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Customer Reviews: 16
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Helpful Votes: 29

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Tickle Me
Tickle Me
Price: $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Worst, July 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tickle Me (Amazon Instant Video)
"Tickle Me" is the best of Elvis' lousy movies ("Spinout", "Clambake", "Double Trouble", etc.), elevated by music recorded years before the film was made. I am an Elvis fan, and there are Elvis movies I like a lot, but after "Viva Las Vegas," there was little to applaud. See this one to watch him lip-synch his way through some of his better post Army songs--the only reason I gave it 2 stars instead of one.

Straw Dogs (Unrated Version)
Straw Dogs (Unrated Version)
DVD ~ Dustin Hoffman
Price: $10.16
72 used & new from $2.80

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still disappointing., July 6, 2014
This review is from: Straw Dogs (Unrated Version) (DVD)
Saw "Straw Dogs" in the theater when it first came out. At the time, I was among many who thought of Peckinpah as a major player in American film, and I am one of those who regard "The Wild Bunch" as one of the best westerns of all time. I thought seeing "Straw Dogs" again via this unrated version DVD would improve my opinion of the film, but time has not been kind. This is just one of those stories with no one to root for. David (Dustin Hoffman) is a young mathematician who has recently moved to his wife's hometown in rural England to finish a book. Amy (Susan George), the wife, has proudly returned home with her academic husband, which she believes significantly improves her social standing among those with whom she grew up. Evidently, Amy ran with a pretty rough bunch, and there is much about them to which she can still relate. "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl." Clearly, David didn't marry Amy for her intellect, but they do connect physically, On the other hand, Amy's sexuality radiates to all males within a mile of her. She may have kept it in check back in the States while David courted her, but now, back home, she is careless about it. Furthermore, David may have been the coolest professor on campus back in the USA, but here, compared to her former boyfriend and his mates, she comes to see him as a cowardly wimp. And, he is. They probably have no business being married to each other, and the story arc of this film tests the marriage in the extreme. But I still feel, even after my recent viewing, neither Amy nor David is a better person for all they have endured, and there is nothing implied in the script or in any shot the director composes to indicate these characters' feelings for each other have changed. Regarding the performances, both Hoffman and George are nearly perfect. If that is what drives you to watch this film, you won't be disappointed.

Life After Life: A Novel
Life After Life: A Novel
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.00
104 used & new from $8.26

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the finest I have read, January 8, 2014
I had never heard of Kate Atkinson before this book was given to me for the 2013 Christmas holiday, and I haven't been able to go a day without reading from it. Some of the richest language I've encountered in a while. Great concept and fully realized characters. Exactly what a good novel should be. I'm surprised at the many negative reviews, especially since I am enjoying it so much. For the record, I am a heterosexual male with a BA in English literature, and I consider myself pretty well read. Don't be put off by the bad reviews. Approach this book with a bit of patience, sit back in your reading chair with a cup of coffee or a nice whiskey, and lose yourself for a few chapters at a time. I believe you will end up feeling as I do.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
DVD ~ Elizabeth Taylor
Price: $8.08
66 used & new from $3.78

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Stage to Film Adaptation, November 11, 2013
Saw this play recently performed in Chicago. It hasn't lost any of its punch. So, I viewed the film again to see how well it has held up. Wow! Sanitized dialogue considered, this film is as close to perfect as anyone could make it. I recall that, in the 60's, Elizabeth Taylor pretty much shocked the world with her performance. If you want to have fun (my kind of fun), watch A Place in the Sun and then watch this. She is one of America's greatest film actresses, no question.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2013 5:34 PM PST

DVD ~ Various
Price: $5.97
39 used & new from $2.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Romance, November 10, 2013
This review is from: Cousins (DVD)
This movie is a remake of the French film Cousin Cousine (1976), which is itself a charming movie. I like the American version for a few reasons:
1) great cast--every actor is doing some of their best work here, but I believe Lloyd Bridges steals the show
2) great dialogue--something about trying to make "chicken salad" out of "chicken s_ _ _" that amuses me to this day
3) great movie about sex, but no on-screen sex--says a lot about how subtle a film maker can be and still make his point, and Joel Schumacher is not known for his subtlety
4) great ending--I am totally okay when love wins the day, and I believe it happens more often than not
This one is on my list of great films that aren't available in Bluray but should be. Hopefully, someday.

Killing Them Softly (Bly-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) [Blu-ray]
Killing Them Softly (Bly-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Brad Pitt
Price: $9.92
104 used & new from $1.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gangster Film for Grownups, April 27, 2013
Like many who have reviewed this film, I am a fan of gangster movies, and I am truly a fan of film makers who understand the genre, yet are unafraid to stretch the limits of viewers' expectations. I think Andrew Dominik does this with Killing Them Softly. Most of the negative reviews might have been positive if the viewers had been familiar with Higgins' novel Cogan's Trade. Higgins' command of dialogue is the highlight of his writing, maybe more important than the story itself. It translates really well into this script, and if you're a fan of well-written conversation, Killing Them Softly works. Dominik overlays Higgins' plot with the political scene from 2008, and this really fit. Like it or not, Dominik and Higgins say, money is at the core of just about everything, whether it be politics or a mob hit. As good as the book is, and I think it's great, the movie stands on its own as a great gangster story. All actors are doing wonderful work here, and each scene is a gem. If you want a movie-going experience that is scene after scene of superb acting from each player with dialogue that snaps, this is it. Don't bring the kids. Mom might not like it, either, even if it does have Brad Pitt. In contrast to the title, Killing Them Softly is a mean story about hard men doing bad things. Adjust your expectations--you been warned.

Flight (Two-Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
Flight (Two-Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
DVD ~ Denzel Washington
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $11.52
124 used & new from $2.74

5.0 out of 5 stars What is a hero?, February 13, 2013
Spoiler alert! This movie is not about an airplane crash, although one takes place early on in the film. Flight is about the extraordinary pilot who, despite being very drunk, performs a crash landing that saves nearly all onboard. I found the character as written to be real--I have known "functioning alcoholics", and nothing here seems exagerrated. Denzel Washington plays this guy perfectly. The story explores the character's flight from truth--his failure as a husband and father, his failure to acknowledge his addiction, his failure to live with any sense of integrity. Stories about alcoholism and addiction are hard to watch, especially if the character has great talent. This one approaches classic Greek tragedy. Is Washington's pilot a hero? Yes, but, without giving any more of the plot away, his heroism has nothing to do with flying an airplane. Flight is Zemeckis' most adult film to date, a film about grownups to be viewed by grownups. When you consider his body of work (Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, Romancing the Stone, Forest Gump, Contact, Cast Away...all good, some great), this film is a pretty significant departure. I think it is also the best thing he has done.

No Title Available

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, January 28, 2013
I am an older movie goer, in my early 60s. I grew up watching b&w tv on only 3 channels. I am probably not the target audience for Cloud Atlas, but I think it is a great film. I will watch it several times, once the Blu-ray price drops, even though it is over two and a half hours long. It is the "fastest" long movie I have ever watched. The real star is the editing together of the various stories--truly marvelous. I should admit I am a big fan of artful editing. Pulp Fiction, Lone Star, and Memento are among my favorite films. I am not a big fan of Tom Hanks, but he is brilliant in each of the roles he inhabits here. You could appreciate this film just by watching him closely. I highly recommend Cloud Atlas. Not everyone will like it, but it deserves a greater audience than it found in the theater.

Skyfall (Blu-ray/ DVD + Digital Copy)
Skyfall (Blu-ray/ DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by actcdc
Price: $13.29
198 used & new from $3.90

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best, January 26, 2013
I am among those who have seen all the Bond movies. I am old enough to have seen Goldfinger in a first run theater, an experience I will never forget. For the longest time, I thought Goldfinger was the best Bond movie. The Aston Martin, Jill Masterson (the golden girl), Oddjob, Pussy Galore, and one of the best movie theme songs of all time--lightning captured in a bottle. For those of you too young to appreciate it, there were two actors working in the 60s who defined "cool", and Sean Connery as James Bond was one of them.
Now, there is Skyfall, which I believe is the best of the Daniel Craig as Bond movies. Great song (will Adele ever make a mistake?), tight script, thoughtful direction, and they brought the Aston Martin back. Others have said it better than I, but this is a good movie, not just a good Bond movie. That said, if you watched Goldfinger and Skyfall back to back, you would see that Goldfinger and Oddjob are comic book villains, and you would know, just as I knew when I first saw it, that Bond would figure out how to stop the atom bomb from going off. No real villains, and no real suspense. Is it still fun to watch? You betcha. Every time. It's that combination of things that simply work without wearing out.
Is Skyfall better? Well, it's different in tone, much more sophisticated in style, and vastly superior in the technical sense. I'm giving it 5 stars because "I loved it." But when I watched the two of them, I came away thinking how it's harder to be original, it's harder to be cool, and it's harder to capture lighting nowadays.
By the way, Daniel Craig does remind me of Steve McQueen--pretty cool.

Prometheus (Blu-ray 3D/ Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy)
Prometheus (Blu-ray 3D/ Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Noomi Rapace
Price: $20.75
89 used & new from $10.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great? Maybe..., January 5, 2013
I am a huge fan of the first 3 Alien films (yes, even the third one), and I was among those who looked forward to Prometheus, whether it was a prequel or not. I have now seen this film 4 times: first in the theater, then 3 times at home on Blu-ray. It took watching it with the director's commentary and again with the screenwriters' commentaries to appreciate the great scope of vision these guys had when making this film. Watching it the fourth time was the fulfilling experience I had hoped for in the first place. So, shouldn't a film stand on its own? Should a great film be "great" with only a single viewing?

I am old enough to have seen 2001 A Space Odyssey in a first run engagement, and I can tell you that very few left the theater "getting it." While it generated a lot of discussion, not many claimed to have loved it. I believe if we had a review system like Amazon, the film would have earned marks similar to what Prometheus is getting. I still find it difficult to sit through, but most today consider 2001 A Space Odyssey to be a classic.

Nobody will put Prometheus in the same conversation as 2001, except to compare the character David with HAL. Unfortunate, because Prometheus is technically as well crafted and thematically as challenging. It is possible that its detractors will view Prometheus in a few years and see it in a much more favorable light.

Why didn't Prometheus satisfy me the way Alien did upon seeing it the first time? I admit to disappointment at the derivative plot elements in Prometheus. Alien was so original, with surprises coming every 5 minutes. On the other hand, Alien was a science fiction horror movie--no big questions asked or answered. Prometheus, like 2001, asks the greatest question of all--how did it all begin? Prometheus does work as a prequel, in that we do learn how the alien creatures originated. To succeed as a prequel, there had to be references taking us back to Alien, though some of these were a little ham-fisted.

I am left feeling much like I did at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, another film that good as it is, sets the viewer up for a sequel. I am hoping Ridley Scott finds the money to fund another film, one that doesn't need the alien creature at all to move forward the journey of Dr Shaw and David to find the origin of life. I am like Shaw--I will continue to believe what I believe no matter what Scott comes up with--but I think I will enjoy the discussion.

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