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Commentaires écrits par
Bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas)

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Austenland Bilingual [Blu-ray]
Austenland Bilingual [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ James Callis
Prix : CDN$ 19.99
5 used & new from CDN$ 4.90

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 This is an Austentatious movie, March 6 2014
Based on the novel by Shannon Hale of which I have not read.

Jane Hayes is obsessed with Jane Austen's novels. She is now pushing 30 and realizes that she spent so much time with Jane Austen that she missed out on real life. Her solution is to go on an emersion vacation in which you get to play a Jane Austin like character with a promised romance in the end.

The vacation is not going as planned. So Jane Hayes pulls few strings to make sure she gets what she paid for.

We get to go along on vacation with Jane. We may find ourselves kibitzing a bit. In the end of James get what she seeks? What happens to the other characters in Austinland and. And is everything what it seems?

I found this film to be exactly what it touts to be. This is supposed to be more of a comic satire than a psychological thriller. There are no real surprises here. However it's the great acting and characterization that we enjoy as the story unfolds.

If the viewer just happens to be a Jane Austen fan, they might find this presentation a tad lacking as the only thing related to Jane Austin's a few sound bites here and there now and then without any actual context.

If you're watching the streaming version you have not missed much as the DVD extras are the standard how I made this movie shots. I only saw this in Blu-ray so I cannot comment on any other version; however this is one movie that does lend itself to the Blu-ray treatment.

Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television
Mexican Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television
by Paul Julian Smith
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 26.95
10 used & new from CDN$ 25.85

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Expand and enjoy your cinematic knowledge, March 4 2014
Paul Julian Smith carries us through the contemporary influence of Mexican screen fiction emphasizing the difference between cinema and television. Before reading this book I am sure you thought you had a pretty good handle on the subject. However he is systematic and almost textbook like in showing you what you may have missed. It opened my eyes.

I was wondering why the book covered “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) as I thought it was a film from Spain then I realized it is more of a dissertation on Guillermo del Toro (Mexican.)

Too bad they left out “Sleep Dealer” (2008) Álvaro Curiel Assistant Director born on September 10, 1973 in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico as Álvaro Curiel de Icaza. Grandson of Federico Curiel.

We cannot include everything as the book is focusing on today’s screen fiction. I am gaining a new reverence to TV from this book by Paul Julian Smith. However with only two years of Spanish I can barely keep up and am glad this book is written in English.

I hope you are not expecting too many pictures as there are only a handful of black and white. There is an Appendix: interviews with five media professionals, a fair bibliography, and index.

It looks like how I spend my limited discretionary income will have to be re-evaluated as I search for the films mentioned in this book.

Mazes and Monsters
Mazes and Monsters
by Rona Jaffe
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Spell binding, March 3 2014
This review is from: Mazes and Monsters (Hardcover)
I had seen the movie first. I like to read the books that inspire movies.

The book has more background details and descriptions of the characters than is need for the story. However Rona Jaffe is not one of those Edwardian style writers that eventually get around to what may be a plot.

Each chapter is only a few pages and I am not sure just what criterion is used to call it a chapter. Then periodic lay there would be a “Part” and the chapter numbers started from chapter one again.

I am used to playing D & D. Also with the advent of computers “Colossal Cave” or “Adventure” and see that it as a wrinkle to the story not the focus. What seems too much detail here is just a vehicle to display the foibles of the players.

As the story unfolds about friends playing the great game together and this mishap that unfold, especially the epilogue this could have been the screen play for the movie.

100 Poems: Old and New
100 Poems: Old and New
by Rudyard Kipling
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 20.95
31 used & new from CDN$ 12.28

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fill your cup with Kipling, March 3 2014
This review is from: 100 Poems: Old and New (Hardcover)
This is a collection of some of the popular poems and many that were in local papers that never made it to the mainstream.

There are some jewels but we also find a clinker or two. Each reader will find his/her favorite.

No illustrations. Selected and edited by Thomas Pinney. A good table of contents, and an index by poem.

There is also an index of first lines as “You may talk o’ gin and beer”. Too bad it was not last lines as “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

It is worth investing in stilly notes for you favorite passages. Read again in ten years to see if you taste differs.

Field Manual FM 3-21.8 (FM 7-8) The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad March 2007
Field Manual FM 3-21.8 (FM 7-8) The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad March 2007
Prix : CDN$ 3.99

5.0 étoiles sur 5 No two wars are ever the same, March 3 2014
This is not the manual I grew up with. It is new and improved; hence the change in nomenclature. The manual its self is part of a complete system. The system is described as best as possible in the beginning of the book. We get an over view of war its self and the purpose it serves. Eventually we get to the nuts and bolts tactics of “The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad.”

Being in armed reconnaissance (Tet-68) it was not as grueling as being in a rifle platoon. It was not as necessary to hone the skills on a daily bases but everyone is a soldier first. Ever wonder how a hand full of professionals can out maneuver, think and act against a bigger or better equipped force? It is mostly training and drills combined with the flexibility to carry out the commander’s intent and take advantage of targets of opportunity. To do this you have to know the commanders intent and recognize targets of opportunity.

The field manual is best used for its intended purpose. However as with many other manuals one can build character and apply not the specific tactics but their purpose to other disciplines.

In a mechanized war it is easy to forget that something’s need to be taken and held. I have always had a respect for those that can.

Even though I never acquired a military attitude I found it intriguing trying to out maneuver those that follow the book. I would have paid for my time at the National Training Center (Mojave) and similar locations.

The Fifth Estate [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
The Fifth Estate [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Prix : CDN$ 19.96
17 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

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3.0 étoiles sur 5 "Give a man a mask and he will tell the truth." ¯ Oscar Wilde, March 2 2014
Everything someone thinks it is interesting they evaluate if it would make a good movie. In this case it was Daniel Domscheit-Berg that wrote the book "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website." A history of WikiLeaks and the impact it has had on the world consciousness. As most good we start at the beginning.

I am impressed that the film was able to wrangle in some fair actors quit a few too many to mention in this review. There is no way to tell between what is the real story and what is manufactured to create what is supposed to look like a documentary. Are we also to believe the parallel stories of tensions between the top leakers or the love story between office coworkers or anything thrown in to make a more than one-dimensional presentation?

The presentation includes lots of loud background music that mostly to represent time passing. There are lots of old camera tricks like circling the subject. Scenes were tossed in as metaphors. I watched the Blu-ray version which helped with the aesthetics but probably did not contribute anything to the story. The extras on the DVD try it justify the sea realistic metaphor scenes. There is a section "Scoring Secrets" on how to make background noise.

"No One Can Bar the Road to Truth" ¯ Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Summer of Love  (American Experience)
Summer of Love (American Experience)
DVD ~ David Ogden Stiers
Prix : CDN$ 25.68
17 used & new from CDN$ 21.01

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you're going to San Francisco, March 1 2014
"If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there"

Written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.

Summer of Love (produced 23 Apr. 2007) part of the American Experience series (Season 19, Episode 12) is an excellent documentary that incorporates statements and information from the people that were there at the time (summer 1967.)

Even thought there was a plethora of interviews the one that stands out from the rest is the interview/overview by Peter Coyote. The actual narrator is David Ogden Steers.

There is some good footage and many who read this review will be looking to see if they are there. We get a synopsis of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I personal was in Viet Nam at the time and did not have time to follow the news. (Volunteered and extended.)

In the end you will realize that this is not about that summer but the beginning of an attitude adjustment that is now part of our mainstream consciousness.

Argento's Dracula [Import]
Argento's Dracula [Import]
Prix : CDN$ 33.31
18 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

3.0 étoiles sur 5 The life of the librarian has its complexities., March 1 2014
This review is from: Argento's Dracula [Import] (DVD)
Jonathan Harker (Unax Ugalde) is employed by our old friend Count Dracula (Thomas Kretschmann) that has taken many forms in countless movies. The job is to catalog a library that any book lover would lust after.

Little did Jonathan know that the count had ulterior motives and a design on Jonathan's wife, Nina (Marta Gastini.) Mean time back at the ranch (Oops village) local peasant girl Tanja (Miriam Giovanelli) who likes to show off her birthday suit becomes vampire chow and soon joins the undead. She's not bad looking but all we remember are her fangs that stand out from the rest of her accoutrements.

We get a few more looks at the library of leather bound books and what is that on Nina's dress? No not blood but ink. Is it significant?

People are being dispatched right the left. "Who you gonna call?" Yep it's Abraham Van Helsing himself (Rutger Hauer at 69 years old.) He is protected because he is a "cross" dresser. This gets the ex Lucy Kisslinger (Asia Argento) all "fired" up.

Who will win in this eternal fight? Probably the person that rented the film instead of buying it.

Be sure to watch the DVD extras to ad a dimension to the viewing experience. You get to see a Theremin.

Options for English or Spanish subtitles.

I wonder if those were real books and what they did with them after the movie?

Looper (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Bilingual)
Looper (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Prix : CDN$ 7.96
25 used & new from CDN$ 3.00

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Here we go loopty loo, Feb. 26 2014
Here we go loopty loo
Here we go loopty li
Here we go loopty loo
All on a Saturday night
All on a Saturday night
All on a Saturday night

In the year 2042, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has a unique profession as a "Looper"; he dispatches people from the future for the mob. After thirty years on the job a Looper is retired by being sent back 30 years in time to himself for the purpose of being dispatched. Older Joe (Bruce Willis) is fine with this until an inappropriate shot dispatches the love of his life. So now he must go back and correct the system by removing the person who made this shot possible.

Will he succeed yes or no? In either case what will be the outcome? Will younger Joe cow-down to his wishes or learn something from this experience? We watch this presentation and wonder what we would do if we were either Joe. We too must make decisions in life and this movie may help us or not in making those decisions. In any case it's worth watching this movie at least a couple of times.

The story is really about relationships and choices. It is not really a sci-fi story about time travel. The time thing is just one dimension to help show the outcome of the choices we make.

The presentation even though having lots of action does not contain a lot of gratuitous gore. It also does not rely on a lot of CGI. There may be a tad too much background music but not enough to distract from the presentation.

There is a big logic flaw. I cannot go into detail without placing a spoiler. But the trigger that created the antagonist could not have happened the first time around in the loop. You not let this distract you from the purpose of the movie.

If you're watching the streaming version then you're going to miss the voiceover commentaries which in this case are just as good as the original presentation and give you an insight as to what they were trying to accomplish. Naturally I saw this in Blu-ray which is now old hat and does not change the story at all but does add to the viewing experience.

The Keep [Import]
The Keep [Import]
2 used & new from CDN$ 49.99

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Predictable but nice and spooky, Feb. 23 2014
This review is from: The Keep [Import] (VHS Tape)
1943 soon Moscow will fall. A tactical team of German soldiers are assigned to guard the Dinu Mountain Pass (naturally in a castle "Keep" in Romania). There they inadvertently release something. This something is indiscriminately dispatching shoulders and SS alike. The evil force allies with a Jewish man for freedom to dispatch the balance of the SS. An itinerant stranger (Scott Glenn) appears and is opposed to the release of the mysterious force.

We kibitz as the story unfolds. The movie is not as one dimensional as the plot based on a book by F. Paul Wilson appears. There is a philosopher solder (J¹rgen Prochnow) and a love interest (Alberta Watson) among other interests. The music in the presentation is just as important as any character.
I have seen several versions from T.V. to streaming. The TV version seems to have cut out the scene of Scott and Alberta messing around in their birthday suits. The streaming looks like it was never premastered. You may be confused as to the aspect ratio as it is standard vs. wide but the vehicles are squeezed in making you think there is something wrong with the display.
It may add or distract but I suggest reading the book first.


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