordings of Cuban and Other Latin Music, So Suitable for Dancing, Feb. 15 2016
Xavier Cugat long has wooed non-Islanders to Cuban and other Latin music. His musicians always have played sleek, rhythmically secure versions of Cuban songs and other musical numbers that usually are easy to dance to and which appeal to a wide audience that, without such recordings as his, might be a lot less familiar (at least superficially) with Cuban and Latin-American music. As the years went by, Cugat's band got larger, played even more "sweetly" than it did right from the outset, and became super-commercial in approach, even at times, in the 1950s with lots of gimmicks amply in place, catagorisable as the "Space-Age bachelor pad" variant of "lounge" music.

For a comparison of just how inflated (thought still likeable) Cugat's and his performers' music became by the 1950s, compare "Xavier Cugat: Among His Earliest, 1932-1935", the disc under review here (Harlequin HQCD-179, reissuing from various 78 r.p.m. discs), with the later "South America, Take It Away" (Dynamic-DYN2091, reissuing a 33.3 r.p.m. LP disc on CD), The music as heard on Dynamic's disc is much more modest and becoming in Cugat's earlier, less glitzy renditions of Latin dance music. The selections on "Among His Earliest" begin predominantly instrumental, then, as one proceeds, vocalists, female or male solo or vocal ensemble, variously, singing usually in Spanish and at other times in English, become more numerous. However, the spirit of the livelier numbers, at their most fun, occasionally can be antic, less restrained and "easy-listening" than what Cugat purveyed later. These ears prefer Cugat's first recordings, even if later ones nonetheless are enjoyable fodder for background (or "mood") music.


Among His Earliest 1932-35
Among His Earliest 1932-35
Price: CDN$ 24.01
17 used & new from CDN$ 17.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Easily Dancible, Tuneful, and Sleekly Arranged Cuban Popular Music, Geared to the Liking of North American Ears, Feb. 13 2016
Xavier Cugat long has wooed non-Islanders to Cuban and other Latin music. His musicians always have played sleek, rhythmically secure versions of Cuban songs and other musical numbers that usually are easy to dance to and which appeal to a wide audience that, without such recordings as his, might be a lot less familiar (at least superficially) with Cuban and Latin-American music. As the years went by, Cugat's band got larger, played even more "sweetly" than it did right from the outset, and became super-commercial in approach, even at times, in the 1950s with lots of gimmicks amply in place, catagorisable as the "Space-Age bachelor pad" variant of "lounge" music.

For a comparison of just how inflated (thought still likeable) Cugat's and his performers' music became by the 1950s, compare "Xavier Cugat: Among His Earliest, 1932-1935", the disc under review here (Harlequin HQCD-179, reissuing from various 78 r.p.m. discs), with the later "South America, Take It Away" (Dynamic-DYN2091, reissuing a 33.3 r.p.m. LP disc on CD), The music as heard on Dynamic's disc is much more modest and becoming in Cugat's earlier, less glitzy renditions of Latin dance music. The selections on "Among His Earliest" begin predominantly instrumental, then, as one proceeds, vocalists, female or male solo or vocal ensemble, variously, singing usually in Spanish and at other times in English, become more numerous. However, the spirit of the livelier numbers, at their most fun, occasionally can be antic, less restrained and "easy-listening" than what Cugat purveyed later. These ears prefer Cugat's first recordings, even if later ones nonetheless are enjoyable fodder for background (or "mood") music.


Vinyan (Bilingual) [Import]
Vinyan (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Emmanuelle Béart
Price: CDN$ 19.35
19 used & new from CDN$ 1.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Weird, Densely Beautiful, Disturbing French Film, but Not One for Placidly and Exclusively Mainstream Tastes, Feb. 7 2016
This review is from: Vinyan (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)
C'mon, Amazonian-Canadians! We can do better than those prior two excessively brief comments about this interesting, mysterious, and visually rich motion picture. Alas, while one review, the two-liner, at least hinted at some enjoyment and appreciation of the film, the other, in three jagged lines, was so uncomprehending that one has to wonder why the viewer bothered.

Well, get this into the head: "Vinyan" is far from being the typical Hollywood, well-made, formulaic, and straightforward movie. (Many marvellous films have come, and continue to appear, from Hollywood, but they are not the kind of yardstick by which dunderheads write such dismissive reviews as what one finds for "Vinyan".) There is a narrative thread in this French motion picture (with a Brit, Rufus Sewell among the excellent cast), something that is lacking in many equally or more ambitions and wonderful avant-garde films. However, story (with extensive nudity in the telling) is not the point; psychology and nightmarish alternative, swarming jungle reality (feral jungle kids of the demonic spawn sort and all) definitely are.

Anyway, ignore the skimpy Canadian reviews and hone in on some of those for Amazon's U.K. and U.S. Websites. If one's liking is only-and-ever for films that are not straightforward and made as much to chew popcorn by than for attentive viewing, do not bother with "Vinyan" (the DVD edition watched being Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 304773). The lush scenery of South Asian rainforest and jungle set on jagged landscape) is very beautifully filmed and for some viewers might reason enough to see this film. Overall, "Vinyan" is a treat for the adventurous movie-lover.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6