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Phone Booth (Bilingual)
Phone Booth (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Colin Farrell
Price: CDN$ 6.98
58 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars I was proven wrong, this movie is pretty good., Sept. 25 2003
This review is from: Phone Booth (Bilingual) (DVD)
Before watching this movie, I couldn't imagine enjoying a movie that centered primarily around a single location. How boring, I thought. Well, turns out I was wrong. The movie is interesting and it kept my attention, moreso because of Colin's acting. Because there's not a lot of action in the film -- there is some, though -- the story relies heavily on dialog, which fortunately, for the most part, was good. In addition, Colin convincingly portrays a character that was under a lot of stress and in a sticky situation that he can't find an easy way to get out of. And believe me, he's trying. The "bad guy" is convincing as a lunatic that could do all he threatens to do and more. Granted I had a hard time imagining a similar situation in real life, but in today's world, my imagination has been sorely stretched by real-life events so I was able to accept the storyline. Bottom line, I'd recommend the movie, at least as a rental.

Identity (Special Edition) [Import]
Identity (Special Edition) [Import]
DVD ~ John Cusack
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 22.48
63 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Want a good mystery/thriller? Watch this., Sept. 25 2003
Wow! I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. When I saw previews of it at the theatre, I didn't think it would be that good. Then I bought the DVD and was very happy I did. This is a movie I'll watch again.
The movie starts off quickly setting up clues to the mystery, and jumping straight into some action. The mood is set quickly too -- it's a dark and rainy night and the tension/suspense is very thick.
Quite frankly, there's nothing I didn't like about the movie. The dialog was good, the acting was good, and I give kudos to Cusack and Ray Liotta for their acting skills. And based upon the plot, it's what I call an intelligent thriller. Don't expect the answers to come too easily.
Finally, the ending did surprise me but I wasn't disappointed. It was different and much appreciated. I'd recommend this movie if you like thrillers.

Naked Empire
Naked Empire
by Terry Goodkind
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 35.85
73 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Pillars of Creation but not by much, Aug. 29 2003
This review is from: Naked Empire (Hardcover)
I am a Goodkind fan and, thus I anxiously awaited anxiously this latest installment in the series -- in part because I hoped it would be better than the last book. Well, it was, but not by much. In the previous book I felt as if Goodkind were writing for elementary school-aged readers -- something I didn't appreciate at all. In this book, I think he's graduated us to high-schoolers that need a refresher course in lessons of philosophy, fairness and cause-and-effect.
This book does have its good points: Richard and Kahlan are together and are included in much of the story, and there is some action - that adds interest to the story. However, when Richard and Kahlan run into a group of people that don't understand what's been going on in the world around them, the lessons begin. Richard espouses over and over and over again about how things are, how they came to be the way they are, what we can/should do to change them, what happens if you don't, etc. Quite literally, the story was bogged down in his constant dissertations on life. That got old quick. And when he wasn't explaining life to these people, he was explaining it to his sister.
Because these new characters were so "thick-brained" -- as in, hard-to-learn what seems obvious, there was no real depth to them. They seemed to be just characters thrown in to put a wrinkle in Richard's movement -- if you want to call what was going on "movement".
Kahlan had her own issues as well -- blaming herself over and over again for some of what was happening in the world. There comes a time when you just need to "get over it", find a way to fix it and/or move on. She didn't.
The Slide was a new and imposing threat that had promise to create a lot more tension than he did -- not only with Richard but with Jagang (sp?) but that didn't happen either. Fortunately Zed had a bit part, since I like him, but it was smaller than I would have liked.
The book gets 3 stars instead of 2 because it WAS better than the Pillars of Creation, even if not by much. And there was some action in it and some interesting parts. However, I'm hoping that Goodkind decreases the amount of philosophizing these characters do and gets back to the methods he used to start this series off with a bang. I agree with another reviewer, if he wants to wax philosophic, he should teach a course - not put it in a fiction book for his readers who just want to read another darned good story.

Frenchman's Creek
Frenchman's Creek
by Daphne Du Maurier
Edition: Audio Cassette
7 used & new from CDN$ 33.46

3.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying read, Feb. 26 2003
This review is from: Frenchman's Creek (Audio Cassette)
If you like historical romances and can enjoy one even if it lacks the "sensuality" found in the historical romance novels typically sold today, you'll likely enjoy this story.
Set in the 17th century, this story is basically about a wealthy, bored housewife and mother (Lady St. Columb) who finds herself falling out of love with her husband and wanting a change from the life she is living, or in her mind merely "existing". Although her husband adores her, realizing she needs a break from him and their surroundings, she leaves him "for a visit" to their Cornwall estate. With her kids in tow, she expects nothing more than some peace and quiet. What she finds is a ship moored just off her property, and a mysterious but intriguing man that makes her laugh and feel more alive than she has in a while.
When she later learns that he's a pirate, the damage has been done; her attraction to him is too strong to end their friendship and budding relationship. And to make matters worse, he's equally attracted to her.
What follows is a bittersweet love affair that is hampered by the fact that she's a wife and mother with responsibilities. As if those weren't issues enough to deal with, she's also surrounded by nosey neighbors and other acquaintenances who are quite content to try and mind her business, and eventually through their actions, threaten her happiness and even her life.
While this story lacked the "fire" and excitement I was expecting, it was nonetheless a good read. Don't expect to be plunged into a whirlwind romance with a young, beautiful virgin being chased by the man she happens to captivate in a flurry of action. Expect instead, to find two mature people who know what they want out of life and who develop a relationship based upon mutual attraction and friendship, that simmers and builds slowly. There is some sensuality in the book, but it's subdued by today's standards.
In this story, you will find romance, some action, and an atmosphere that contributes to a feeling of "being there" in 17th century England and experiencing a part of what life would be like for a titled woman, and a pirate. It's an interesting, bittersweet story that had my emotions on a rollercoaster as the two individuals were forced to make hard decisions about their directions in life.
There wasn't much I didn't like about this book but if I had to pick something, it would be that in a few spots the pace was just a tad slow, and the fact that I happen to like the "fiery" (okay, real sensuous) historical romances of today. While a little more fire would have been nice, this book was satisfying nonetheless because the story is well told. I would recommend it.

The English Assassin
The English Assassin
by Daniel Silva
Edition: Audio CD
13 used & new from CDN$ 10.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended... (3.5 stars), Dec 30 2002
This review is from: The English Assassin (Audio CD)
Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you like suspense, intrigue and a good old spy story. There were a few moments when the book failed to hold my attention, but not many. And those moments were mostly because the author gave more information than I wanted/needed to know about the art and its theft. I wanted to focus more on the characters and the people that the author made come alive in his storytelling. In that respect, this book is good. Characterization was great and I really liked Gabriel. The other characters were well drawn out too so it was easy to feel as if you knew them and thus could understand their motivations even if you disagreed with them. Even the "bad" guy had a decent side to him as well.
The suspense was palpable. I felt the danger along with Gabriel, and his desperation to stay alive and figure out what in the heck was going on. Because the story takes place in different parts of the world, there was enough variation in the scenes to also add interest. There was also a sufficient amount of action to appease my taste for "movement" and excitement, and it kept me wondering what would happen next. The ending, generally, was as I expected, but it did seem to end rather quickly. But again, I would recommend the book.
(Listened to unabridged audiobook version)

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (Widescreen) [Import]
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ Antonio Banderas
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 8.02
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.48

2.0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd saved my money..., Dec 27 2002
Yep, I saw all of the reviews about how bad this movie was before I purchased it but figured, what the heck, I like action films and I like Banderas so why not give it a try? Well, hubby and I took three days to finish watching this movie. No, nothing was wrong with our DVD player, it's just that we kept falling asleep on it. There's nothing about the movie that kept our eyes glued to the television screen for lengthy periods.
What's good? If you like action, there's a lot of it here. Crashing cars, car and motorcycle chases, explosions, shoot'em ups, and lots of fighting are sprinkled liberally throughout the movie.
What's bad? Most of the action seems mindless, and the movie plays like a wannabe movie. (They wanted it to be something that it isn't.) There is a plot and you can follow it, but some of the action seems overlong or present just to extend the time of the movie or maybe because they figured the action would draw in the moviegoers who would forget about all else.
With some of the fighting and clothing, I got a glimpse of the Matrix -- much lower scale mind you, but the Matrix came to mind nonetheless. With the motorcycle chase scene, Mission Impossible II came to mind. Again, the scenes here are nowhere near the quality of Mission Impossible, but it came to mind too.
The acting is decent but none of it will pull you in and make you really care for the story being told. This could be because of the dialog -- it was okay but the actors didn't have a whole lot to work with.
Overall, while the movie wasn't horrible I wish I'd rented it instead of buying it because it's one that I have no desire to watch again. On a lighter note, my husband and I did have a good time laughing at the various scenes (which weren't supposed to be funny) and calling out the movies that this one copied parts from. My recommendation: if you've just got to see it, rent it. Otherwise, save your money.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
Brotherhood of the Wolf (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Samuel Le Bihan
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 65.17
8 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A kick butt first and ask questions later type of movie, Oct. 13 2002
Okay, I admit it. I was hesitant about purchasing this movie because I thought - how exciting will a movie about hunting down a wolf be? But, because I like the time period - 18th century, and because the reviews raved about the beauty of the film, I decided to give it a try. Suffice it to say, I am pleased with my purchase.
If you like movies of the 18th century that involve swordplay, swashbucklers, rowdy scenes, and the upper crust all decked out in high finery and wigs, then this is the movie for you. You'll get that and more. And luckily, the story about hunting down the wolf is made plausible and interesting because of the opening scene which draws you in quickly and makes you a part of what will become the chase.
Add to that the never ending excitement brought by the two men who show up to help in the hunt - Samuel Le Bihan who plays a scientist/healer and the gorgeous Mark Dacascos who plays his Iroquois partner. Samuel is a bit of a ladies' man while Mark plays the introspective, spiritual man of mystery. This movie has a fair amount of action - more than I expected - a lot of mystery, betrayal, some brutal scenes, some bawdy scenes, and some romance. I loved it all. You'll see glimpses action films such as Blade and Matrix while you watch the fight scenes, but fortunately, that only adds to the excitement of the film while putting a smile of recognition on your face.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't just an action movie. There is a story here. A town is being terrorized by a wolf that no one has been able to find and kill and the characters played by Samuel and Mark are determined to find out what is going on. During their investigation, they discover a deep, dark mystery that they're determined to unravel. There's also romance and some court intrigue. But, when it comes time for action, even if it's a scene involving danger instead of a fight, the scenes are done very well and the cinematography is good.
This is definitely a film I would recommend. But I suggest watching it on a surround sound system. Some of the cinematography and the sounds are best experienced in surround sound. But if that's not available, just cut the television sound up. :-)

The Widow's Kiss
The Widow's Kiss
by Jane Feather
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.99
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical historical romance, Oct. 11 2002
While this story was entertaining, it was not what I was expecting when I picked up what I thought was a typical historical romance. When the two love interests in this story first meet, they don't particularly care for each other. Yes, there's a physical attraction, but that's about all. Hugh was sent by the King to investigate the deaths of Lady Guinevere's four husbands, and Lady Guinevere's suspects he came to her land expecting to find her guilty no matter the truth, and to steal her land from her.
After their meeting, Hugh starts his investigation and the storyline follows the investigation. As events unfold, Hugh comes to respect Lady Guinevere's mind. She's not the typical woman of those times - she's strong willed, very smart, and quite capable of taking care of herself. She finds him appealing but she knows she cannot trust him if she is to protect herself and her children.
Lady Guinevere is quite likeable. It's easy to respect her intelligence and ability to do what women of those times usually did not do -- protect their financial interests. Hugh on the other hand, is a difficult character to like. He's suspicious of everything, which in truth, is understandable since four of her husbands all did die untimely deaths. But his unyielding personality makes it difficult for Lady Guinevere to get through to him, and makes him a little hard to like. However, he does have his good points -- he has a weak spot for children which shows in his interaction with Lady Guinevere's children.
What follows is a story that provides a picture of the life and times of the 1500's. It's not a very happy picture. The book follows the characters' daily lives, but under the pall of the investigation, their lives aren't very gay and carefree.
Despite the attraction between Hugh and Lady Guinevere, this book really doesn't seem to be an historical romance. It reads more like an historical story that has a bit of mystery and intrigue and romance wrapped up in it. I expected the typical fireworks and cat and mouse game between lovers found in "typical" historical romances, but I did not get that here. The book was nonetheless enjoyable, but definitely different.
Yes, there are parts of the story that will pull at your heart strings and have you feeling strongly for one person or another, but don't expect to swoon and be enveloped in a lively romance like those found in a vintage Woodiwiss or Lindsey novel. It's not that type of romance story. But if you prefer more history than romance, and you like a little mystery and intrigue thrown in, you'll find this book quite enjoyable.

Bold Angel
Bold Angel
by Kat Martin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Should be named the Troublesome Angel, Sept. 29 2002
This review is from: Bold Angel (Mass Market Paperback)
This book starts off with the promise of excitement and doesn't let you down. From their first meeting, Raolfe de Gere, a knight for King William, and Caryn of Ivesham, are at odds. He's a dreaded Norman knight plundering the Saxon lands, and Lady Caryn is an unwilling victim. Events thrust them together as Lady Caryn faces one dangerous encounter after another, and seems to always be at odds with Raolfe.
The plot is good and believable and there are plenty of subplots that keep your interest and add more excitement to an already good story. The dialog is good and believable, as are the characters' actions. The descriptions are good, and the scenes all fit nicely within the story. The good characters are very easy to like and the bad ones are ... well, sleazy. And, to keep the reader off track, there are a few characters whose loyalties you'll come to question.
In sum, this is a very good and enjoyable historical romance. There's always something going on. And just when you think the romance between Caryn and Raolfe is about to blossom into a deep, trusting and long-lasting love, something happens that tears them apart. At times I wanted to shake both of them to make them see the light. Thankfully, there were characters in the book that did the task for me. Bottom line, this is a book I would recommend.

Every Dead Thing
Every Dead Thing
by John Connolly
Edition: Audio Cassette
11 used & new from CDN$ 9.36

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 star rating, Sept. 2 2002
This review is from: Every Dead Thing (Audio Cassette)
This is a book about redemption. Charlie "Bird" Parker, is a detective with the New York Police Department. On a night when he's out drinking, someone breaks into his home and brutally kills his wife and daughter. His life now in shambles and torn by guilt, he's going nowhere fast when a he decides to take a stab a being a private investigator. He's hired by Catherine, a wealthy woman that is looking for her stepson's girlfriend who has mysteriously disappeared. Catherine, who was becoming fond of the young girl, is hoping to find her alive and well. When Charlie agrees to take the case, his problems really begin.
What follows is a story that delves into a deep, dark mystery with a reach that spans three decades. Charlie delves in, determined to help others before they suffer the loss he has. He soon discovers that the trail he's on leads him in circles, with one dead body after another turning up. The clues he finds also give him hope that he just might discover the identity of the person or persons that killed his family, but the clues also sicken him. As he immerses himself deeper in mystery, he's also drowning in danger.
This is a very good book. It's dark because you're dealing with a man tortured by the death of his family, who is suddenly surrounded by even more death as he tries to help someone else. The action is smooth, quick, and crisp, as is the dialog. The characters are very believable as is the plot - which has a number of twists and turns that add interest. And the scenes are described as if you're there. Charlie's in a place where no man can trust anyone, and the question is, will he get out...alive? A recommended read - if you're not squeamish.

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