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Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3
Offered by Buy More Stuff
Price: $23.94
430 used & new from $7.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Call of Duty Goes to 'Nam, July 23, 2014
I like the COD series and this sits neatly between the modern warfare games and the 2nd World War. The height, or depth, of the cold war.

The Game is set up with the subject, you, strapped to a table and being closely questioned about "what happened?" With each chapter being a flash back. You move around in time a bit, with one chapter being a real go back to the end of WW2 but the bulk of this is in Russia and Vietnam. There's an ugly grittiness to the stories' look that seems to capture the feel of the age.

Some are the usual shoot `em ups and some are a struggle and I'm not saying how long it took me to get a helicopter past a SAM site. But it is a lot of fun. Weirdly and my one grip-although individual weapons work the way you've come to expect, heavy machine guns seem somewhat underpowered. In particular defending Khe Sanh against a near wave of NVA attackers the M-60's and set pieces just don't seem to do the job as well as hand held rifles. Odd.

Wallace & Gromit: A World of Invention
Wallace & Gromit: A World of Invention
DVD ~ Wallace & Gromit
Offered by Knowbodybeatsdawiz
Price: $6.42
47 used & new from $0.71

1.0 out of 5 stars not really W&G- they just introduce science reports., July 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife and I love Wallace and Grommet and I picked this up thinking it was some of their shorts. Wrong
it is a children’s program where the Claymation inventor and his long suffering canine companion, who has all the best lines, introduce real reports about what people are working on. while I’m sure very interesting if you’re 10 years old, if you’re looking for adventures and laughs with Wallace & co, it is a real disappointment.

The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era
The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era
by Michael A. Ross
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful look at the south just after the war., July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Prior to the civil war New Orleans was the most racially cosmopolitan of southern cities with an easy mix of different races, but after the war many hard core white supremacists flocked to this least damaged city of the old south and tried to force it into their view of racial segregation onto the city. Naturally this led to tensions between white blacks, mixed race creoles and even between moderate and extremist whites. Into this in 1870 occurred a trial of two black women accused of kidnapping a pretty little white child.

140+ years later the case is immaterial but it is used by Ross to highlight the very nature of life in New Orleans after the war. In well written, easy to read prose he investigates the ins and outs of the time and how a little girl being kidnapped wasn't news for several days and when it was, it was because different groups wanted to exploit it for their own political agenda.

Never an easy time to read about, we can't afford to forget this time and the evil that came out of people's hatreds and thanks to Ross's very good work, it just got a little easier to ensure we won't forget it.

Price: $13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fan's View of the Show, July 21, 2014
Berg was a producer of the Tonight Show for Jay Leno`s first 18 years and was intimate with the shows workings which he now brings to fans. This is more of a "this is how the show works" than a blow the lid on secrets. While he does dish on some celebrities it is more of a case of confirming the rumors-yes Paula Abdul really was that ditzy- than anything new. In fact his refusal to name names on some of the more unpleasant people he reports on-one comic who is much less pleasant than he lets on- is aggravating.

He is also very careful to repeatedly tell the reader what a nice guy Jay is. Ok we get it, nice guy, doesn't need to be repeated 4 times a chapter. We've established that point: Jay Leno, nice guy, move on. He does point out that Jay's short attention span is an issue in plugging ideas and glosses over the nasty relationship Jay had with his first producer but that's it. It is also something of an apologist for the mess with Conan Obrien. Clearly this is written by club Jay, which says O'Brien was hemorrhaging viewers BUT fails to accept that Jay's rating deadly lead in to the local news could have been a contributing factor.

In the end though this is a look at how Jay Leno and others put together a show that dominated late night television for more than 2 decades. Not just the funny stories of guests and things that went wrong but what went into the bookings and schedule changes. Why some guests were good, some never came back and who they wanted but never got -Bill Clinton, this was a surprise to them?

If you like TV or the Tonight show this is well worth the time. It is a fun read, easy to get through and informative and if they don't `tell all' you're left with entertaining stories and a nice feeling about the people who told them. Isn't that what the Tonight Show is all about?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2014 10:20 AM PDT

Vampire Academy
Vampire Academy
DVD ~ Zoey Deutch
Price: $12.96
16 used & new from $7.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buffy goes to Hogwarts, July 20, 2014
This review is from: Vampire Academy (DVD)
Based on the books of Rachelle Meade, this was obviously done in the hope of starting a film franchise, that having been said it stands alone very nicely and while it isn't Shakespeare it is a lot of fun and if you enjoyed buffy the Vampire slayer, it is sooo for you.

Set in our world there are vampires who are good, well they don't feed by killing and have magical powers but aren't all powerful. They feed from willing humans, blood whores, who are happy to get the pleasure from the feeding. There ARE evil vampires,Strigoi, who live by killing and are the sort of vampires you see in books and movies. They're the bad guys. Protecting the good vamps from the bad are Dhampir. Half human stronger and faster than humans without the weaknesses or blood lust of vampires. Vampire academy is home to adolescent good vamps and damphires learning their roles for the future.

The story follows Rose a Dhampir with a particularly tight bond, amazingly tight bond with Lissa, a royal Vampire who might one day be queen. Yeah there are plots of enemies and school pranks and adolescent bs and that is the charming part about it all. This doesn't get caught up on broody gothic shadows so much as how do you deal with teenage BS, oh and yeah there might be someone trying to kill you.

In the end this is fun in the way Harry Potter and buffy the vampire slayer was. YES there is magic and all the rest but the bulk of the story is how to deal with the bs we all went through in school. OK MAYBE your school didn't have vampires and magic but to each his own.

DVD ~ Ian McKellen
Price: $17.79
7 used & new from $17.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two fabulous actors really let fly, July 14, 2014
This review is from: Vicious (DVD)
It has been a long time since any great British comedy has crossed the pond but with Vicious the wait is over. McKellan and Jacobi play an old couple who after many decades are still very attached to one another but exist in the daily lives by the petty squabbling familiar to all couples and as nasty as it might turn, you still know there’s affection.

McKellan plays the grumpier of the two with shades of Norma Desmond in the delusions of his career. In one episode he is sure that his single line in Downton Abbey will create an entirely new plot line. Jacobi seems to be channeling the late John Inman as the kinder but more…flamboyant of the two.

In the end these two great actors are having a lot of fun camping it up, and lucky for us, the audience gets taken along for the ride too.

Colgate Optic White Toothpaste, Icy Fresh, 5 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Colgate Optic White Toothpaste, Icy Fresh, 5 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Price: $36.43
2 used & new from $28.44

4.0 out of 5 stars works well but a little unsettling, July 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It burns! It bites! It freezes! Ok maybe I’m going over board, just a little but this is one of those toothpastes that really lets you know it’s working. I can’t really speak to the whitening elements but unlike a lot of toothpastes when you are done your teeth really do have that freshly cleaned enamel feel. My wife said she wasn’t wild about the flavor but she tends to be a little hypersensitive to that sort of thing. To me it’s just another minty paste.

The one down side to this is the burns/bites/freezes part. It really does get warm in your mouth. This is probably the chemical reactions going off as it gets rolling but it is a little unsettling to feel stuff in your mouth getting, hot.

Obsidian Curse (A Stacy Justice Mystery Book Five)
Obsidian Curse (A Stacy Justice Mystery Book Five)
by Barbra Annino
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.99
39 used & new from $8.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun little read, July 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The 5th book in the Stacy Justice series comes with the disclaimer that you should read the other books first. I suspect this is just a ploy to get you to buy Annino’s other, presumably, very good books but agent of anarchy that I am, I started here.

typical of the current genre Stacy is a hereditary witch who defends mankind against occult evil while keeping her day job as a small town reporter. In this books she has to balance the tasks of helping a former resident turned famous writer find the people who murdered his parents when he was a child while at the same time covering the local high school reunion, and trapping an evil fey who has an axe to grind with her family-all without letting the love of her life find out what she’s doing.

The book works really well. It is self consistent within the world Annino has created. pacing and dialogue flow easily and don’t trip each other up. The one problem I have and it’s a matter of personal taste, is her descriptions. while the people sparkle through their dialogue and actions there is very little sense of what they look like or where they are. Unless Annino draws your attention directly too someone or thing it is all very grey and amorphous. when the characters go into a diner is it wood panel, linoleum, chrome? are the people nice looking? dingy? middles class? a dive. you don’t know and for me the fact she can draw attention to something makes these grey scenes all the harder.

Still this is a matter of taste and as I did enjoy the book it is certainly NOT a deal killer for me, rather just a little knock down from being a ‘five star I gotta get ‘em all” feeling.

James Bond: The Secret World of 007
James Bond: The Secret World of 007
by Alastair Dougall
Edition: Hardcover
92 used & new from $0.23

2.0 out of 5 stars Fan boy fluff, July 10, 2014
The book looks very nice and solid and with the title "The *Secret* World of 007" the publishers should be sued for false advertising. I'd hoped this would be more behind the scenes look at the various bond movies made over the years. In fact it is nothing more than a fan boy recounting of the plots and characters, not actors, in each film, in order, with diagrams of Bond's techy toys and the villains hide outs as if they were real.

The pictures are nice and if you are trying to keep track of something like "what was the movie where he drove the moon buggy" or "Who was the villain in Moore's last outing" you're all set. The problem is if you're a big enough fan of the films to buy the book you've probably got it all down already so there is nothing new and most definitely nothing secret to anyone who's watched the movies.

Since it talked about secret world I assumed, stupidly, it was about the making of the films but it's not. It barely acknowledges there were films made of bond's missions. The book does look nice and has good illustrations but really, it's a fan boy service of the first water. For anyone over 16 forget it. If anything here was a revelation to you why did you buy the book? I think my copy is going to my 10 year old nephew.

Campion - The Case of the Late Pig
Campion - The Case of the Late Pig
DVD ~ Brian Glover
12 used & new from $5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Great production but a weak central character, July 3, 2014
Albert Campion a well to do gentleman who happens to solve crimes first appeared on the scene in the 1920's flowing from the pen of Margery Allingham, a contemporary of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie her books were noted for their better literary quality than her peers though her creation did not have the enduring fame of Lord Whimsy or Hercule Poirot. They are great books to read so here was a chance to see what could be made of them on TV.

Campion receives an invitation to the funeral of hated school bully they knew as the "Pig" as much for his manners as the disgusting noise he made when he cleared his throat. "I always said I'd like to go to his funeral" and showing up finds most of the mourners are, like him former victims of the unliked man who are more likely to dance on the grave than pay their respects. Fast forward 3 months and one of the old friends asks Campion to look into a murder at a rest home. The dead man bares a strong resemblance to Pig and as things unwind it seems he was related to him.

It is a very well done film. The mystery engaging and properly difficult without any nasty cheats. The sets, clothes, cars are all first rate and the cinematography is all on film, not the mix of film and videotape that mar so many English productions at this time. So why only 4 stars? I'm afraid that falls to Peter Davidson. While a book gives you so much more of a character's working, a film does not have that luxury and he spends most of the time looking vaguely smug and calmly going about his business. The only time he shows any emotion is when trying to explain to a former female friend that he behaved badly in the past. Otherwise he seems almost as much an observer of the events as the viewer

While all this is probably far more realistic and true to life than the outrageousness of Poirot or even Sherlock Holmes, it is I'm afraid very dull to watch on TV. I found myself wishing for a bit of mud or a drink to splatter on him just so something might happen to disturb a smugness that was sinking into smarminess all too fast. If you consider the energy Davidson brought to such works as all "Creatures Great and Small" "Doctor Who" and even "Law and order UK" there was not even a sense of repressed power in him here.

In the end this is good to watch for the crime, the setting and the attention to detail. but lamentably the portrayal of the most important character, the detective, stops this from being a 5 star for me as Campion is carried along not just by his manservant, but by the rest of the cast.

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