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marty mcfly

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Love Story
Love Story
by Erich Segal
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 8.99
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not based on Al Gore, July 16 2004
This review is from: Love Story (Mass Market Paperback)
nor in fact, on Tommy Lee Jones! although they were in a class together at uni at a time when segal was a professor there. in fact reading meaning into this one is probably asking too much of it. "love means not ever having to say you are sorry". this line made the book and the film famous, but does it really mean anything? not according to the author.
this should not detract from the positive qualities in evidence here. short, well structured, extremely well focused and engaging, not to mention fluently written are all accurate descriptions. Unashamedly a tear-jerker would be my only negative comment, but then again i suppose it is what it is.....
the film has dated somewhat, but i believe the book remains as fresh and as wonderful as it was when first released...

The Captain Is Out To Lunch
The Captain Is Out To Lunch
by Charles Bukowski
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 15.67
36 used & new from CDN$ 6.17

4.0 étoiles sur 5 so long..., June 13 2004
i have read everything bukowski has ever written and this is not bukowski. sure, it has the same name on the cover and on the spine, but charles bukowski who raged so hard to do nothing, who fought in alleyways and picked glass from his bleeding feet this most certainly is not. and, yet, if this were the same bukowski it would be somehow less satisfying. i've laughed and cried with buk, ive winced and ive looked away and this time i shed a tear. here, for one time only, is the tamed poet, recording his last thoughts in a journal with the final entry weeks before he passed. he knew death was coming and he faced upto it like a man, but he had mellowed, his body had started failing him and, as i hope we all will get the chance, he had started to take the time to reflect on his life, to consider his achievements and know what he would be leaving behind. this is a fascinating, absorbing, frank and bare portrait of bukowski's final days and what sat in his head and i can only say that i cried a tear of sadness by the final entry and wondered where on earth i would ever find another author that could mean as much to me as bukowski.
still, i suppose there is a strict need to have read some of the other works in order to fully appreciate this and that must limit the appeal in some way. but this is 4*'s for bukowski, which is probably 3*'s for anyone else, in my opinion.

Live at the Brattle Theatre
Live at the Brattle Theatre
Offered by Prestivo3
Prix : CDN$ 75.07
4 used & new from CDN$ 52.95

4.0 étoiles sur 5 nice acoustics, June 13 2004
nothing would give me more pleasure than to tell you that this cd is a superb, unqulaified success deserving of 5*'s. it's very good, but i have a few reservations.
on the positive side - welcome back Evan, 1 record in the preceding 7 or 8 years is a void in the music world. the quality of the live set is excellent, i always thought evan was at his best on his own and acoustic when i saw the lemonheads previously. remember those encores of 'being around' or 'divan'?? also really glad to see a couple of 'lovey' tracks on here including 'ride with me', 'stove' and 'half the time'. the rendition of 'the outdoor type' stands head and shoulders above the rest here. cd2 is a studio record of covers, with only the tribute to hank williams a standout in my opinion.
on the downside and top of the list is the length. as usual with evan there is precious little music for your money, in fact not even 60 mins all told on both discs in this case. for a full-price 2cd set that isnt much bang for the buck. only one new song on the live set (albeit the excellent 'same thing you thought hard about' from baby i'm bored) is a little disappointing. cd2 doesn't quite work, evan never seems to sound as comfortable with other people's songs and the only time he did was when a bit of a joke backfired on him (must confess i quite like the alt lyrics of mrs robinson that evan sang live!).
the live cd is well worth getting hold of, the other disc is far less interesting so it is probably a 5* recommendation and a 3* recommendation at a fairly hefty price... that said, it did pave the way for 'baby i'm bored', which is excellent....

On My Way
On My Way
Prix : CDN$ 17.29
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 way past the sha sha, June 8 2004
This review is from: On My Way (Audio CD)
sha sha was a fascinating debut - full of verve and punky-pop vibes and i thought it hinted at a supreme new talent that might have the ability to adapt and change and become so much more accomplished.
the instant and meaningless gratification of a sha sha - "sex reminds her of eating spaghetti/i am wasted, but i'm ready" has been replaced here by a more diverse range of sounds and the same endearingly crackling voice of kweller's.
most of it seems to work - but im not sure its a coherent record. "i need you back" has all the power and sporadic bursts of guitar-pop that a "harriet's song" delivered and the mellow musings of "my apartment" and the somewhat randomly hilarious "on my way" are refreshing. the flat spots that are tucked away in there, like the anonymous "the rules" that seem to try and unsuccessfully combine both sounds are what lets this down.
if sha sha was a great debut, full of potential and worthy of 4*'s, encroaching on 5*'s, then this is another record with obvious potential, but also the obvious flaws, that is more solidly a 4* record. nevertheless, when kweller's good, he's very, very good and seems to be verging on the peerless. i suspect this record confirms that there is a masterpiece coming, but we may have to wait a little longer for that...

Adaptation (Superbit) (Bilingual) [Import]
Adaptation (Superbit) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Nicolas Cage
Offered by Deal Beat
Prix : CDN$ 16.24
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 étoiles sur 5 what a boring, pseudo-intellectual piece of pulp, May 20 2004
isnt it strange that everyone that likes this film thinks that those that dont simply have not understood it? surely if a large number of people all consider something misunderstood by others, there is a degree of consensus that the film has not been understood. and i do not doubt that all those people are mightily intelligent, but it is clearly true in the field of philosophy that genius is apparent to those who do not possess genius because some element of said genius resides in the ability to convey the brilliant in a simplistic package. if that is correct, which i suppose it might not be, then this is not genius, since it is so methodically misunderstood. anyway, understanding, appreciating and enjoying are clearly very different things and sometimes weird is just plain weird. sometimes weird is intricate and clever. sometimes weird is plain, stupid and pointless. i would also surmise that every film of this type generates a series of people that consider it to be each of these descriptions.
unfortunately for me, i found this utterly and incontravertibly boring. if i had to make a stab at it i would guess that charlie kaufman thought it would be funny in an andy kaufman kind of way to satirise himself making a movie about satirising himself. this movie plays like an in-joke. if you can laugh with the writer then by all means laugh. i didnt even manage a chuckle.
what i found puzzling was that chris cooper and meryl streep put in excellent performances that deserved so much and yet not even these could elevate such a wantonly introspective script. i don't much like nic cage, i dont think he is a great serious actor, he gets far too hammy and should stick to black comedies and action. maybe this is black comedy and i have missed the point? sadly i just dont care.
the cinematography in the swamp scenes is superb.
i salute kaufman because he has either created a masterpiece or a terrible film and even if people criticise it as the latter he can adopt a knowing grin and point to all the smart critics who have delved so much deeper and know the true meaning and know that this is, undeniably, a masterpiece. a successful exercise in back-patting mr kaufman. however, when were you planning on engaging your audience instead of either ignoring them or laughing at them? artistically your approach might be a stroke of genius, but as entertainment i found nothing commendable or absorbing.
so this is a 1* effort, but you might find it deserves 5* and maybe that is the genius of it, or maybe it is the fatal flaw. if i hate it, am i missing something? only that you need not ask yourself that question, in my opinion....
i cared far more about the orchids than i ever could about this film.

by Knut Hamsun
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.05

4.0 étoiles sur 5 check out the lyngstad translation...., May 20 2004
This review is from: Hunger (Paperback)
Avoiding all the obvious comments about Hamsun's fascist (for fascist read Nazi) sympathies and his importance in an historical literary context etc. i would still suggest that Hunger is very much worth a look.
The inevitable nature of Tangen's demise, the encroaching insanity, the self-fulfilling spiral of hunger and poverty and the loss of acceptable society behaviour is so tangible at times that i wanted to look away from the book, stop reading on, not see the painful conclusions that i knew were coming. But turning away is somewhat difficult because you want to understand and sympathise with this character, at once mad and yet so, so very fallible and human.
Steppenwolf is a similar exercise, but i found this eminently more reader-friendly. Tiring and somewhat draining but an absorbing and worthwhile read nevertheless.

Singles (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual) [Import]
Singles (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Bridget Fonda
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Prix : CDN$ 57.73
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 crowe does dating, May 20 2004
some part of me wants to agree with general opinion that this is a bit of a 'period-piece'. oh, go on then, this IS a bit of a period-piece, but none the worse for that. the irony is that crowe took a peculiar cultural phenomenon in grunge, went to the heart of it all and made the film in Seattle (with some nice coffee shop moments thrown in for good measure) and then made a film about life that could have been set anywhere. i mean, instead of matt dillon's character having long hair, wearing jams and being into rock, give him a mohican, baggy trousers and have him into punk and you have a skateboard movie (not sure why you would, but still...).
the film is about love, life, relationships, the difficulties of being a twentysomething in modern society and making difficult decisions but not really knowing who you are, where you are going or why you happen to be where you are right now. it is that disaffection with life that, i suppose, endeared us all to troubled musicians with long hair and scruffy t-shirts in the first place..?
the idea that our central characters live in a duplex apartment block is key to the film. these are people with temporary lives, temporary relationships, dreams of something better and something bigger and no one to help them get there (to paraphrase michael chabon's wonder boys).
the film isn't out-and-out funny, or romantic or anything particularly mainstream, its downright quirky and unconventional and makes a bold observation on life and living it. campbell scott has only just recovered from the critical slamming he took because of this film, by all accounts, and bridget fonda and matt dillon have remained relatively low key (but probably not unsuccessful) and kyra sedgwick has had a reasonable career (and a marriage to the man of many degrees, kevin bacon). the only person that really flourished here is crowe, who can probably look at almost famous as his most acconmplished piece to date. this has similar charms and perhaps when we are further away from the early 90's this film can be appreciated by a new audience.
im inclined to agree that my so called life did do a better job with representing the grunge era, but then, this is aiming at higher fruits and, i think, comes across as a prelude to better things from its director (but maybe thats just hindsight speaking....?).

Sha Sha
Sha Sha
Prix : CDN$ 19.88
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 étoiles sur 5 cool debut, May 12 2004
This review is from: Sha Sha (Audio CD)
i'll be honest, i picked this up because evan dando's last record reminded me how good he was/is and the comparisons to the lemonheads drew me to ben kweller.
im not sure i would say that kweller is particularly similar to dando to listen to, nor even that the style is all that similar to the lemonheads, but there is something pop-ish and cheerful and wake me up with the sun on a sunday morning and set my feet to dancing because i love the world and cant get enough of this about it. its almost infectious its so cute.
it doesnt have the 'sing-along and sway with everyone' quality that dando sometimes generates, it is much more upbeat and none the worse for it. a very strong way to go solo and super music to cheer you up or keep you up or make you feel like the sun is on your back even though its raining outside. sounds a bit like badly drawn boy, the more i think about it, and thats not a bad thing either.
the sentiment is lemonhead-ish, thats what im trying to say.
i can only hope that there is a lot more to come because i suspect this is the first in a series of seriously cherished and overplayed albums (on my cd player anyway!).

Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition
Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition
by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 15.92
24 used & new from CDN$ 7.08

4.0 étoiles sur 5 fascinating and frustrating by degrees, April 28 2004
I was intrigued by this strange chronicle when i lifted it from the dusty shelf of my local bookstore. I had never heard of it and I was surprised that such a thing even existed. A first-hand account of a 16th century conquistador expedition to the new lands of the Americas no less!
The book is short enough to hold the attention and the fact that it is a true tale holds the attention through periods of drab text and detailed descriptions of the lay of the land. In fact, two distinct points capture the attention, firstly the matter-of-fact way in which cabeza de vaca views the monstrosities he is faced with, from shipwreck to torture and hunger. Secondly, the altogether human way in which the natives are protrayed; they are not seen as unthinking savages but as children, scared and uncertain, that need to be cared for. This is certainly not the tale of a gross escapade to conquer primitive peoples, rather it is an 'expedition' in every respect and it is fascinating as a result.
At times it is a chore to plough through, but i believe the overall and lasting impression that the book leaves is a sufficient reward for the time spent on it.
And, hang on a minute, doesn't the name of the author mean 'head of the cow'? How strange....

Why Are We in Vietnam?: A Novel
Why Are We in Vietnam?: A Novel
by Norman Mailer
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 18.65
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Original? Certainly. Genius....?, April 27 2004
The critical acclaim for Mailer's work was unanimous and unqualified - 'Norman Mailer is a writer of extraordinary ability' or 'a tour de force, a treatise on human nature'. I think one could forgive Hume if he were turning in his grave at the comparison, however. For, as fluid as Mailer's writing is and as consistent as the stylisation is, i doubt very much that we ought to ascribe the term genius to the insights carried in this piece of literature. Not to say even that Mailer is not a genius, i would not consider myself qualified to make such judgement as that.
But here is the line that, i surmise, encompasses Mailer's central point: "So, ass-head America contemplate your butt". The main character is called DJ, the "Disc Jockey to America". Subtlety is not the key here.... Mailer has made a simple observation and that is, put simply, that darker currents run beneath simple outward signs of problems. This is no more or less an observation than that made by Golding in Lord of the Flies - at our most base we are savage, perhaps even something more sinister. This is also no different, or blessed of greater insight, than the observation that Mailer makes of his own work in the preface to this edition.
I would suggest, therefore, that the central thesis is not worthy of the great praise heaped upon it. On the other hand, sometimes great writing, great imagery, a great turn of phrase can be set free of the greater concept and i believe Mailer achieves just that. At times the descriptions of the animals and the scenery verge on the poetic and, beyond that, the visceral edge to the language is almost sufficient to knock you off your feet, so great is its punch.
I want to give this 5*'s for the style and for the natural quality of the written word and 1 or 2*'s for the insight or 'shattering social commentary' (as one short-sighted hack put it). In my opinion the writing shimmers so brightly that it overcompensates the shortcomings and 4*'s is a fair reflection. More importantly i would recommend this to anyone whether i were to label it with 1 or 5*'s, because it is at times chokingly funny and at times quite moving. If foul language bothers you and you do not think you can look through it, then i suggest staying away.
If you love the style of a Bukowski, or even the kind of gritty style that Knut Hamsun employs then by all means take a look at this.

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