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Daniel V. Reilly (Upstate New York, United States)

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The Company of Wolves (Widescreen)
The Company of Wolves (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Sarah Patterson
Price: CDN$ 28.04
16 used & new from CDN$ 19.38

4.0 out of 5 stars As You're Pretty, So Be Wise....., March 23 2003
I saw The Company of Wolves with my best friend Bryan when we were both thirteen, and I must confess, we both left the theater totally perplexed. What the hell did we just see? With almost twenty years more maturity under my belt, and having seen (And loved!) most of Director Neil Jordan's films, I decided to give "Company" another try...
It's still a deeply challenging film. The story is basically a fever-dream committed to film. Rosaleen is a young girl on the cusp of becoming a young woman. Her dreams place her in a fairy-tale land where her older sister has strayed from the path and been killed by a pack of wolves. Rosaleen's Granny (The excellent Angela Lansbury) tries to teach her about the ways of wolves (and men...), but will Rosaleen listen? Her burgeoning sexuality is about to lead her off the path, and into the arms of a big bad wolf....
The film is absolutely drenched in rich symbolism and deep parables that resonate strongly in this day of seemingly commonplace child abductions. As Rosaleen's family strives to keep her safe, they must also deal with her desire to forge her own path in life. Director Neil Jordan has crafted a film that rewards multiple viewings, adapting Angela Carter's stories to great effect. The colors are simply gorgeous to look at, and the sets and effects are staggeringly effective. The performances are marvelously understated, and Terrence Stamp steals the show in an all-too-brief cameo. Sarah Patterson plays young Rosaleen, and does a great job. Her recitation of the closing quotation is superbly chilling.
The disc comes with a photo gallery, promo reel, and trailer. Highly recommended for horror fans who are sick of screaming teens running from knife-wielding maniacs....

Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels
Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels
DVD ~ Stan Lee
Offered by Pembroke Videos
Price: CDN$ 6.00
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Treat For Lee's "True Believers"!!, March 17 2003
FACE FRONT, TRUE BELIEVER!!
Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels is a real treat for anyone (Like ME!) who grew up reading Stan Lee's comic books and hilarious Bullpen Bulletins columns. Lee is, of course, the co-creator of some of the most famous literary characters of all time: The X-Men, Spider-Man, The Hulk....The list goes on and on. He's interviewed here by Filmmaker (And a talented comic writer in his own right!) Kevin Smith. They cover virtually every topic any "Friend of 'ol Marvel" could imagine, and Lee & Smith provide some great anecdotes and laughs along the way. The DVD has some great extras, including a looong poem by Stan, some of his home movies, a tour of his house, and his (Brief!) explanation of the ill-fated "Fantastic Four" movie.
NOT A HOAX! NOT A DREAM! A MUST-HAVE DVD!!
'Nuff Said, Effendi!
EXCELSIOR!

Marvel
Marvel
by Michael Mallory
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 21.61

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview of the "Marvel Age" Of Comics, March 17 2003
This review is from: Marvel (Hardcover)
I put off buying Marvel: The Characters and Their Universe because of the price. I finally decided to give in to the temptation, and WOW, am I glad I did! I had an absolute BLAST reading this book.
The book is beautifully designed; It looks, smells, and feels GREAT. It's so attractive that at times I actually hated to open it for fear of getting it dirty. The cover art by Kaare Andrews is just gorgeous. Content-wise, Author Michael Mallory does a nice job of covering the history of the Marvel Bullpen and it's major players (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko), and the Marvel Universe and it's major characters (Captain America, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and The X-Men each get extensive chapters of their own, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Daredevil, The Silver Surfer, et al, all share smaller chapters). The chapters are lavishly illustrated, and filled with beautiful art from the Comics, Movies, TV shows, and video games that the characters have appeared in. I'm a REAL Marvel Comic afficionado, and not only did I NOT find too many mistakes in the book (A few, but nothing major...), but I actually learned a lot; My favorite tidbit- Captain America co-creator Joe Simon hails from my adopted hometown of Rochester, New York.
Marvel: The Characters and Their Universe is a luxury item, to be sure, but one I'm glad I splurged on. I guarantee any Marvel Zombie will love it.

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
DVD ~ Alan Ormsby
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 68.95
9 used & new from CDN$ 17.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Stuff...., March 16 2003
On a deserted island that seems to be one big cemetery, Alan and his acting troupe are (God only knows WHY...) getting ready to dig up a little fun. Actually, they're digging up a corpse named Orville, to aid them in a Satanic ritual (Again, it's never explained WHY...). After spending a loooong time doing humilitiating things to poor dead Orville, Alan starts to read the ritual aloud, and the "Children" get a little more than they bargained for.....
This is strictly grade-Z stuff, so don't expect to see a Romero-level "Dead" epic. The acting is amateur-hour, ranging from tolerable to I-want-these-people-DEAD-sooner-rather-than-later (Alan & the shrill Anya). The first hour is interesting at times, but mostly laughable (Those loud hippie clothes!) and interminably sloooowww[...] The last half-hour makes the film worth seeing, though, as the angry dead come to life to punish their defilers. Although the film is PG, with no strong language and no gore, director Bob Clark (Later to find fame as the Director of Porky's 1 & 2, Murder By Decree, and A Christmas Story) manages to make that last half-hour as creepy as hell. (A friend of mine is unable to even look at the box art because the film scared her so badly!) I wasn't scared, but I'll tell ya: That shot of Orville getting up off of the couch is really memorable....
The DVD comes with text Bios of Bob Clark and Alan Ormsby, an ad gallery, and what must be the greatest trailer ever made. The film transfer isn't so hot, but the low price point makes it acceptable. If you have low expectations, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things might just be for you.

Basket Case
Basket Case
DVD ~ Kevin Van Hentenryck
Price: CDN$ 12.99
21 used & new from CDN$ 6.05

4.0 out of 5 stars "All Alone In This Cold, Cruel World!", March 13 2003
This review is from: Basket Case (DVD)
Aside from featuring my favorite film line EVER (See above), Basket Case does have a few other redeeming qualities. Well, maybe not redeeming, but entertaining. The film follows a young man named Duane as he arrives in Times Square, wicker basket in tow. He checks into the seedy Hotel Broslin, and promptly sets about his task: Hunting down the Doctors who forcibly seoerated him from his siamese twin Belial years ago. (Yup, that's his Bro in the basket...) The plan hits a snag, though, when Duane meets a girl; He wants to settle down, Belial wants his revenge. There's gore aplenty, as well as some great laughs. The effects are pretty good; Director Frank Henenlotter made the most of his low budget, and the inventiveness of the effects and camera setups set the film a cut above the rest of the blood-drenched-pack.
Unfortunately, the film is presented full-frame. Otherwise, the disc is a real treat for long-time Basket-heads. There's a commentary track with Director Henenlotter and a few cast members, trailers, TV spots, radio spots, outtakes and rare behind-the-scenes footage, a featurette, two radio interviews with Terri Susan Smith, and footage from "Beverly Bonner's Laugh Track"-It's a good thing the word "Laugh" is in the title, otherwise I'd have no clue it's supposed to be funny....
All in all, Basket Case is a must-own for horror fans, and (Aside from the full-screen presentation) Something Weird Video deserves a ton of kudos for delivering a great disc.

Titans: The Heroic Visions Of Boris Vallejo And Julie Bell
Titans: The Heroic Visions Of Boris Vallejo And Julie Bell
by Boris Vallejo
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 24.53

3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Art, Bad Text...., March 10 2003
Titans mainly covers the art Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell produced for the Marvel Masterworks trasing card series in the mid-80's, with a few covers and misc. art thrown in for good measure. While it's nice to see the art at a larger size, the limited variety of poses gets old after a while. Boris and Julie use each other as models, so most of the faces look alike; The ones that don't look like them are based on bodybuilders, so the female characters have a very hard look to them, facially speaking. The colors are gorgeous, though. The real problem with the book is the text, by Nigel Suckling, who manages to live up to the first syllable of his last name. The book is riddled with spelling errors (Ogum, instead of Ogun), characters have the wrong names attatched to their paintings (Mariko and Yukio's names are transposed, as well as Yukio being called by the wrong name). The text passages show that Suckling didn't bother to get more than a passing familiarity with the comic characters; He describes Spider-Man as being bumbling...? His passages about Boris & Julie's views on time-travel & Geography are hilariously bad.
Titans is a nice book for fans of Boris & Julie; I would have liked more information on their techniques, and their opinions of the pieces, though. Anything to save me from Suckling's turgid prose....

Superheroes: The Heroic Visions Of Boris Vallejo And Julie Bell
Superheroes: The Heroic Visions Of Boris Vallejo And Julie Bell
by Boris Vallejo
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 25.11

3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Art, Bad Text...., March 10 2003
Superheroes (Titled "Titans" in it's hardcover printing) mainly covers the art Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell produced for the Marvel Masterworks trasing card series in the mid-80's, with a few covers and misc. art thrown in for good measure. While it's nice to see the art at a larger size, the limited variety of poses gets old after a while. Boris and Julie use each other as models, so most of the faces look alike; The ones that don't look like them are based on bodybuilders, so the female characters have a very hard look to them, facially speaking. The colors are gorgeous, though. The real problem with the book is the text, by Nigel Suckling, who manages to live up to the first syllable of his last name. The book is riddled with spelling errors (Ogum, instead of Ogun), characters have the wrong names attatched to their paintings (Mariko and Yukio's names are transposed, as well as Yukio being called by the wrong name). The text passages show that Suckling didn't bother to get more than a passing familiarity with the comic characters; He describes Spider-Man as being bumbling...? His passages about Boris & Julie's views on time-travel & Geography are hilariously bad.
Superheroes is a nice book for fans of Boris & Julie; I would have liked more information on their techniques, and their opinions of the pieces, though. Anything to save me from Suckling's turgid prose....

Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx
Mick Foley's Halloween Hijinx
by Mick Foley
Edition: Hardcover
14 used & new from CDN$ 14.88

4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Look At My FAVORITE Holiday. BANG-BANG!!!, March 8 2003
Halloween Hijinx is the second children's book by Pro-Wrestling legend Mick Foley, and it's even better than his first, Christmas Chaos. Hijinx intertwines the stories of three Human children & three Monster children as they prepare to celebrate Halloween. Foley and artist Jill Thompson have produced a fun, great-looking book; Foley's rhymes are often hilarious and his message of tolerance, acceptance, and the true meaning of halloween is great. Thompson, a famous comic-book artist, contributes some of her most appealing art ever; The colors are just gorgeous! Halloween Hijinx is a fun book sure to be enjoyed by all ages, year after year.

Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos
Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos
by Mick Foley
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.45

3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Diversion For Foley Fans, March 8 2003
Christmas Chaos is Pro-Wrestling legend Mick (Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack) Foley's first foray into the world of children's books after the mega-success of his autobiographical "Have a Nice Day!" As an older (32) reader, I bought this strictly as a Foley fan, since I have no kids of my own to read it to. On that level, it was a fun diversion; The art, by fellow wrestling legend Jerry "The King" Lawler, is smart and funny and well-rendered. The story itself is kind of weird: Santa begins to question the point of Christmas when his elves & Reindeer begin to act hostile towards him, and decides to cancel Christmas. The funny thing is, this behavior seems to have been brought about by watching WWF (Now WWE) Wrestling! Odd, considering this is a WWF tie-in book. The inclusion of famous-name WWF stars seems forced, but is thankfully brief, considering they contribute nothing to the actual story. With the questionable content, I don't know if I'd recommend Christmas Chaos for very young kids, but older kids will get the uplifting message at the end, and fans like me will enjoy seeing Foley & Lawler conquer a new medium.

Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide
Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide
by Watson-Guptill
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 4.86

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Tidbits, But Gets Tiresome Fast, March 8 2003
Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide got off on the wrong foot quick by crediting (On the lower back cover) the Berni Wrightson cover illustration to the woman who DESIGNED the cover layout. Very sloppy, especially considering Wrightson's rendition of "The Creep" is world-famous.....
The book covers all of the films that have sprung, however tenuous the connection may be (Children of the Corn 666), from Mr. King's stories. Stephen Jones does an interesting job of digging up little-known bits of trivia; I'm a King fanatic, and there were quite a few things here that were new to me. The irritating thing is the division of space in the book: A gem like The Green Mile gets the same amount of space as Children of the Corn. Jones devotes too much space to films that have nothing to do with King at all, such as the awful "House", covered because the main character is a King wannabe. The book is an American reprint of a British book, published in the UK by Titan Books, and the fact that Watson-Guptill couldn't even be bothered to Americanise the Brit spellings gets annoying after 100+ pages of "Favourite" and "Colour". Jones also seems to love the word "Eponymous"- He uses it on almost every page, and one would hope that someone has since bought him a Thesaurous. There's a brief King interview at the end, and the book is heavily illustrated with stills and poster reproductions. King fans will probably enjoy Creepshows a lot, but it could have been better....

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