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Profile for Michael S. Smith > Reviews

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Content by Michael S. Smith
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Reviews Written by
Michael S. Smith (Keizer, OR)

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Transformers: Season 2, Part 2 [Import]
Transformers: Season 2, Part 2 [Import]
DVD ~ Charles Adler
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 150.03
4 used & new from CDN$ 19.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Season 2 part 2, June 26 2004
You know, this is just about nostalgia, and it's presented here at its best in the DVD format. Watching this 2nd part, has made me realize just how much I forgot, and just how cool some of these episodes really are. As a kid, I wasn't analyzing the stories and characters, now that I'm older it's taken on a different feel. Some episodes are great, well written and animated, others made me think they simply ran out of time, but in all its great stuff to watch.
The DVD presents the episodes as if they are brand new. Though, there arn't any good extra bonus features. I don't know where all the creators are for this great series, but they are either busy, dead or not interested. I'm surprised there isn't more behind the scenes or just more interviews about this epic. Perhaps Rhino just hasn't done its homework?? And though they attempt to add new sounds, it just doesn't work. It passes, sure, but it once again just alters the series. Heck, even the opening number isn't the original! You can actually hear the original on Hasbro's website dedicated to the transformers. Pretty lame. I don't know who said "Hey, lets' change the opening theme song, and add in a bunch of sound effects! They'll love it!" uh. . . no.
Nevertheless, its the series and you get a chunk of them per set, and that is nice. So pick it up, its great, worth the money for 5 DVD's, I loved them, and even now, my toddlers know all the names and love it too. Now if I could just find Thundercats on DVD!

Jim Henson's the Storyteller Collection
Jim Henson's the Storyteller Collection
DVD ~ John Hurt
Offered by Now Showing DVD's
Price: CDN$ 22.78
14 used & new from CDN$ 20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're almost there. . ., June 7 2004
It's been taking the Henson company a long time to get these titles pumped to DVD, and it's nice to see The Storyteller fill the gaps in the shelves. I am still waiting for Fraggle Rock, but hopefully that is on the horizon.
I remember these as part of the Jim Henson Hour (another series I would like to see again) and they were as enjoyable to watch as they are now.
I gave the DVD 3 stars, simply because it's just that. . . a DVD. No extra's no behind the scenes, nothing added to it, just the stories, one after another in a digital format. The content and movies are great, its just that, well, there wasn't anything else. Kind of disappointing, but I'm sure back then, they didn't have a lot of cameras on the set filming behind the scenes, it wasn't the fad or desire back then.
This is a dvd though, that's not for kids. Young kids that is. Some pretty spooky moments, and the creatures can be a bit scarey. It's a fairly dark, gritty form of story telling, but fun and amusing at times.
To wrap up, its great. If your a fan of Jim, it belongs in your DVD library. No extras though, just the 9 episodes and that's it. The sound is good, picture great, just as I remember them. My only desire for some of the recent releases of Henson DVD's is to actually have more of Henson on them. He was a great man, and to hear him speak about his films and what he was doing is always a rare treat. I just wish they had more film footage of him.

The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
The Neverending Story (Widescreen and Fullscreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Noah Hathaway
Offered by Mikani Collectables
Price: CDN$ 13.99
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Neverending Nostalgia, April 22 2004
I would agree with a lot of the reviewers thus far about this movie. If you didn't see it when it first came out (and if you weren't between the ages of 5-10) then the magic will be difficult to grasp. Which is the irony of the movie. It's about imagination disappearing, and people forgetting to dream and remember what it was like to be a kid.
Nevertheless, it is a good movie. The wolf might scare the kids, I remember it being rather spooky when I saw it at the age of 8. And of course, the effects are. . . ohhh, slightly dated, but they hold up. The only thing that simply STINKS about this DVD release is the lack of extras, (I guess we could call it the Nothing). Because it has none. Big disappointment. Where is the cast and crew? Why didn't the director put in some time with this movie and give us a commentary, or behind the scenes, or even cut scenes? Wasn't this a classic. . . ? As far as I know the director hasn't been up to too much lately. It's a shame, it's a classic for those who grew up in the 80's, it did leave it's mark culturally, and I'm surpised nobody from the cast/crew decided to do anything for it when it released. It may have DVD quality, but not the quantity. I only paid 10 bucks for it, so, in the long run it was worth it.
In the meantime, if you want just a movie purely for imagination, then buy it for your kids. It sure beats all the slop the movie industry has kicked out recently for "childrens entertainment".

The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.74
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neverending story, April 18 2004
I am still amazed at how many movies flashed by when I was a kid, that were books first. 20 years later I find this book, just by mere chance, and buy it. I remember the movie, and loved it.
If you have seen the movie first, the initial shocker is that the entire movie is found within the first 1/4 of the book. I couldn't believe it. Things kept moving along, and as I flipped pages, you could easily tell there was MUCH more to come, yet everything that happened in the movie seemed to wrap up within the first 100 pages or so. And I have to admit, the movie was pretty faithful to the book. I can see why some characters were changed, due to lack of good technology or time, but for the most part, everything is there. The rest of the story is a fun read, and good fantasy. I would recommend the book for those who were raised on the films, and for younger kids. Not too young, there are some pretty creepy moments, but it nevertheless is a book about imagination. It's money well spent. Get it, if you want to see what really happend to Bastian, and Fantastica.

The Last Unicorn
The Last Unicorn
by Peter S. Beagle
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.17
41 used & new from CDN$ 6.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but no Tolkien, April 13 2004
This review is from: The Last Unicorn (Paperback)
I remember watching the movie, the original by Rankin/Bass many many years ago, and fell in love with it. Here I am, 28 years old, and just read the book. This is one case where I think the movie was better.
A lot of people compare this particular story to Tolkien. But I have to be honest and say, it is far from his works. Granted it is an interesting story, original. But I found it to be a little boring. It has interesting fantasy, and a great villan (love the bull). But I couldn't help but be slightly bored with the slow travel, and encounters, and very few climactic scenes (or battles). It has it's moments, surely, but it isn't all it's cracked up to be. People make this book sound like it's the next gospel. But I found it to be creative, yet simple, and even though it's fairly small book (which was surprising) it took a while to get through it. And I found some areas difficult to understand, and had to re-read a few paragraphs to understand exactly what was happening.
Nevertheless I'm glad I read it. It isn't horrible, it's just been glamourized a little too much. Check out the movie, I think it's actually better.

Transformers the Movie
Transformers the Movie
DVD ~ Orson Welles
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 80.06
14 used & new from CDN$ 12.93

3.0 out of 5 stars Transformers: The Movie, Jan. 10 2004
This review is from: Transformers the Movie (DVD)
Yes, it's everything you remember. Good audio, video. However, that is about it. The Extras are pretty bland. It makes you wonder if anyone was even interested in making this DVD. They call it the "Special Collectors Edition" but, there isn't anything too special about it. Very little to offer.
But its all about the movie right? Well that's good, intact, great transfer, and no sound altering by Rhino like they tried on their release of the entire series on DVD (really bad move).
If you grew up with it, get it. But if you expect something special, well, it's not there.

Sketching and Rendering of Interior Spaces
Sketching and Rendering of Interior Spaces
by Ivo Drpic
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 29.40
40 used & new from CDN$ 1.78

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, Jan. 15 2003
I am a Graphic Design student in Kansas City. Finding anyone to teach you marker rendering is impossible, yet the field demands you have this talent. This book is a great start. I've looked all over for good books on this subject and they are rare. The book is in FULL color, with plenty of exercises. He also tells you the exact marker he used in each drawing, to keep u on track. And works through all perspective problems. It's inspiring just flipping through the pages. However, it still demands practice and discipline, but with this book it will help. If you've been scared of marker rendering, start with this book, it will get u on your feet.

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