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Content by Mark Grindell
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Reviews Written by
Mark Grindell "Mark Grindell" (Driffield, East Yorkshire)

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Burbs (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
Burbs (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Price: CDN$ 14.88
26 used & new from CDN$ 5.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Completely stupid. I've nearly worn out the machine with it, Jan. 15 2000
This movie MIGHT be tacky, the plot might be paper thin, the acting may be reasonably inadequate, but in real life, for reasons I am probably likely to be ashamed of, I have watched this stupid movie over and over and over again, to the point where me and my kids know virtually all the lines off by heart, and we have probably ended up drawn into the Kopek role ourselves.
The next stage will be the design of a van de graaf generator to make loud noises and long sparks from the top of the roof, etc. We CAN do this - we have pulled the plans from the net and have some of it built already.
Our favorite scene BY FAR is the absurdist scene where Hanks begins the long march towards the Kopeks front door... (the POODLE of course makes it all make sense), and of course, the teenager who invites all his friends over just to watch everything....
Buy it! Or actually don't. Become responsible and mature instead. Its your call. I know what I did.

Our Man Flint [Import]
Our Man Flint [Import]
Offered by raremoviefindercanada
Price: CDN$ 16.98
6 used & new from CDN$ 6.94

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my life, Sept. 17 1999
This review is from: Our Man Flint [Import] (VHS Tape)
I also saw this movie when I was eight years old. I ended up working as a part time soldier in the Australian Army, worked in various electronics defence companies, and spent the remainder of the time as a part time barman in a girls only nightclub.
I blame this movie.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Widescreen) [Import]
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ William Shatner
Offered by DVD's of all sorts
Price: CDN$ 19.87
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Well,, I can change my mind, I'm not a politician..., Aug. 25 1999
I got annoyed with this. Can't imagine why really. I have recently started the serious acquisition of the first series and looked hard at it, and thought a bit more. I can't honestly be persuaded that on the whole the series hasn't probably done a great deal of good (lotza double negatives... i.e. I really like it)
I suspect that a lot of people in the States were finding the end of the cold war unsettling, but if you look at the first series, you can see the evolution of a very complex relationship between the Klingons and the Federation that is important and very relevant to the ethics and morals that we all must dwell on from time to time.
Actually, I was terribly unjust on another review, and said things I now regret. Everyone, from Uhura to the bad Klingons do their very best to speak into the performance a convincing statement. The fact that in the end, an enemy may make a powerful ally and that gentleness wins over military force in the long run... This is everything the big boss man says over and over again. Objections to dodgy physics are unworthy and dull minded. Good job I didn't give out my phone number!
I think that if this was a sort of goodbye for the crew, it is nice to think that in this story, they are all even more noble and good than in, say, the Devil in the Dark, the Galileo Seven, or the Day of the Dove.
Its all very moving, actually. It is some interesting observation, perhaps, that no matter how dark the world has become, there is some undefeatable hope that never quite gets dumped in the bucket. Ghandi said that (not in the same words).
Good Lord, is there no end of applications for this movie? Aren't we facing this right now? Hello?

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Widescreen) [Import]
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Widescreen) [Import]
DVD ~ William Shatner
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 39.48
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.07

3.0 out of 5 stars Curious, very patchy, but oddly engaging, Aug. 25 1999
This isn't the only highly flawed movie I've seen and somehow keep on, from time to time, revisiting. I remember quite a few books which have the same effect - they're undoubtedly flawed, but there are enough interesting attributes to keep you coming back.
I wonder honestly, for instance, how the movie is really judged by a lot of reviewers by the obviously inadequate ending. If only there had been just a little bit more cash available, the entire film might never have generated so much awful press.
You get a strong feeling that Bill's ideas have generally not really made it to complete form, or have not been helped to do so. The film is one thing, but is much better than TekWars, which is virtually unredeemable. The really good scenes are quite memorable... especially the opening titles with Spocks brother making his first appearance. There are other moments too.
The film definitely lacks the momentum and the element of surprise that accompanies any decent novel, but you can't really flaw the subject matter. Star Trek was supposed to meet certain subjects head on, and it would be foolish to say, like some reviewers, "this doesn't have a place". But it gets very heavy going when so much of the movie is so very obviously flawed. Its as though Bill really needed some help and everyone just stood by. Just a few words of advice and some storyboard planning would have helped enormously. Just how seriously did Paramount take their planning and financial projections for this? I find it hard to lay all the problems at the feet of one man.
The technical objections are real enough (all the stuff about the distance to the centre of the galaxy), but what is very odd is the continual problems withthe idea of a "barrier" that never gets a mention anywhere else, no contextual information about the being which is imprisoned there, and so forth. The story really hangs in a void. Some authors do this kind of thing and get away with it, AE Van Vogt perhaps managed this from time to time. But making a movie like that needs extraordinary skill, and probably more of a team effort.
Perhaps this movie should be revised and remade. Of course, its too late now, everyone is far older and the money wouldn't appear....

Quatermass and The Pit (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import]
Quatermass and The Pit (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import]
DVD ~ James Donald
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 718.71
5 used & new from CDN$ 128.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Howlin' wolf good, July 25 1999
This film is so good you have to call it literature. A spaceship undeneath London giving everybody the screaming willies and a real English hero to sort out the creppy crawlies. Go! Buy Pizza! Watch the movie! Nibble your wife's neck just at the right moment!

Berio:  Serenata I; Sequenza I
Berio: Serenata I; Sequenza I
Price: CDN$ 23.39
21 used & new from CDN$ 15.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Complex assortment, July 10 1999
The first remark on this collection is that the pieces here are remarkably difficult, even for very experienced players in this genre.
The two solo sequenzas extend the resources of the players in remarkable ways.
Sequenza IV is apparently a favorite piece now at piano competitions; one of the hardest aspects of its performance is its very difficult time structure. The piece seems to contain two basic types of structure - dense polyphonic chords, or very fast, nervous lines of melody which contain variable elements wrapped around the same centre. The effect is to express ideas which are dramatic and very complex. The beginning two chords (which can be interpreted as a conventional dominant to tonic progression of two generators), is the beginning of an idea which reappears at the end with the final set of chords, transformed, and subdued. There is a great deal of excitement and fury inbetween, one short section containing fast, hammer like tone clusters - here the piano is truly played as a percussion instrument - and the very interestng thing is how this short, intense section resolves very quickly and successfuly into something with a local tonal texture - quite a surprise, and worth hearing the piece for.
Sequenza IXa for saxaphone is demanding if for nothing but its quite considerable length as a solo piece. It contains narrative elements which are very reminiscent of jazz, and possibly has one of the strongest unambiguous tonal feel of all the sequenzas.
Serenata I is an early work which is in some ways connected to the kind of world inhabited by the first sequenza, in which the dominant feel and texture is somewhat freer than strict serial technique, probably somewhere in the journey from Allelujah II to the kind of writing that characterised the later pieces such as Differences. It has a very strong set of themes which develop in an appealing way.
O King might be familiar as the second movement of Symphonia, and is dedicated to Martin Luther King. That name is repeated softly under a blanket of sounds, soft and disquieting, with the intonation of voices and brass mingling and interchanging. A inquiet elegy.
Linea is a remarkably difficult piece to play, requiring considerable expertise not only for each player, but as a group. Scored for two pianos, marimba, and vibraphone, it consists of thirteen movements which are played more or less without a break - Manege I, Entree I, Ensemble I, Manege II, Ensemble II, Manege III, Ensemble III, Entree II, Coda I, Allegro. Coda II, Ensemble IV, Notturno.
Each is characterised by a separate treatment of a developing theme which starts from a very simple idea - a minor third (C sharp to E) repeated softly by all members of the ensemble, then slowly developed into more complex melodic material.
The beginnning theme often reappears, but sometimes in an unfamiliar rhythmic context, and often incorporated into larger structures, sets of chromatic arpeggios which stride over several octaves.
The difficult nature of the work lies in the very close homophonic style of writing, varying from a moderate speed to sometimes very fast, making demands on sychronisation and accuracy considerable.
The music alternates between a single line of melody and a more polyphonic sound, but I suspect that the title "Linea" comes from the intent to describe a process, a long thread, where the origin and destination are singular and mysterious.
The final movement is very captivating, and has a soft, ambiguous ending (a tremolando chord with C, F, E, A flat, C Sharp, G, F Sharp, E flat, D, B, and A). But by this time this sound has been in the listeners ear for some time, either as melodic material, or a harmonic fragments, and there is a definite sense of arriving in the new country.

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