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72-Card Base Set Twilight NEW MOON Series 2 Trading Cards w/ Bonus: Cards # 73-84
72-Card Base Set Twilight NEW MOON Series 2 Trading Cards w/ Bonus: Cards # 73-84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Base set is actually 84 cards but oh well..., June 14, 2010
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This series is a re-release of the earlier NECA edition. The cards themselves are on traditional glossy stock and the photos are printed very clear with an overall color pattern of brown, white and black for the rest of the card. The text is in the same color depending on its location on the card.

The base set follows a fairly traditional pattern. Card 1 is the title card, 2-27 consist of character stills on the front with the name and a quote from the film on the back,and 28-71 are the story cards. The film is covered pretty well sequentially with the major highlights / events each given a card, beginning with Bella's dreams about her future with Edward and ending with the latter's proposal. Card 72 is the checklist card. Cards 73-84, which according to the packs & boxes are part of the base set, are the additionally printed "12 new images" added to the set for its re-release. (The earlier edition only has 72 base cards, and there were a few printing "fixes" in this series.)Cards 73-81 have stills of a few major events on the front with "update set" printed in the lower left corner, and on the back - when properly assembled - they form a cast "puzzle." Cards 82-84 feature stills of (in order) Bella, Edward, and Jacob with the "update set" printing on the front and the backs have a quote from each character.


No Title Available

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Written the way true crime books should be, November 25, 2008
What happened to Ocey Snead? And what on earth is going on with her mother and aunts???? are the two questions central to "Three Sisters in Black," a suprisingly well done, thoughtful account of a lesser known case. Following a request from her family on intermediating an "accident", the Brooklyn police found the body of Ocey ("Oceana") Snead in the bathtub of her home on November 29, 1909. Ocey had given birth recently, and things unfortunately further declined after a negative visit from a doctor after her husband vanished. A suicide note was found nearby but suspicion immediately fell to Ocey's mother, Caroline Wardlaw, and her sisters, Mary and Virginia.

To say that the 3 sisters (who wore nothing but black at all times) showed some signs of being unbalanced is an understatement. That alone would be enough to rack up the sensationalism, but for the most part this is avoided. All the weirdness and oddity is handled with quite a measure of respect, as is Ocey's complicated family life and the dissappearance of her husband (who was also the son of one of her implicated aunts). Ocey is treated like a person, not a number with the label "victim" in bold letters, as are her suspected murderesses - who Zierold genuinely treats with pity as he tries to show the motivations behind their actions. Very thoughtful and well done, the book is an incredible examination.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2012 6:08 PM PST


No Title Available

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Offers nothing in insight or depth, November 25, 2008
With an entry entitled "The Man Who Trained Nude Bicyclists" one would expect a book such as this to contain at least some interest. Unfortunately, it does not. "Victorian Studies in Scarlet" suffers from a flip-flopping tone with little focus, and little offered in terms of insight or depth. Note that those two things are different from sensationalism, which the book thankfully avoids to a decent degree.

The first several chapters are concerned with "the Victorian delight in murder as a social phenomenon" as Altick examines the era's fascination with all things gory. He recaps key points in several infamous cases, such as the Red Barn murder, Burke and Hare, etc. and how they relate to phenomena such as the penny dreadful and gothic novels. Although his sections on Corder and the Red Barn are well done (here and in the latter half, which contains examinations of a dozen different cases) little is given that you will not find in other books. Yes, there can be little said that is new granted time's passage, but he just seems to be very slapdash in his accounts, giving very brief summary most of the time instead of really getting to the meat of the matter, i.e. how the time defines the crime. His account on TN Cream is especially poor in this manner, and I found it a sign of the book's lacking nature that Altick refers to Jack the Ripper frequently throughout the book but he has no single section on the case. All in all, the book is one to avoid if you are looking for a serious consideration of the matter.


True Caribbean Pirates (History Channel)
True Caribbean Pirates (History Channel)
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
10 used & new from $39.77

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short life and a merry one, November 15, 2008
Despite a few flaws, there is enough in "True Carribbean Pirates" to hold both the general and informed viewer for a little bit. Focusing on the rise of piracy and the histories of Sir Henry Morgan, William Jennings, Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Calico Jack, and Bart Roberts, it does cover most of the notable names. Yes, there are a few omissions there, but with the film's presentation of their stories in an interconnected manner adding another person like Kidd or somesuch would have interrupted the flow.

These are after all pirates, so there are a few violent moments but nothing too severe (I think) for very young kids, otherwise they'd love the film. The worst are: the torture of a man via being lifted by his genitals and subsequent death during an attack on a town(you can't really tell what's being done all the time from the camera angle), a few slit throats (which are shown really in profile with no blood), a moment where Mary Read uncovers herself to Calico Jack to prove she is a woman (she is shown unbuttoning her shirt and then a pan to Jack's stunned reaction), and a hanging that never occured on Bart Roberts' ship.

Therein is one of the small flaws of the production, it is not entirely accurate. Presented by various pirate "experts," it still purports a few historical myths, especially of Blackbeard and Roberts (whom, it is claimed, hanged the governor or Martinique from his ship when he never did) and glosses over some personal details for Morgan (he didn't exactly die peacefully as is shown) and Read (who was married at the time of her death, they probably neglected that as it would make her appear feminine). The film does end abruptly though, with its CGI being nothing special (location shots are much better) but the battles done nicely for the production level. The pirate experts shown contain various authors, I would not really recommend their books, instead of one likes this film turn to "If a Pirate I Must Be" for Roberts or "Pirates: Terror on the High Seas...." for a wider scope in time and coverage. Otherwise I recommend the program highly.


Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life
Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life
by Scott Allen Nollen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.40
29 used & new from $5.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die", November 15, 2008
"Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life" is one of a myriad of books on the late artist, but makes up for its later presence by being very intricate - it was written with the cooperation of Karloff's only child, daughter Sara Jane - and well done, offering a few insights in his life that have not been discussed as in depth in other biographies.

Although Karloff's English childhood (spent under the name of William Henry Pratt) does not get as much attention as one might hope, it gives an otherwise deft account of his family and ancestry, including his previous-to-now somewhat glossed over Indian heritage. The book is rather succint in the beginning, covering his early steps in Canadian theater, silent films, and Hollywood talkies up to the obvious mile marker, Frankenstein, in 1931. It is after that film that a lot of the book's detail kicks in - relationship with the SAG, that to his daughter, his latter two wives, Dorothy and Evelyn, that of Evelyn and Sara Jane, his disregard of the ever-increasing accolades (he had his Grammy award used as a doorstop) and a great deal of detail on his performance in and the history of Arsenic and Old Lace (he got the job when he promised to not "to eat the baby in the last act"), even his impish sense for pranks. The persons involved are shown as genuine people with their own issues, especially Evelyn I think, something not done as much as in the otherwise stellar "Dear Boris" by Cynthia Lindsay. The book is illustrated with photos that are a bit grainy at times but are of a great variety, as is the appendices on Karloff's roles.

Grateful to have work and delighted for it to be something he loved, Karloff was the quintessential English country gentleman who, as his daughter once said, "made a living scaring children and little old ladies." Although it his role as the Frankenstein Creature that made him a star, it was truly Karloff's patience, dedication, talent and kindness that endeared him to so many.


Aftershocks
Aftershocks
by Richard S. Wheeler
Edition: Hardcover
60 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History for the after school special crowd, October 4, 2008
This review is from: Aftershocks (Hardcover)
Known for his character driven historical fiction, Wheeler steps a wee bit over the line of banality in this one. Set during the great fire and earthquake (yes, many locals order it that way) of San Francisco in April 1906, he would have done a lot better with a non fiction novel in the vein of Dan Kurzman's vastly superior "Disaster!"

Wheeler's writing style can veer from either extreme at times, but the real problem with the novel is how he seems to be checking stock characters off of an tv movie cast list. Yes, persons of all backgrounds were affected, but seriously. There is the cuckolded wife with workaholic spouse (who is later shanghied), cute kids that wander into direct disaster, bitter guy in a wheelchair, sick woman optimistic above all else, domestic worker redeemed thru love, etc. etc. I also found the portrayal of Asian Americans to be rather stereotypical. Character development is one thing, but you don't need to milk it and having one character's loose ends resolved by the sudden appearance of another gets really tiring really fast.

With the time he probably spent on research the author could've come up with a much better book. Skip this and read Disaster! instead.


No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The resemblance to anything interesting is purely coincidental, October 4, 2008
Dedicated to apparitions of Virginia and with the title "A Galaxy of Ghosts" one would think that the book would be fairly comprehensive. Especially with the stories focusing areas such as Hampton, Fort Monroe, Williamsburg, Northern Neck, York County, Poquoson, and the miscellanea of "Other." But...

For readers familiar with such areas the tales come across as very rehashed (there is little meat in each section and the tales are mostly ones that can be found in other, better accounts) and the book poorly done. This is due in part to the authors' styles (Polonsky and Drum are the main ones but several others contribute), which are more so suited to a school term paper and waver between tabloid dramatics to dreadfully dull. There are some fairly decent parts - the titular Fort Monroe account, and a few quick stories (the book itself is a very fast read) that are well done, but on the whole the writing is not very good and the constant flipping of styles very distracting.

Also, the art is horrible. Yes, one does not read a book such as this for the art. But it should at east show effort above the quality of clip art, which it mostly is. Sunglasses, a real estate agent, the obligatory skull and crossbones, etc. There are some cartoony sketches and a few photos - which are of fairly good quality in of themselves but are not all captioned and in a few instances do not relate much to the story at hand. Very few of the illustrations relate much to the stories or give any visual indication of the places described, something which would be a help. The section on "Academic Ghosts" is headed by a smiling clip art fish with a cap and diploma in its fin for God's sake.

All in all, the book is rather a let down, what with a wonderfully vast topic covered so poorly and in such a slapdash manner. The best part is the very first line - "The characters in this booklet are real. However, any resemblance to anyone living is purely coincidental."


The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings
The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings
by Brad Steiger
Edition: Paperback
90 used & new from $0.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, Awful, Awful, August 20, 2008
Lord, where does one begin. The premise is simple and stated out front: "the encyclopedia of shape shifting beings." Problem is, the book does not even come close to filling that and if I could give it a zero or negative rating I would.

The author's writing style veers from the dry to overly pretentious, and a good deal of the references for each article are from his own previous works. Not that you can take a guy who tries to say that werewolves are possibly the result of an alien residual memory but still. He just seems to have a "I'm the writer and you're just the reader" chip on his shoulder throwing out terms and names he has little understanding of. Personally, I found the inclusion of so many serial killers quite offensive, almost bringing down what they did to a fantasy level. The author includes so many such accounts under his theory that there is a werewolf in everyone and expect to read this for the big articles on Ted Bundy and Manson, not genuine werewolf lore or myths.

And expect to find an incredible amount of errors and typos. One big example would be with the classic "Wolf Man" film - getting key points wrong, spelling the names of key characters wrong or errors in their bios, and each time he quotes the "even a man..." ditty he not only quotes it differently each time but still manages to be wrong each time. For the amount of mentions that film gets one would expect attention to the subject.

The lack of applicable graphics is appalling. The vast majority of photos are from B movie films with no relationship at all to the subject or a tenuous one at best - "Attack of the Killer Shrews" anybody? Really, why do we need reminding of that film? Or of this book.

So in short, avoid this like the plague and if one creeps up on you beat the crap out of it with the neareast silver tipped cane.


The Last Tsar: The Life And Death Of Nicholas II
The Last Tsar: The Life And Death Of Nicholas II
by Edvard Radzinsky
Edition: Hardcover
39 used & new from $5.00

0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Done in horribly poor taste at times., March 24, 2008
As a comprehensive chronicle of Nicholas' life goes, Radzinsky's book fits the bill perfectly. Almost. The tsar is shown from infancy on up to adulthood, with a proper amount of focus in his pre-Alexandra days, and shown as a regular human. His likes, mistakes, abilities as a father, etc.
The one really massive problem I had with this book is how the subject's passing is treated. The vile, horrible murder of an entire family and other innocent people is given very little respect in the way it kept being brought up. Constantly, sometimes 4 or more times in a single page, come statements along the line of "unaware of the horror that awaited them at.." or "X long before a such-and-such kind of death at the hands of..." etc. I just felt that to constantly bring up the event time and again from beginning to end in such a tone was in very poor taste. Yes, many know how the Romanovs died, and they more than certainly did not deserve that, but they do not deserve to be disrespected by having their deaths amount to knee jerk B grade horror movie lines either.


Weird N.J., Vol. 2: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
Weird N.J., Vol. 2: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
by Mark Moran
Edition: Hardcover
57 used & new from $0.01

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in variety, not nearly as good as #1., January 1, 2008
Weird N.J. volume 2 is sadly disappointing and dull, especially compared to the perfection that was volume 1. Although the book has some of the wonderful positives of its series - the bright pictures, reader tales and experiences, it seems like with this volume they were a bit too hard pressed to find things with all that was crammed into 1. The book seems very rushed and the commentary on the entries does not seem nearly as lively as before, plus the site locations were fuzzy at times and the variety of sites very lacking. Pretty much just the same stories over and over. Thankfully I'm a speed reader - book was so dreadful I made a special trip to return it the day after purchase.


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