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E. Lee Zimmerman "Trekscribbler (aka Ed)" (Earth)

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Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy (Bilingual)
Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Bud Abbott
Price: CDN$ 17.93
28 used & new from CDN$ 12.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Cares About Behind-The-Scenes Grumbling?, Nov. 27 2002
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY was one of the funniest of their screwball antics. The tale of the two cleverest yucksters chasing a medallion to an ancient Egyptian crypt where they encounter -- as the title promises -- the Mummy is one classic set of laughs after another. All of the trades touched on the bitterness the two men felt for one another during the filming process of this outing, but, with all the magic of their performances still on the silver screen, you sure wouldn't know it. A great transfer for a classic addition to any DVD library, this is one for the ages.

Batman: Knightfall Part Three: KnightsEnd
Batman: Knightfall Part Three: KnightsEnd
by DC Comics
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Bats is back! And this time ... it's personal!, Nov. 13 2002
The Batman had been broken by the nefarious Bane, and, while his physical healing process isn't covered in any detail during the events depicted in KNIGHTSEND, Bruce Wayne struggles with the psychological aftermath of returning to the task of serving as Gotham's savior in this incredibly-paced retaking of the Mantle of the Bat from the now rogue Jean Paul Valley.
In a story nearly too complex to summarize for an Amazon review, Bruce/Bats goes from being Batman to being disabled to being whole again ... but it isn't without consequence, namely having to face Jean Paul Valley, the man he passed the job of Batman to after being broken down by a series of catastrophic events all orchestrated to end his career. The road back to mental and physical prowess is long and not without ethical consequences as Bruce submits to training by Lady Shiva, a long-time mortal foe who believes that killing is the only true measure of physical fitness. However, the world's greatest detective finds a means to even outwit her in the process.
Building to a hair-raising climax worthy of being filmed for the big screen, Knightsend features not one daring showdown with the Batman/Azrael Jean Paul Valley but several bare-knuckle brawls involved a fully-healed Bruce Wayne as well as his long-time protege, Dick Grayson ... aka the original Robin and aka Nightwing, a vigilante hero in his own might who's now back in Gotham to help Bruce take by the night. Catwoman, always a favorite from the Rogues Gallery, is along for the wild ride, and she joins forces with the side of justice in order to see the rightful Batman restored to his throne.
This isn't to say that Knightsend isn't without a few missteps ... a perhaps overly-obsessive Jean Paul suffering visions from the System (a kind of brainwashing to give his mind and body the abilities to serve its own brand of justice) almost becomes comical at one point when the visions try to enter into their own subplot ... an all-to-convenient escape from the clutches of death for Bruce Wayne not drawn or plotted very well given the pace of the frenetic conclusion ... and a few other repeated scenes due to the fact that this tale was originally serialized over the course of many issues of comics within the Batman continuity. Still, they are small missteps, as the grand story is almost operatic at times.
The greatest strength of Knightsend is the fact that, at its core, it doesn't deal so much with Batman as it does with identity: in the final confrontation, Bruce Wayne thinks himself out of a corner with Jean Paul bent on fisticuffs-to-the-death, and the one true Batman realizes that brain -- regardless of whose body it resides in -- will always triumph over brawn.
Welcome back, Batman!

Pentagon Aliens
Pentagon Aliens
by William Lyne
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 45.55

1.0 out of 5 stars Is This Guy SERIOUS?, Oct. 20 2002
This review is from: Pentagon Aliens (Paperback)
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've read more than my fair share of UFO and UFO-related books in my time, but I can't say that I've read one as poorly and unmasterfully written as this.
As a business consultant, one of the truths that I teach is that to get ahead in life and/or work, there are ultimately two ways: (1) do your best and let fate show your greatness or (2) do your best to convince your boss that the worker sitting next to you isn't worth a dime. Now, I'm not saying that I advocate the second option; I'm just saying that playing politics IS a real part of life, and that anyone who isn't conscious of that simple fact will inevitably be blindsided by the workplace backstabber. The author of PENTAGON SPIES chooses to run Option 2 as the only possible modus operandi; he trashes anyone and everyone who's had any positive association with research in the field of Unidentified Flying Objects for the sole purpose of making himself look more educated and, consequently, his opinions more viable.
Who does he think his audience is? How do you build support for your case by alienating the very people who would purchase your book? Isn't it obvious why he's never penned a follow-up ... with evidence?
While some of the reviewers here have heaped praise on the author's intended debunking of the UFO myth (if it is a myth and I have no problem whatsoever with that opinion), I had a tremendous difficulty in getting past the author's ego. Virtually every tenth page is a written sidebar of self-indulgence; the author is even so bold as to question why he has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Science for his work.
If you're looking for a book written by an obviously egocentric author that doesn't truly address the myriad of evidence to support an opposing view, then this is the book for you. However, given the fact that the author cannot even present evidence to support his own theory OR stick to the topic OR even develop the topic that he alleges the book is about, then this book will probably have you doing as I did ... throwing it aside of literary garbage after the first 150 pages.
I was looking for information, not a massive ego trip.

Superman: Our Worlds At War - Book 01
Superman: Our Worlds At War - Book 01
by Various
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 13.87

3.0 out of 5 stars Up, Up, and ... Away?, Oct. 20 2002
One of the staples to Supes personal history is the fact that he's held to standards that other superheroes might not be able to match ... until now. Reading Superman say the words, "I'm going to kill him," is perhaps the most startling revelation in the two-parter trade paperback OUR WORLDS AT WAR. Despite some negative reaction from a large part of the Super-fan base, OWAW is a good read but far from great. It presents a Superman that readers largely haven't seen before, one driven by a passionate instinct for revenge. While the books do possess some continuity issues, there are parts of the story important to our time: acts of terrorism, good surrendering to evil, the loss of life in times of war, etc. However, these two books do suffer from one crucial shortcoming that appears to be a growing trend in crossover / trade paperbacks, and that's the fact that the reader might be told of pivotal events several times from differing perspectives ... once from the Superman installment, once from the Young Justice installment, and once from a Wonder Woman installment. Whereas the end result should be interesting, it's far more confusing here, as some events toward the climax are reviewed slightly out-of-sequence. That said, a Darkseid story is always welcome at my house, and I enjoyed the pure escapism of a reasonably entertaining Superman story for what it was worth.
Would I recommend purchase? Erg. These two books are rather pricey for a story that isn't as tightly woven as it could've been. I would have rather seen the publishers create one volume, with a reasonable price, than two with a slightly higher than necessary pricetag. Damn capitalism. Damn commercialism. If you can get your hands on copies to borrow, I'd take that route first.

Angry Lead Skies: A Garrett, P.I., Novel
Angry Lead Skies: A Garrett, P.I., Novel
by Glen Cook
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ?????, Aug. 28 2002
You'll have to forgive me, but I think part of my reaction is my own problem.
I picked up this book based on the advertising jacket and the associated reviewers' praise associated to the book. What primarily drew my interest was the author's comparisons to Raymond Chandler ... and I have to wonder, "Did the reviewer EVER READ any Chandler?"
In my humble opinion, the book is awful ... so awful that it's been added to the small list of books that I didn't have the stomach to finish. The plot is incomprehensible, as well as the characters as their relationship to the principle private / not-so-private / not-really-a-private detective. After giving it 100 pages to actually develop into something more than a carbon copy ... of any good 1940's noir film set in an, albeit, warped perspective, I tossed it aside and unloaded it at the local secondhand bookstore.
Now, this is NOT to say that the book wouldn't be enjoyed by others. I'm an adult reader, and, if you've read any of my other reviews, you'll find that I've read a variety of types of books, listen to a variety of types of music, etc., etc., etc. I believe myself to be a rather eclectic participant with the arts, but the prose just kept slowing down the narrative of the story. The half-jokes and 'you had to be there' moments halted the story from making any real progress, in my estimation ... and, thus, I decided not to waste any more time with it. As I always say, "Life is too short to be lost to what you consider a bad read."
However, I do recommend followers of the author's previous work to pick it up. They'll probably be able to give a more informed response.

Batman: Bruce Wayne Murderer?
Batman: Bruce Wayne Murderer?
by Greg Rucka
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 29.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Just Read It, Cover to Cover ..., Aug. 27 2002
... and I can't tell you how thrilling it is, for a change, to deal with a story that is primarily about what the Batman does best: detection.
BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER is about many things, but on the surface it only poses one question: how far is faith worth following?
After a long night of chucking bad guys, Batman and Sasha Bourdeaux (his latest in a growing list of sidekicks) return home ... Sasha a few moments later than her mentor. However, in one of the upstairs rooms, Vesper Fairchild -- one of Wayne's many conquests -- is found shot to death. A 911 call circumstantially points all fingers to the billionaire-playboy, and, thus, Batman is thrust behind Blackgate Prison's slim bars ... a place where he's housed so many of the city's treacherous underworld.
In the interim, all of the principles in the Batman universe -- Robin, Oracle, Batgirl, and Nightwing, primarily -- are left to explore the possibility of whether or not the man who has meant so much to them in their lifetimes COULD have committed the deed. Bruce Wayne's not speaking. He's not declaring his innocence, leaving second-guessing to overcome second nature, and the merry band of Batfamily members will be forever challenged and possibly changed by the graphic novel's climax.
Once again, DC Comics has produced evidence that graphic storytelling can be so far advanced than what it has long been considered: folly best left to juveniles. This book explores adult themes in an entirely adult reality, and the consequences of a single act may irrevocably change the world of Gotham, for better or for worse. Smartly, the storytellers let the reader decide, and they don't force feed morality down the throat.
While BRUCE WAYNE: MURDERER isn't a complete tale (it's only a set-up for a series of events to follow), it could be read as a stand alone tale ... the paradigm has shifted in the Batman universe, and Bruce Wayne -- long considered the true 'mask' character in the playboy/crimefighter duality -- is gone, leaving our hero to face the grim reality of his never-ending battle to free Gotham from the clutches of pure evil.

Shiri (Bilingual)
Shiri (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Suk-kyu Han
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 93.18
10 used & new from CDN$ 6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Freaking Wow!, Aug. 24 2002
This review is from: Shiri (Bilingual) (DVD)
Sure, SHIRI might end up being little more than 'eye candy' on some critics lists, but two best picture awards aren't handed out like food samples at the corner grocery stores, now are they?
A densely layered action flick (a thinking man's DIE HARD), SHIRI plays out from start to finish with blistering action choreography ... brainwashing (a harrowing twist on THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE if there ever was one), gun battles (some of which are poorly photographed yet rival John Woo's HARD-BOILED in their choreographed frenzy), car chases (brief but rivals THE FRENCH CONNECTION in intensity), international espionage (a Cold War spin on the North / South Korea political situation) ... you name it, it's in there somewheres. All of that, and there's even a James Bond-like explosive called CTX that keeps our two government agents on the run against the would-be terrorists.
While there were several elements of the ending that the astute viewer will see coming, the impact of the performances maintain the interest level, doing an excellent job at elevating what could've been a stockpile story into a tiny little work of art.
All in all, SHIRI is a must for any fan of action movies. Thanks to the miracle of DVD, I've watched both the subtitled version and the dubbed, and I was quite pleased with the English language dubbing that was accomplished; it did very little to distract from this hot little gem.

Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles : The Tophet Campaign
Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles : The Tophet Campaign
DVD ~ Nicholas Guest
Offered by e-moveo
Price: CDN$ 14.99
10 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This Show DESERVED A Wider Audience, Aug. 3 2002
A long time ago, I grew to accept the fact that all of my friends say I'm too hard on movies.
Having seen thousands of them in my life, I've grown cynical. Sure, I'm largely a sci-fi enthusiast, but I've had to look outside my comfort zone to find new, guilty pleasures. They're increasingly hard-to-find. So, I've accepted the grim reality that there is very little out there left in the land of entertainment for surprise or delight -- like seeing STAR WARS for the first time -- and one DVD is just a flick filling time until the next one comes available for rental or purchase.
Then, along came the ROUGHNECKS ...
This installment, I've already watched three times in under a week.
Call me a geek.
This outing of the Emmy-nominated ROUGHNECKS: STARSHIP TROOPER CHRONICLES only serves further evidence that this show -- utilizing state-of-the-art CGI technology along with highly-stylized fiction -- deserved a wider following that it will hopefully be treated to on DVD.
THE TOPHET CAMPAIGN is years ahead of other CGI-based adventure shows because its premise is a formula that works: action ... and plenty of it. Our heroes, the Roughnecks -- part of a futuristic Mobile Infantry fighting for mankind's survival against a race of sentient killer bugs --, are actually allowed to endure psychological as well as physical challenges, encouraged to face their own personal demons, and continue to grow in each subsequent arc of the overall story. After all, when's the last time 'Captain Planet' learned he might be wrong?
The story unfolds at a frenetic pace: the bugs have taken Tophet, where a race referred to as the Skinnies turn out to be unanticipated allies waiting to lure humanity into a trap. However, NOTHING is what it seems here, and that's perhaps the greatest attribute to the entire ROUGHNECKS series. Despite some story elements that might have been explored or even lifted from other works, the show continued to push its own bar higher, delivering plot twists almost at the same rate the soldiers deliver bullets.
The climax is an almost blockbuster-movie-caliber turn, with the adventure quotient turned up even higher, as Johnny Rico and Dizzy Flores and the rest of the troopers learn that Tophet holds far more secrets than they could've ever imagined.
One spectacular outing after another, THE TOPHET CAMPAIGN can be enjoyed by fans of the STARSHIP TROOPERS movie, general science fiction, or action/adventure enthusiasts alike. It's one DVD well worth the price.

The Minority Report
The Minority Report
by Philip K. Dick
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 4.62

3.0 out of 5 stars Majority Resort ... At Profit, Aug. 1 2002
This review is from: The Minority Report (Hardcover)
MINORITY REPORT, the inspiration for the latest Spielberg film, is perhaps one of Philip K. Dick's most accessible pieces of short fiction, and it's given the big blockbuster treatment here that it (arguably) deserves ... hardcover format with a clever sideways printing scheme resembling that of a traditional detective's notepad.
However, despite the popularity (or not) of the film, this item is really intended for Dick's hardcore fans. Those people drawn to it for the film might be disappointed in the significant differences from film to print (isn't that always the case?), or they might just discover one of science fiction's most memorable authors.
Still, MINORITY REPORT always worked best for me b/c it was a short story: Dick's longer works tend to be very cerebral at times, while his shorter tales do possess a stronger feel targeting a mass audience. It's a brisk read that draws only a few parallels with the film (thankfully); instead of posing and focusing on an infinite series of sociological themes, it hits the ground running very quickly and lets the reader make his/her mind up as the tale unfolds about whether or not the moral issue of punishment associated to Precrime is praiseworthy or laughable.
In Dick's world, there is little gray.

Me Myself I
Me Myself I
DVD ~ Rachel Griffiths
Offered by torontomediadvd_com
Price: CDN$ 14.88
13 used & new from CDN$ 7.97

4.0 out of 5 stars What If ... With Mature Themes?, July 28 2002
This review is from: Me Myself I (DVD)
ME MYSELF I is a wonderfully uplifting and inspiring movie by a bunch of Australian filmmakers -- sort of an adult-themed FREAKY FRIDAY.
Rachel Griffiths stars as Pamela Dickson, a thirtysomething journalist yearning with a passion to connect emotionally with another person. She lives in the past, clinging psychologically to the scenario of "What if I had accepted that marriage proposal from the man of my dreams?" long ago.
Little does she know that SHE DID, but that Pamela Dickson is wondering, "What if I had said no?"
Through a twist of fate, the two Pams meet and magically change places, each learning valuable lessons about why they made the choices that they did ... and why they're infinitely better human beings for having done so.
The film is delivered with an adult wit (some relatively strong sexual themes pervade a significant portion of the film), and the acting by Ms. Griffiths -- as well as all of the principals -- is right on. While the filmmakers could've taken a wrong turn to make this romantic comedy into a tragedy of mid-life angst, they stepped clear of it and, instead, delivered a compact story that deals with one woman's reaction to life's unexpected foibles.
In short, ME MYSELF I is a wonderful story with only a single flaw: alas, it could never happen.

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