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Inside Oscar, 10th Anniversary Edition
Inside Oscar, 10th Anniversary Edition
by Mason Wiley
Edition: Paperback
48 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Oscar reference book ever, April 24, 2001
A great resource for the film critic or movie fan, or even the film novice who wants to expand his or her knowledge about the history of the medium. The book takes the reader on a tour of Oscar nominated films, year by year, then reveals the films that were nominated and those that were shafted for nominations and documents all the important happenings during awards night. Also handy is the appendix, listing all the nominees and winners, even in the technical categories. An indispensible guide to the most famous award in the world.


Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
by Michael J. Nelson
Edition: Paperback
66 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely entertaining, well worth your cash, April 24, 2001
Mike Nelson's first compilation of reviews showcases the wonderful wit and gentle sarcasm that made him a success on "Mystery Science Theater 3000," first as a writer, then as the star of the show. For what he wrote about Jean Claude Van-Damme alone, I could nominate him for a Pulitzer, but I'll try to contain my euphoria and simply plead with him to PLEASE write a sequel. Anyone who's seen MST3K knows Nelson to be a culture junkie (how could he know enough about film to write the lines he did for MST unless he loved good movies?) and can see his love for real art as the motivation for his sniping about those cheesy Hollywood Blockbusters. And given his gift for humor, he seems better suited blasting bad movies and performances instead of raving about the good ones. Definitely well worth the cash - a must-have for any true movie lover.


Alternate Oscars
Alternate Oscars
by Danny Peary
Edition: Paperback
69 used & new from $0.01

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my choices, but WHO CARES?, April 24, 2001
This review is from: Alternate Oscars (Paperback)
This book, as the title states, is a compilation of the author's choices for Best Picture, Actor, and Actress from 1927-1991. It's not on the same level as Peary's "Guide for the Film Fanatic," because cult films aren't included (obviously) and it's Peary's love for more obscure, curious films that I feel rates his books higher than Ebert's or Kael's. I don't think the book is meant to degrade the Academy as much as it is to expose readers to some lesser-known or underappreciated performances (I can only assume he's a big fan of Chaplin). Whatever Peary's reason for writing it, his analyses of the films and of the performances that he cites as best in every year are well-written and thorough, and this book is a treat for anyone who enjoys reading about film.


Guide for the Film Fanatic
Guide for the Film Fanatic
by Danny Peary
Edition: Paperback
35 used & new from $5.83

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It started my movie addiction, April 24, 2001
This compendium of over 1,000 "must-see" films of every genre imaginable by Danny Peary remains one of the most enjoyable, entertaining movie reference books ever written (how is it POSSIBLE that it could go out of print?). How refreshing to find a book that does away with the idiotic "star" rating system that pollutes most movie guides. The beauty of this book is that you don't have to agree with Peary's assessments of the films to enjoy his writing - it's smart, surprisingly fresh, witty, easygoing, and yet not condescending as some more "educated" film critics are likely to be. Peary sees merit in all types of films (even going as far as to review adult films, a little too far for me), and has the good sense not to judge cult films like "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" by the same standards as "Citizen Kane". Part of his charm is his ability to have FUN with film - as he says in his brilliant introduction, "It's fun to see ALL types of movies." This was the book that encouraged me not to simply gravitate to the new release wall whenever I visited the video store, and to check out some of those classics and foreign films that by and large went unnoticed at my West Virginia Blockbuster. If you can find this volume ANYWHERE, grab it, lock your fingers firmly around it and don't let anyone wrench it from your grasp.


Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts, Volume Three [VHS]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts, Volume Three [VHS]
VHS
14 used & new from $5.29

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, as usual . ., February 23, 2001
The third volume of shorts in the highly successful "shorts" compilation videos from Mystery Science Theater 3000. The two funniest shorts included are: "Speech - Using Your Voice," a hilarious short (featuring Joel!) narrated by an elderly professor who advises using "plenty of lip and tongue action" when making a speech; and "Is This Love?," a laugh-out-loud 50's short for teens about love and dating. The other shorts featured on this video are "Design for Dreaming," "The Selling Wizard," "Out of This World", "Once Upon a Honeymoon", and "Aquatic Wizards". The only thing that could've made it better, in my opinion, would've been the inclusion of "Mr. B. Natural", definitely the oddest (and funniest) of the shorts the guys have ever done.


Career Girls [VHS]
Career Girls [VHS]
VHS
Offered by Eli 2000
Price: $5.65
24 used & new from $0.49

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Closer to literature than film, September 20, 2000
This review is from: Career Girls [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Another brilliant film by the amazing Brit Mike Leigh . . his films go unseen by the public at large and unawarded by the A.M.P.A.S., yet they are deeper and more profound than 90% of the movies Hollywood has released in the past 10 years. This film in particular (in conjunction with "Life is Sweet") demonstrates his ability to create incredibly lifelike and original characters that both intrigue the viewer and tug at his heart. Katrin Cartlidge is terrific (at first you'll think, weird) as the unconventional, highly strung and free spirited Hannah (and was unjustly passed up for an Oscar nod by the Academy) and Lynda Steadman is charming as well as shy Annie; both women play college chums who reunite after several years. Through several chance encounters, (including a heartbreaking scene with another acquaintance, Ricky, played by Mark Benton, and a jerk who threatened to tear them apart), they discover the true strength of a friendship which had every reason to fall apart. It's reasonable to say you will never forget these characters, simple as they are; none of them are like anyone you've ever seen on the screen before (Leigh is a director who blantantly refuses to stereotype, reason enough for him to be given every honor imaginable). A small film with NO computerized special effects (HALLELUJAH!) that will touch you when you least expect it. Highly recommended.


Private Lives and Present Laughter
Private Lives and Present Laughter
by Noel Coward
Edition: Audio Cassette
9 used & new from $18.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Splendid, September 16, 2000
It's unfortunate this item is out of print . . it contains fabulous performances by Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth of "Keeping Up Appearances", for all you Britcom fans), Paul Scofield, and Miriam Margolyes (occasional star of the "Blackadder" series). This edition of "Private Lives" FAR excels the currently available audiocassette version, done by the LA Theatre Works; although it may be rather odd if you've seen Routledge and Scofield on TV, because they play parts suited for MUCH younger people in this comedy. If you're a fan of Coward's, I suggest you try to find this gem.


North Avenue Irregulars [VHS]
North Avenue Irregulars [VHS]
VHS
Offered by Exceptionalbooks
Price: $14.79
36 used & new from $1.50

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Disney Comedy, May 25, 2000
To me, this is the best movie to come out of Disney's dry spell of the '70's (when it released such stinkers as "Million Dollar Duck" and "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo") . . terrific fun for the whole family. Edward Herrmann (who I normally find an unbearably annoying actor) is quite good as a pastor who finds himself fighting organized crime when one of his church members gambles away church money. (True, he should be angry at the church member, but our reverend believes in tackling the ROOT of the problem). After Herrmann speaks out against organized crime publicly, two FBI agents come to him and ask him for his help in going undercover to expose these gangsters. He asks for help from his congregation, and the only ones who will aid him are 6 indomitable females (Patsy Kelly, Virginia Capers, Barbara Harris, Cloris Leachman, Karen Valentine, and - later - Susan Clark). You'll relish every second that you see all of the ladies on the screen, especially the scatterbrained soccer mom Harris (her funniest scene takes place in a grocery store, as she spies on one of the pickup men); the constantly-primping Leachman; and tough-as-nails Capers. Features a cute cameo by Ruth Buzzi as part of a church committee out to remove Herrmann (she ends up joining the ladies to fight the criminals). Unfortunately, I find that the film suffers when nervous Fed Michael Constantine leaves the project in the Reverend's hands; his exasperated scenes with the ladies are among the most enjoyable in the film. Another small drawback is the cutesy way in which the movie treats organized crime . .you'll never believe for a second the gangsters are really out to hurt these ladies. The film's final moments, a "demolition derby" of sorts, will delight kids. I can remember absolutely loving this film as a kid . . I'm positive one day Disney will remake it (hopefully they do it justice).


Rear Window (Collector's Edition)
Rear Window (Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ James Stewart
85 used & new from $0.40

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come spy with me, April 27, 2000
One of Hitchcock's best; he often made us feel as though we were spying on people in his films (like in "Psycho," "Strangers on a Train") but this one was probably his most obvious attempt to cash in on the natural craving of human beings to want to know other people's business ("get the dirt on them," so to speak). Jimmy Stewart plays L.B. Jeffries, a photographer who is laid up in his apartment with a broken leg. Out of boredom, he spends his days and nights staring out of his apartment window into the rooms of other tenants across from him. One night, he hears some strange goings-on in the apartment directly across from his; little by little, he begins to suspect that the man who lives across from him (played by Raymond Burr) has murdered his wife. Able to withstand multiple viewings, unlike many murder mysteries, particularly because of the standout performance of Thelma Ritter, as Stewart's wisecracking comic-relief nurse Stella, who starts out disapproving of his spying but later becomes just as curious as he does about what is happening. There's a touch of Hitch in Ritter's character - she demonstrates perfectly the macabre sense of humor that Hitchcock tried to inject a little bit of in all his films and in his TV show (her comments about how she thinks Burr did it will keep you laughing throughout). Grace Kelly is very good as Stewart's girlfriend, who also gets in on the voyeurism game and almost goes too far (in one of the most suspenseful scenes in the picture - you'll be biting your nails the first time you see it). It's interesting how (in keeping with the theme of voyeurism) the activities of all the apartment house tenants center on either sex or death, the two great taboos which human beings naturally shy away from discussing openly. Definitely worth the price of the DVD - highly recommended for purchase.


Animal Crackers [VHS]
Animal Crackers [VHS]
VHS
Offered by quickshipvideo
Price: $1.64
49 used & new from $0.01

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray, Hooray, Hooray, April 27, 2000
This review is from: Animal Crackers [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Wild comedy from the Marx Brothers which is guaranteed to delight their fans (however, if Looney-Tunes style farce isn't your cup of tea, by all means, stay away from this one). I've watched this one at least 20 times and I never get tired of it (the film's comedy routines move at such a frantic pace, it'll seem like, every time you view it, you'll hear a joke you missed beforehand). One low point: the song by Lillian Roth, directly followed by a harp solo by Harpo - it bogs the movie down a bit (maybe if they'd split them apart, it would've helped a bit). But any film with the Marxes and Margaret DuMont is worth owning - to me it's reasonable to say she was as important to the brothers's films as they themselves were. This is the film which features Groucho's famous African monologue, and one of the things I noticed about this was how risque some of his statements were, knowing what was considered censorable in Hollywood in those days (his "native girls" line stands out to me as an example of this). Also of note is the hilarious scene where the valuable piece of art, "Ze Bogard!" is stolen and Groucho plays the detective - how DuMont ever kept that poker face of hers is a mystery to me (it'd have taken me several hundred takes, at least). Oh, and Eugene O'Neill enthusiasts will enjoy Groucho's send up of "Strange Interlude." Definitely worth the cash.


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