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Profile for Edward L Zimmerman > Reviews

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Content by Edward L Zimmerman
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Reviews Written by
Edward L Zimmerman "Trekscribbler (aka Ed)" (Earth)

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Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles
DVD ~ Jeremy Brett
Price: CDN$ 14.98
20 used & new from CDN$ 11.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing But A HoundDog?, Jan. 27 2003
Actor Jeremy Brett performs an outstanding Sherlock Holmes, though absent for a good portion of the tale, in the televised adaptation of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, arguably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most popular of the Holmes novels. A brilliantly Gothic setting, along with the intrigue of family secrets, elevate this HOUND to a better-than-average televised outing for the seminal detective. And the beast? The Hound itself is well worth the price of this tale that twists and turns to one gripping (and slightly bloody) climax. It's elementary!

The Last Jihad
The Last Jihad
by Joel C. Rosenberg
Edition: Hardcover
56 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Debut, Jan. 18 2003
This review is from: The Last Jihad (Hardcover)
I'll get this out of the way first: the single greatest distraction to THE LAST JIHAD is the fact that, in large sections of the prose, it is written just a touch too cinematically. You can read whole sections and see passages heavily influenced by the films of the Tom Clancy novels, the James Bond adventures, and even Fox Television's stellar action suspense series '24.' That's not to say that it's a bad thing ... I just found it occasionally distracting.
However, THE LAST JIHAD deals with a real world scenario, real world characters, and real dangerous potential exploring an incredible "what if?" scenario in the Middle East. The prose is crisp and clean and reads like bullets off the page (I read it in three sittings), and the author quickly establishes premises that all support the main flow of the plot.
While a couple of characters do come of two-dimensional, it's one adventurous tale that ends demanding a follow-up, and here's one enthusiastic reader looking forward to "THE REALLY LAST JIHAD."

Clear and Present Danger (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
Clear and Present Danger (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by Tons of Clay Music
Price: CDN$ 13.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Political Intrigue, Anyone?, Dec 11 2002
Is there anything that Harrison Ford can't do?
Ford stars as Jack Ryan in a follow-up to the successful PATRIOT GAMES. This time out, he finds himself tightly wound into a plot involving the US's highest elected officer -- that's right, the President -- in a failed campaign of the secret drug war. The script is actually penned by Clancy (along with John Milius), and it has an air of authenticity lacking in the other Ryan thrillers: it's a real story set in real place with real villains and real consequences, which makes for a more layered thriller than GAMES or THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.
Excellent supporting performances are turned in by Anne Archer (Mrs. Jack Ryan), Willem Dafoe, and Henry Czerny.

Big Daddy [Import]
Big Daddy [Import]
DVD ~ Adam Sandler
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 7.28
61 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Know How He Does It, Dec 11 2002
This review is from: Big Daddy [Import] (DVD)
Somehow, Adam Sandler has racked up a series of hit movies. While this may not go down in history as one of the great movie mysteries, it's still mystifying how he manages to draw a crowd especially when he's playing it relatively straight here.
Gone are the crass antics of a Wedding Singer and out are the mentally-challenged slapstick of a Waterboy. Here, Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a law-school grad (???), living a life of nothingness who inadvertantly finds himself custodian of one little boy.
Now, the antics begin ... some in good taste ... some ... er ... well, some just fall flat.
While some of the jokes are funny, I have to admit that I miss the screaming humor of Happy Gilmore. It might've been more in step here, and watching Bob Barker beat the stuffing out of Sandler one more time would've been worth the price of admission.

Black Rain (Widescreen)
Black Rain (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Michael Douglas
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 49.56
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Might've Worked If ..., Dec 9 2002
This review is from: Black Rain (Widescreen) (DVD)
An unimportant film with unimportant consequences, BLACK RAIN is the story of two New York detectives (Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia) who have the task of delivering a mob thug back to Japan ... where they end up in the middle of international intrigue with all entirely unbelievable plot twists.
However, BLACK RAIN has long been a 'closet favorite' of filmgoers worldwide. It is sumptuously photographed, and the action -- while not entirely fulfilling -- is beautifully choreographed. Perhaps its greatest strengths are, as well, its greatest detractors.
I can't help wondering, though, how the film would've played had the two principles (Douglas and Garcia) switched roles. Dramatically, it would've had more effect, and, stylistically, Douglas is looking to old for these kind of roles anyhow.
See it for the guilty pleasure of watching the sumptuous Kate Capshaw as the perfect 'blonde escort' conducting her business for the benefit of Japanese business. She's worth any viewing, or any price, in my little black book.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... And A 'Contenda' It Is!, Dec 9 2002
Crackling dialogue and political intrigue -- along with a host of smart performances by Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater, and Gary Oldman -- elevate this story about the worst kind of political bickering to a level other films only hope to reach.
Joan Allen plays a senator awaiting confirmation to serve in the second highest office in the country -- the Vice President of the United States -- but a seedy past -- or is it? -- and some scheming political rivals stand in her way.
Released in the midst of the Clinton presidency, THE CONTENDER didn't receive the kind of box office it deserved, but it is precisely the brave performances in this brave film that have kept it alive in the video rental and sales market.

Contact (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
Contact (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jodie Foster
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 35.77
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars How Could They Go So Horribly Wrong?, Dec 9 2002
Author Carl Sagan? Big name.
Director Robert Zemeckis? Big name.
Academy Award winning actress Jodie Foster? Big name.
Not three strikes, but still an out ... out cold as in a sleepfest came CONTACT onto the silver screen. Based on the book by Carl Sagan, the premise is fascinating: an alien intelligence finally makes contact with SETI, providing mankind with instructions to build ... well ... er ... something that'll make advanced contact possible.
Even with stellar supporting performances by James Woods, Matthew Connaughey (sp?), Tom Skerritt, and Angela Bassett, somehow CONTACT still feels sadly like 'the little engine that couldn't,' a conglomeration of talent surrounding some big ideas that only delivers a 'Twilight Zone' type ending.
However, major kudos and hats off to cast & crew for keeping the film -- as does the book -- on track with the stellar theme that, before we start understanding the cosmos, we should begin with understanding ourselves. Once more and perhaps its only notable achievement is the fact that CONTACT underscores the final frontier may not lie in a galaxy far, far away but very well be inside each and every one of us as the truest human condition.

The Cable Guy (Bilingual)
The Cable Guy (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jim Carrey
Offered by Cousin Floyd
Price: CDN$ 13.49
25 used & new from CDN$ 1.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Was This The Beginning of Jim Carrey's End?, Dec 9 2002
This review is from: The Cable Guy (Bilingual) (DVD)
THE CABLE GUY is the kind of schlock that not only helped put the antics of Jim Carrey on the map but also pointed out how annoying he could be if and when he wasn't reigned in.
Ben Stiller directs affably. Carrey preens affably. The plot progresses ... affably, yet it still feels somewhat bland and empty. Apart from one hilarious sequence (and homage to classic Star Trek) involving Carrey and the ever-pubescent-looking Matthew Broderick 'fighting to the death' at Medieval Times, there isn't much to remember here.
Still, if you're in the mood for a few dark laughs, the film succeeds.

Cop Land (Widescreen)
Cop Land (Widescreen)
DVD ~ DVD
Offered by CAMusicFiendz
Price: CDN$ 14.24
15 used & new from CDN$ 3.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe A Great Stallone Flick Once A Decade ..., Dec 9 2002
This review is from: Cop Land (Widescreen) (DVD)
Sylvester Stallone returned to 'acting' in this stellar outing detailing big city corruption bleeding onto the 'burbs in COP LAND, a terrific ensemble piece backed up by such thespian heavyweights as Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. Rumor has it that Stallone put on a good forty pounds to play a small town Jersey cop trying to get out from under the weight of gangsterized police work, only to endure several personal risks along the way. A great little film that, in the hands of other talent, would've fallen flat. Look for great supporting roles for Annabel Sciorri (sp?) and Jeannine Garafalo (sp?).
If Stallone only hits one out of the park once every ten years, I can live with that.

The American President [Import]
The American President [Import]
Offered by Treatspree Canada
Price: CDN$ 39.95
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't Get My Vote, Dec 8 2002
Michael Douglas plays a largely smug President (think "Bill Clinton") and Annette Benning plays his wiley, intellectually-equal sparing mate (think "Hilary Clinton") in life and love as a journalist assigned to the White House Press Corps in THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (forget all about Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, and the other women).
Ugh.
Politics.
I suppose I would rate the film higher if either of their performances in such a contrived romance were marginally believable, but, sadly, I've always thought this film was one large Hollywood misfire aimed at showing how evil Republicans are and how righteous Democrats are, which Rob Reiner basically confirmed in the press tour. If the story had, instead, focused on the budding love of the principals and then given them true credibility (Benning gives in WAY too fast as a journalist and professional, and Douglas struts around making decisions that impact millions of people both positively and negatively as if he had spoken to the burning bush instead of Moses), I probably would've enjoyed the picture more.
Outside of Douglas's grandstanding speech at the end (which is given excessive and unnecessary dead weight by a seemingly Earth-shaken Richard Dreyfuss as a 'mean and nasty' Republican senator), there are very few memorable moments here. The love affair happens too fast and involves too little consequence (other than humorous ones), and it's all neat, tidy, and acceptable as far as the pollsters would have the American people think.
The secondary players here end up doing a far better job than the principals as they're not suckered into the obvious politicking of the film. Had Rob Reiner not been so much in love with Bill Clinton or had he decided on using a better role model as President, again it may've all ended up getting a second term (think "sequel").

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