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Judi Fryer "Judi, Entertainment-glutton" (Nicholasville, KY)

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The Alamo: The Illustrated Story Of The Epic Film
The Alamo: The Illustrated Story Of The Epic Film
by Frank T Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 24.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 2.94

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Making of Awesome Alamo Adventure, April 4 2004
Author Frank Thompson reveals hundreds and hundreds of details of the making of the most current version of 'The Alamo', which is surely to be the most historically accurate film on the subject.

From the beginning of director John Lee Hancock's interest in the Alamo in his childhood, through his early meetings with producer Ron Howard (originally slated to direct), to the hiring of two major historians and the building of the detailed and awe inspiring set, right into the extra-filled battle scenes complete with authentic weaponry and perfect period wardrobe, Thompson escorts the reader on an amazing visit to the set of what is certain to be 'the movie masterpiece of 2004'. Reading this book will educate you about the making of this weaponry, the selection of the cast, the decisions on the locales, the building of the sets, and every other intricate facet of film making at its best.

Get the inside scoop on the unusual 'naming' of extras, the selection of composer Carter Burwell (Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou), and what part Matte World Digital and CG plays in crafting 'The Alamo'. You will truly feel as if you are physically on the set hearing the actors recite their lines when you read the entire screenplay, which is contained in this book. Discover why the cast, including stars, bit players, and extras were totally personally dedicated to the making of this masterful film.

All this interesting inside information is accompanied by: 100+ beautiful color photos (many of which are full page) of the actors, the scenery and all that will make this film a beautiful visual experience, as well as historical details and time charts of the actual event that culminated with the cry of 'Remember the Alamo'.

You will 'remember' reading about the making of 'The Alamo' while you watch it unfold on the screen. This beautiful book will entertain and enlighten you and your enjoyment can only extend your pleasure when actually seeing the film for yourself.

A quote early in the book from actor Billy Bob Thornton begins: "When I first got here and I walked on the set, I got a chill up my back bone like I can't describe....and every time we walked through the gate...we were in 'The Alamo'...". Every time you open the pages of 'The Illustrated Story of the Epic Film The Alamo', you will be on that same set as if by magic.

Thompson has done an extraordinary job in capturing the making of what is destined to be a classic epic film. If you are not already dying to see this film, you will certainly change your mind after reading the book. If you ARE already hyped-to-the-max to view 'The Alamo', this will just increase your anticipation to nearly the I-can't-stand-the-wait level.

I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But...: Backstage Gossip from American Idol & the Secrets that Can Make You a Star
I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But...: Backstage Gossip from American Idol & the Secrets that Can Make You a Star
by Simon Cowell
Edition: Hardcover
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very entertaining book, particularly for AI fans, March 27 2004
Written with style and and containing interesting content that has great appeal and insight, particularly if you love 'American Idol', 'I Don't Mean To Be Rude, But.."is a very entertaning book. Even more so perhaps if you are a Clay Aiken fan, as you read what Simon was really thinking about Clay from the beginning. The same applies to Reuben, Kelly, and Justin fans.
Anyone who has ever questioned whether Simon knows his business will soon realize as they read the first-third of the book that the answer is "Yes", and they will also know in detail 'why' he is so knowledgable. Simon's background in the music business, plus that natural intuition he has for recognizing what the public wants gives him every right and then some to offer his open, honest, and hopefully helpful comments to talented and creative individuals who want to be 'stars'.
The second-third of the book sent me into peals of laughter and kept me glued to the page as Simon covers every delicious detail the two first seasons of 'American Idol'. Every little tidbit is recorded on the page bringing back memories of the auditions, the contestants, the performances, and the outcome of two wonderful talents searches. All the backstage gossip and insider details about the performers, the judges, the hosts, and each week's performances will delight you as you hear the Simon's voice in your head while you read his first-person comments. Simon covers the 'best' and 'worst' AI performances, details of first meeting Randy and Paula, the guest judges, off-screens encounters with contestant's families, after-hours parties attended by the judges, and off-the-show activities of many of the performers, plus much more.
The last-third of the book provides a priceless guideline for those looking to become a success in today's music world. All solid advice from someone who is at the top of the field. Helpful direction from someone who would not normally be accessible to the those still as the bottom struggling to break into stardom.
I love this book and highly recommend it as a easy-read that will provide great pleasure. Of course, I love Simon as well and think he offers great and valuable critique in a very entertaining style to the contestants on 'American Idol'. That same brutal honesty laced with contagious humor is in the book, but in even greater quantity.
This is Simon and reading at their best.

The Way/Solitaire
The Way/Solitaire
Offered by Sea2SkyCanada
Prix : CDN$ 19.95
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.96

5.0 étoiles sur 5 The BEST! of Clay, March 16 2004
This review is from: The Way/Solitaire (Audio CD)
If you have Clay's album, you already know whether you like 'The Way'. Clay likes it. Certainly so do I.
What made me WANT this single CD so badly was 'Solitaire'.
I have always loved this song. It was my all-time favorite Elvis song, long before many of Clay's biggest fans were born. When Clay sang this song on American Idol, I thought it was his absolute best performance. I so hoped it would appear on his first CD.
His rendition of 'Solitaire' on this single far surpasses all the cuts on 'Measure of A Man'.
The song provides a showcase for Clay's tremendous voice range. And, it just gets better and better as the song goes on. The ending is almost more than a fan's heart can stand. This is a song that was 'made' for Clay, even if it was written before his time. It is perfect in every way for his personal vocal style.
If you didn't see Clay sing this on American Idol, or if you are not a Clay fan yet (first, shame on you), you need to listen to 'Solitaire' If you appreciate talent, You will be won over, without question!
If you ARE a Clay HAVE to OWN this CD! You know you WANT it! You know you MUST hear it! And you absolutely NEED to have it so you can listen over and over and over! I promise you WILL!

Awfully Big Adventure [Import]
Awfully Big Adventure [Import]
4 used & new from CDN$ 21.49

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Awfully difficult to describe this movie adventure, Jan. 4 2004
This is another in a long line of films I have viewed solely to enjoy Alan Rickman's performance, and what a performance; but more about that later.
Having read all the Amazon reviewers' comments and a multitude of professional critics' articles I was still unable to get a sense of this film. The plot was somewhat clear, some reviewers having given away the ending (shame on them and what a shame), but the true atmosphere of the film still eluded me. Frankly, I couldn't convince myself this was a film I would enjoy. Having now viewed this unusual but very interesting film, I find that nothing prepared me for what it truly was about and what it had to offer as real entertainment.
Lest I reveal more of the plot than I intend, I will instead stick mostly to my point and say that Alan Rickman is an actor of absolutely unbelievable talent. I say this after every film; he selects the widest range of roles of any actor, and he never gives a less than perfect + performance. His Captain Hook and O'Hara are sublime characters. He looks fantastic in both roles, of course. Again we get to see him dance, not the tango this time, but variety is the spice of his work. The love scenes, and I feel comfortable identifying them as 'love', because his character displays a sense of love despite his shallow nature; and also exhibits a desperate need for love that would be difficult to believe in this particular character if it were portrayed by a lesser actor. His comic reactions have perfect timing and his emotional reactions display feelings that overwhelm and pale the efforts of every other character in the film. This is a considerable feat because this film offers an usual, but solid, performance by Hugh Grant; a side of his talent I had not previously seen and which proved very intriguing. Georgina Cates as Stella, the naive young girl struggling to find both herself and her past, is flawless. She wears her feelings as open as a book on her sweet young face and states her thoughts as directly (and comically) as any adolescent innocent would. Apparently it is like learning the ukulele.

This film is not a comedy; if it were not British, there probably would have been no humor at all. The British it seems have a way of inserting their own manner of dry wit and humor into the most serious of situations without ever losing their direction. Perhaps I have been viewing too many English films of late; as I had no trouble with the accents and understood every word clearly.
There are other reviewers here who have certainly bested my efforts at describing Rickman's attraction in this film, as I think unfortunately my statements certainly fail to do justice to the work he does in 'An Awfully Big Adventure'. I continue to owe him thanks for the unusual scope of entertainment genres I have explored just because I am so awed by his abilities and do not want to miss of minute of an opportunity to watch him work. Others also have provided more of the plot and I too have fallen short of explaining the true nature of the film. All I am left to hope for is that I can encourage any fans of Rickman's or movie-lovers who enjoy the unusual, and who have not yet viewed this film, to get themselves a copy of this rare video and see just what the 'awfully big adventure' is truly all about. I think you will be awfully glad you did.

Far from Heaven (Bilingual) [Import]
Far from Heaven (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Julianne Moore
Prix : CDN$ 20.60
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Imitation Written Close to Heaven, Dec 27 2003
My three favorite films from early teen years were: 'Written On The Wind', 'All That Heaven Allows', and 'Imitation of Life'. I loved all I saw, heard, and felt from, in, and about these films. What I didn't know at the time was that were all the products of the masterful Douglas Sirk.
It was not necessary for me to hear Todd Haynes' interesting and reflective commentary on this DVD to know that his film 'Far From Heaven' pays homage not to the real-life 1950s, at least not any life I was living at the time, but rather to the beautiful work of Douglas Sirk and his melodramas. Films that totally removed us from our routine lives and plunged us into the fairytale romantic world of people with beautiful faces, complex personal problems, thwarted love affairs, stunning wardrobes, lush landscapes, and immaculate homes, lives all lived fabulously surrounded by a background of sweeping, majestically emotional musical scores.
Speaking of the music, Elmer Bernstein re-created the sound of the scores from the above mentioned films with such accuracy in 'Far From Heaven' it is difficult to believe he was not responsible for any of the original scores of my three favorite Sirk films; with the soundtrack of 'Written on the Wind' (released on 45 EP) being my favorite soundtrack for years to come. Has there ever been a greater musical film moment than that portrayed by the seductive Dorothy Malone (in her Oscar-winning role of Marylee Hadley) when she storms into her room, slams the door, blasts out a mambo/type jazz tune on the phonograph and dances alone, casting off her inhibitions and torrid desires?
It is my belief, though of course I can't prove it or even know it with absolute certainty, that many reviewers of this film may have never viewed the original Sirk films which inspired 'Far From Heaven', probably certainly not in their original era. Those reviewers speaking negatively of Quaid's stoic, wooden performance were perhaps not intimately familiar with performances by John Gavin or Rock Hudson. Certainly, the naiveté portrayed by Juliette Moore's character was the most closely reality-based truth about the 50s in this film. Not one mother in any family of my friends at that time could even drive a car. Younger viewers, born well after the 1955, have both lived very different lives than those of us born and reared before 1963 and certainly have been raised on a completely different type of Hollywood film style. It is difficult to say whether we are better served by film styles that are either more intelligent or more jaded, depending upon one's point of view. Certainly they are more action-oriented than the more thoughtful, slower moving films of the 1950's.
The one jarring note I felt in 'Far From Heaven' was the single curse word (in the use of the 'f' word). While that word is a staple of today's standard vocabulary (including my own personally), and is often barely even consciously heard by many movie-goers in the context of today's films (or our lives for that matter); I found it disorientingly out of place in this film. Haynes addressed this issue in his commentary and indicated the intent was to 'jar' the audience, which in my case - he did. However, given the otherwise flawless dedication to recreating the work of Douglas Sirk, it was amazing how this one word stood out as inappropriate for the time, the character, and the genre. This is not a moral judgment by any stretch, words are words. Rather my notice of this particular use of this word was more like a reminder of how well-structured films can transport us so completely from our real lives into the world of their creation. For someone who views the variety of films I do, as often as I do, this was an astonishing recognition, mostly for just how unaware I still was of the power of films, even after all this time and exposure.
I purchased this DVD at a bargain rate and more than got my money's worth in pleasure and memories. The extras, of which there are several, were interesting and informative. If you are a serious fan or student of 'film', this is a modern day treat which will transport you to more innocent days and a decidedly different film style that you might see in the theater today.
If you were a fan of the movies of the 50's, do not let the reviews of those who are not familiar with the originals deter you from securing this film at any price and of allowing yourself to take a magnificent journey filled with heavenly pleasure back into the world of the movies we loved.

Offered by International CDs Canada
Prix : CDN$ 9.99
79 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 étoiles sur 5 Not the work of an Idol, Dec 9 2003
This review is from: Soulful (Audio CD)
Ruben, unfortunately, is limited in his vocal range. This CD limits his vocal range even to a further degree. After going on ad nauseum about 'taking his time' so this would be a 'great' record, he released instead a so-so CD with mostly rap-type music which does nothing to display even the small amount of natural talent he does possess. It certainly does not reflect the time and effort he indicated was spent on the project, although I suspect that time was really needed just to reach this level and could not have been improved upon no matter how long he spent in the recording studio; which does not bode well for future releases either.
I am guessing that most people who purchase this CD will do so because they want to support an individual they feel 'personally invested' in from his time on American Idol. Certainly, lovers of music, rap or otherwise, will not be purchasing the CD for its musical quality. I think even die-hard Ruben fans, if they are honest, will admit their disappointment in this release.

Edge Of The World,The
Edge Of The World,The
7 used & new from CDN$ 2.49

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Music from the heart presented with an Edge, Sept. 23 2003
This review is from: Edge Of The World,The (Audio CD)
Billy Bob Thornton's new CD, "The Edge of The World", his second, marks his move from "Lost Highway" to "Sanctuary Records", home of a plethora of rockers. "Edge" also is a move from the more 'story-oriented' country/blues selections to a strong rock sound for Billy Bob. It is a return of sorts to Billy Bob's musical roots. Billy Bob started his career as a musician playing drums and opening for musicians such as Hank Williams Jr., Ted Nugent, the Earl Scruggs Review, and Richie Havens. The return move is strong, satisfying, and entertaining.
Two of the first three tracks; "Emily" and "Island Avenue" were written by Billy Bob's late brother, Jimmy Don Thornton, to whom the CD is dedicated. "Island Avenue" features Mike Shipp, (whose CD "Adventures of Roosterboy" was recently released) on guitar and a passel of great vocalists singing back-up, including Tommy Shaw (Styx).
"Everybody's Talking" is a very credible cover of the popular song from "Midnight Cowboy" and features Marty Stuart on lead guitar, along with Brad Davis on rhythm guitar. Brad is a songwriter in his own right, apparent on his own CD, "I'm Not Gonna Let My Blues Bring Me Down", which also features a cut by Billy Bob entitled "Tell Me Son".
'Baby, Can I Hold You' (Tracy Chapman), one of the slower tracks features Billy Bob vocalizing at his best with back-up sung by the talented Mica Roberts and great guitar accompaniment by Randy Mitchell.
The other tracks were written by Billy Bob and/or fellow musicians Brad Davis, Jim Mitchell, and Randy Mitchell. They run the gamut from covering all forms of rock and displaying the talent of the musicians, as well as the singing and writing talents of Billy Bob.
"Do God Wop", an irreverent monologue directed at God in an attempt to ascertain an answer to life's problems that will explain things to both the speaker and children, starts with music that can best be described as psychedelic before transposing into the absolute ultimate 'do-wop' song. Great display of that VOICE, and BB hits the drums on this one too. Too cool!
"Savior", features great lyrics, acoustic and steel guitars, and again the feeling Billy Bob is using that distinctive voice to sing poetry on the subject of the rejuvenation offered by children, directly to the individual listener and being sang directly from his heart.
'Midnight Train" has been likened to the sound of Kris Kristofferson or Waylon and Willie. For the life of me, I cannot listen to this without hearing echoes of the late Johnny Cash. A decidedly 'country' sound, featuring Warren Zevon on the organ and some great guitar licks. Country lyrics at their best, and again a reference to the energizing spirit of children on one's life.
There has been much written about exactly who inspired the songs on this CD that Billy Bob wrote, including Billy Bob's own explanation of sorts, including his distinctive comments on each track that appear in the linear notes (along with interesting personal photos, including pix of his children). As a fan, I have my own opinions about "To The End of Time" and exactly which individual(s) may have inspired it, along with "Pieces of A Man", " God", "The Edge of The World", and "The Desperate One". Each listener will decide from themselves, or may not even think about it or care one way or the other. Personally, I leave that explanation to Billy Bob. Suffice it to say, that many of the tracks evoke a portrait of an individual on the 'Edge", gathering memories, looking for answers, excising anger, and searching for a future. All these emotions converge in lyrics, music, and vocals to create a touching, electric, inspiring, and entertaining CD containing 17 tracks, including a hidden track.
Rock fans should avoid writing-off this offering as a 'vanity project', a label I see bandied around often about "Private Radio", Billy Bob's first CD. "Private Radio" was a legitimate addition to today's musical menu. "The Edge of the World", while different in format, content, and style, offers great musicians playing rocking music, and great very personal lyrics written from the heart, with vocals offered by an original rocker returning to his first love with gusto, confidence, and talent. An Edgy CD that is destined to reside on your CD player for listen after listen if you respect true talent and love music.

Prix : CDN$ 15.00
33 used & new from CDN$ 9.64

5.0 étoiles sur 5 This CD is a 'must hear and must own!, Aug. 26 2003
While the proficiency of singing might not be what one expects, the heart you hear in the songs is more than the listener can hardly bear.
"Knockin On Heavens Door' is awesome. When you realize the personal effort it took and the desire behind this sound, it shakes you back to reality.
Apparently having a strong will to reach a goal works since Warren has outlived his diagnosis by 9 months, a great deal of which time was spent making this CD. With a lot of help from his friends, a lot of support from his family, and a lot of strength of will on his own part.
Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Petty and other great entertainers lend a hand to this labor of love.
I started to name the songs that were my favorites beyond 'Knockin on Heaven's Door', then realized I loved them all. "Keep Me In Your Heart" has Warren's own special message in it. Though written is first and recorded last, Warren actually sounds the strongest. I think it is because this song has a message, something he really wanted to say. "She's Too Good For Me" has a personal message, as does "El Amor De Mi Vida".
Whether you are a Warren Zevon fan or just a lover of music, you will want this CD because it is music straight from the heart of a man with a great talent and because the making of this CD is a tribute to the human will to survive. You can hear not only the talent, but the love of living and of making music in every note.
This is a legacy of music that belongs on everyone's shelf, not just to remind us that Warren is a great entertainer, but even more so to help us realize and remember that there is dignity in love of your craft and love in every last minute of your life.
Warren struggled to write these songs and record this music. You deserve to own the fruits of that labor and to hear his message first-hand.

Truly, Madly, Deeply [Import]
Truly, Madly, Deeply [Import]
DVD ~ Juliet Stevenson
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Prix : CDN$ 808.01
6 used & new from CDN$ 571.09

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Absolutely wonderful film, not to be missed!, Aug. 17 2003
The commentary of Anthony Minghella was extremely interesting. In addition to the usual insider tidbits about the film, Minghella gave us a great deal of information about how little he knew about film making when he directed the film, how short the shooting schedule was (28 days), and what a small budget they had ($650,000). He pointed out every directorial mistake he made; things that he 'would never do now' because he would be embarrassed by them. Being the writer as well as the director, he also shared with the viewers that he thought he was writing a comedy. Only later upon seeing the reaction of audiences did he come to realize what strong emotions the film could evoke and how viewers perceived the message as being about how to handle grief, so much so that it has become a tool used by professionals to help the bereaved handle their loss.
Given how much more personal this film is than 'The English Patient', the viewer might infer that directors can often be more effective when they don't know so much about their craft and they are not trying so hard to manipulate their audience with camera angles, wide shots, pans, etc. etc. What the viewer might more clearly discern is that this film is so successful, so entertaining, and so powerful almost solely due to the cast. The writer actually meant to say something else, the director was uneducated in his craft, but the actors more than made up for all those shortcomings. The cast, particularly the three main characters, transcended all the flaws, found meaning the writer didn't write, and turned in top notch, grade-A, 100% flawless performances.
This film encompasses more than a lesson in grief management. It is an education in all we can learn about love, true love. Showing what it truly means to love totally and completely, so much so that we will do absolutely anything for the welfare of those we love, including helping them get over their love for us if necessary. Alan Rickman, according to the director, played his role with almost no emotion because it was what the role required. Rickman is superb enough at his craft to appear to be superficial, irritating, and insensitive and still manage to exude more heartfelt emotion than most actors can display when they are giving their best effort. Using only his arms and hands in a loving embrace, Rickman conveys more to the viewer than 20 pages of a script would reveal. Juliet Stevenson displayed every possible emotion one can experience when dealing with both grief and with love, with the sorrow of the mingling of the two, and the happiness of discovering the latter. The supporting cast, comprised of a group of well-known, highly regarded English actors and a variety of friends and relatives of the writer/director, fulfilled their roles admirably.
When watching a film primarily for the purposes of seeing Alan Rickman's performance, his presence is often the best thing about the film. Not so with 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'. Alan and Juliet together make the film all that it is, and that is wonderfully entertaining and deeply touching. This movie makes 'Ghost' seem as lightweight as a wisp of wind and a waif of smoke. 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' is the 'real thing'. The film touches your heart and stirs a multitude of human emotions. Alan and Juliet alternately, or sometimes simultaneously, bring tears to your eyes, laughter to your lips, and ample amounts of pain and joy to your heart. Speaking of 'tears to your eyes', don't even attempt to watch this film without a box of tissues handy. You will definitely need them. You will be entertained and touched, and you will be glad you made the decision to watch this movie, not just for the first time either.

Rasputin [Import]
Rasputin [Import]

5.0 étoiles sur 5 I admit my stupidity and lavish my praise!, July 12 2003
This review is from: Rasputin [Import] (VHS Tape)
I know zilch about the Russian history and have viewed no other film on this subject, therefore, I can make no educated comparisons to either reality or other entertainment offerings.
As a connoisseur of the movies, I can categorically state that from the moment I saw the eyes of Tamas Toth (the young Rasputin), until I was treated to the presence of Alan Rickman (the adult Rasputin), through the closing credits I was transported to another world entirely.
No other young actor could have been better cast to make you believe were seeing through those amazing eyes into the mind of a young Alan Rickman. Definitely no other actor could have given the performance of a lifetime as did Rickman in portraying the earthy, maniacal, confused, yet hypnotic, charming, and persuasive character of Grigori Rasputin. Charisma and sexuality ooze out of every nuance of this worldly man of God. You never once question that a princess or even a Tsarina would let this unkempt, rough, vulgar, unwashed commoner touch her soft, delicate, royal skin. In fact, you wonder instead how she could show such restraint and resist touching him for even a moment while in his presence. This movie contains what I consider one of the screen's all-time best film kisses.
There is more to the film than all that of course. Historically correct or not, there is an intriguing, entertaining story of Russian Royalty, love, betrayal, war, religious fervor, and much more.
The actors portraying the Romanov family were excellent, particularly young Freddie Findlay (Alexei, heir to the throne). The palace settings and outdoor locations were lavish beyond description. The gorgeous music perfectly meshed with film.
There are not enough adjectives, nor enough awards, to describe or honor the acting talents of Alan Rickman, particularly in this film. He became Rasputin in a manner that caused me to completely forget I was watching an actor, and still always be aware this was the work of a SUPERB actor.
Never a big fan of historical drama, I have to thank Alan Rickman for his wide choice of roles. As a fan I have exposed myself to many genres they I may have never otherwise viewed in an effort to catch every wonderful moment of Rickman captured on film. Not one film or performance has failed to entertain and amaze; certainly this is one of his best.
If you haven't seen the film, you deserve to watch it soon. If you are an Alan Rickman fan and you haven't seen 'Rasputin' - shame on you!

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