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Profile for Gerard M. Martinez > Reviews


Gerard M. Martinez's Profile

Customer Reviews: 10
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Gerard M. Martinez "book maven" RSS Feed (U.S.A.)

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God Help the Child: A novel
God Help the Child: A novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical fable, May 1, 2015
A mysyical, fairy tale journey of pain and abuse and internalized racism and redemption. It's a great novel that isn't easily forgotten.

Revival: A Novel
Revival: A Novel
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.00
451 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death and the Terror of the Unknowable, December 1, 2014
This review is from: Revival: A Novel (Hardcover)
"Revival" may be Stephen King's most searching novel to date. It's ultimately about man's search for meaning in a seemingly chaotic universe. Much will be written and discussed about the ending of the novel, and I will give nothing away about it, except to say that true to King’s reputation as a horror writer and legatee of H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Machen, the ending is suitably horrific. But, rather than seem like a tacked-on convention of the genre – the trappings of Gothic horror literature – the ending is so remarkably extreme, so shockingly and relentlessly out-there and wondrous, that it transcends genre and becomes a perfect distillation of the terror of death and the unknowable.

Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark
Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $14.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Throughtful, Engaging Piece on the Passionate Pauline Kael, November 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bawled my eyes out throughout my flight reading the concluding chapters of the new biography of Pauline Kael. The book gives you a real sense of the writer's life, and by the end of it, at her death, you feel a tremendous sense of loss; her retirement from the New Yorker marked the end of an exciting era of movies. When we lost her, we lost a great mentor. She certainly had, and continues to have, an impact on me in my movie-going experiences.

Yet, the author does not shy away from showing her dark side. She was aggressively ambitious. The way she was able to cut people out of her life and stunt their careers due to disagreements is juicy reading. But we never turn against Kael. In this biography, she comes across as a passionate, strong voice in film history.

Before the Fall
Before the Fall
DVD ~ Max Riemelt
9 used & new from $34.22

6 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dead Nazi Society, June 7, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Before the Fall (DVD)
"Before the Fall" is an extremely well-made film that suffers from a cliche-riddled and simple-minded script. Boy goes to Nazi school. Boy witnesses the evil of the Nazi system. Boy fights against the Nazi system. I've seen this movie before. And so have you; it was called "Dead Poets Society." The problem with movies like this is that they are predictable, relying on formulas to propel the story forward. Despite its beautiful cinematography and good acting, this movie falls over and never gains the strength to get back up.

Price: $14.66
4 used & new from $2.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great example of aspiring Tejano musicians, November 20, 2005
This review is from: DE HOY EN DIA (Audio CD)
Jose Leon is a promising Tejano musician. He has a great voice. One day, this guy will get his break!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.94
1169 used & new from $0.76

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Half-Blood Prince' proves wholly great, July 28, 2005
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is a masterpiece through and through. It is the richest installment yet of the story of the young wizard-in-training; its pages contain remarkable passages of fear and gloom, comedy and light-heartedness, hard-earned wisdom and courage. Now, more than ever, it has become evident that the Harry Potter books are a phenomenon that helps define what it means to be alive in this day in age. Harry Potter, like all great works of art, embodies the spirit of the age.

With the recent reprehensible and tragic terrorist attacks in London, it becomes harder and harder not to draw parallels between the ongoing war on terrorism and the war in Harry's wizarding world. The evil Lord Voldemort is terrorism personified. Harry and his friends are the forces in our society that dare to fight the evil. There are lessons to be taken here: only in unity and love can we find strength and hope in fighting the shadows that plague our world. On an even more fundamental level, the Harry Potter books exemplify the most dearly-cherished values to human nature: friendship, loyalty, courage, hope, and love. Exactly how "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" allows for such themes to develop more soundly in the 7-part saga, I hesitate to discuss here, lest I spoil the many richly satisfying surprises it holds. Nevertheless, I will carefully try to do so.

Faithful readers will know, of course, that the war between the good and bad forces of the wizarding world has reached a peak, ever since Voldemort's return to power in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." "The Half-Blood Prince" opens with ominous passages indicating the level of danger in the world, now with Voldemort at large. Notice that I said world and not the magical world. That is because things have started to happen that blur the distinction between the muggle world and the magic world. Voldemort is killing muggles. Disasters (in the line of collapsing bridges and freak hurricanes) are striking all across the muggle world, with most muggles, of course, still completely ignorant of the true nature of these goings-on. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Magic is in upheaval. Cornelius Fudge has been sacked from the position of Minister of Magic. It becomes apparent that the Order of the Phoenix, led by Albus Dumbledore, is the only hope in the war against Voldemort and his followers, the death-eaters. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that "The Half-Blood Prince" is so preoccupied with the war that it does not devote its attention to the home front of in all wars, we are informed, life goes on. Readers get their usual dose of fun, magic, gossip, and intrigue as Harry returns to Hogwarts to continue his wizard training. Among some of the delightful surprises of the school year: a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a sweet-tooth for candied pineapple pieces; Ron's new girlfriend and his discovery of the art of French-kissing; a planned wedding for Ron's brother, Bill, and his fiancée Fleur Delcour; a handy new potion; newfound romance for Harry; and some mysterious, if not questionable help, by someone who goes by the name of the Half-Blood Prince.

That's it! That's all I'm going to say about the plot of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Suffice it to say, it is a daring and wildly imaginative book that you will have to read to believe. Perhaps most remarkable is the sensitivity with which author J. K. Rowling ages her teenaged heroes. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are no longer the shy and timid children we read of in "The Sorcerer's Stone." They are fully-realized young adults, showing all the painful signs of adolescence. One of the most memorable incidents in "The Half-Blood Prince" is when Harry finds romantic love with a certain-special-someone. By the end of the book, readers intuit that it is true love. I imagine most little girls will read that episode with an especially keen eye, and maybe even a twinge of jealousy...

In its totality, this is a novel to be cherished. Its final episode of tragedy is almost beyond words to describe. After "The Order of the Phoenix", I had wondered if maybe this series was reaching a point at which it would be too dark and gruesome for kids to enjoy. I see now that the Harry Potter books are not intended to be all sunshine and happiness. Life is not all sunshine and happiness. With a wealth of wisdom that I would be proud to expose my children to, these books help readers understand many of the mysteries of the human experience. I read a lot of books, some good and some bad. Some vibrant and full of life, and some dull and boring. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" reminds me why I love reading in the first place.

Teen Witch (1989)
Teen Witch (1989)
DVD ~ Robyn Lively
Price: $10.19
61 used & new from $3.85

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a cheesy, wonderfully good time!, April 22, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Teen Witch (1989) (DVD)
If there is one movie that sets new standards for cheesiness, "Teen Witch" gets the crown. Somehow it manages to go so over-the-top with its cheesiness, that it transcends to charming (no easy feat; just ask Irwin Winkler who directed "The Net"). And despite at least two jaw-dropingly bad musical numbers, I loved every single inch of this movie. I remember seeing this movie as a kid and falling in love with Robyn Lively: she is so charming in this movie! Lively plays Louise Miller, a nerdy high school girl who secretly admires the captain of the football team. She finds out she has descended from a line of witches and has been endowed with her own magical powers. With the help of an old witch, Madame Serena, she becomes the most popular girl in school, gets the handsome football captain on her side, etc. It is a predictable story line, with predictable outcomes and payoffs. Even so, the movie never tries to be anything but fun and enjoyable. It succeeds! Lively really carries the burden of the charm. She is a joy to watch! I don't expect you to be looking into a movie called "Teen Witch", wanting superb cinema. Thus, if you have read this far, you probably are looking for a light, fun, charming movie. If that is the case, then "Teen Witch", with all its incantations and sparkle dust, won't let you down.

Titus: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Titus: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Offered by DreamDeals
Price: $14.99
33 used & new from $1.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great soundtrack!, January 29, 2005
I loved Julie Taymor's film. This soundtrack is the perfect compliment to Taymor's visually stunning movie.

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2.0 out of 5 stars Corny Fun, July 22, 2003
I thought this movie was a little corny, but it has a certain quality to it, that proves to be its salvation. It is one of those few horror films that dares to stray from the genre cliches. The performances are good and the plot is taut. Overall, its a good movie to watch with friends on a Friday night, with the lights out and the popcorn going in the micro!

Final Destination 2
Final Destination 2
DVD ~ Ali Larter
Price: $5.00
352 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No expected Oscar, but lots of gory fun, July 7, 2003
This review is from: Final Destination 2 (DVD)
This movie is stupid, as can be expected. Don't even dare expect thoughtful insights or tastefulness. However, if you like the kinds of movies where one just has to sit back and enjoy the carnage, then this is your ticket. Hell, for a gorfest, it might be considered a masterpiece. There are some intense moments and the killings are "pretty cool." Overall, I gave this movie 5 stars, comparing it solely with the other cheesy, gory movies I've seen.

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