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Customer Reviews: 264
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D. Collier "Shelf-Help" RSS Feed (Brownwood, TX United States)

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Batman: Original Motion Picture Score
Batman: Original Motion Picture Score
Price: $10.52
127 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Descent into mystery...., July 10, 2012
Danny Elfman's BATMAN score is haunting and enjoyable. The tones are very dark, symbolic of the nature of the film. Elfman abandons the typical operatic superhero theme and embarks instead on a musical course much more reminiscent of Dracula or some similar gothic (perhaps even Victorian) story. My personal favorite track is the aptly titled "Descent into Mystery," a fitting name which carries the mood of the entire soundtrack.

Overall, this score tells the story of the film to an extent few film scores can match. I'm particularly pleased that this edition contains only the Danny Elfman score and not the Prince songs.

Out of the Silent Planet (Cosmic Trilogy)
Out of the Silent Planet (Cosmic Trilogy)
by C. S. Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.60
66 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A short epic...but an epic nonetheless, June 14, 2012
I first read Out of the Silent Planet in high school some twenty years ago. It was the first C.S. Lewis book I had ever read. And even at that time, reading was a brand new hobby for me. Over the years, as often happens, other great enjoyable books find their way before my eyes, and intriguing reading experiences like this one are pushed into obscurity. Five years ago, I picked up my First Lewis-Love for the second time. And just a few weeks ago for the third time. Repeat readings over the years show the remarkableness of Out of the Silent Planet.

For my generation, different images spring to mind at the mention of science fiction. Star Trek, Star Wars, 2001, X-Files - and the list can go on for far longer than I have time to type or you have time to read. Among the titles is rarely found epic allegory. I realize Lewis did not intend this book (or its sequels) as allegory, but the symbols and allegorical images, if you will, are clearly there. (It may be said that science fiction is one of the most difficult genres in which to refrain from allegory.)

Dr. Ransom may be more closely likened to John Bunyan's Christian than Jesus Christ or first man Adam. He (and the reader) unknowingly and unwittingly stumbles into the clutches of Weston and Devine, little realizing he's much more than a guest. What fascinates me most about his voyage through space (I realize OOSP is not unique here) is how accurate and believable the description even though it was written long before manned space exploration. Imagine someone in George Washington's day describing the monotony of an intercontinental flight.

Ransom's adventures consisting of panic, despair, discovery of companionship, and learning and mastery (more or less) of the alien planet's indigenous languages are what drive much of the story. Though Ransom is not perfect (he's still a native of the "Bent, silent planet") - and therefore not unfallen Adam - and not possessing of any great strength or power - and therefore not Christ, his limitations are what make the story so intriguing. He is constantly surrounded by beings (Hrossa, Sorns, Pfifltriggi, Eldila, and Oyarsa) who do possess some sort of amazing, other-worldly strengths -and for the most part, they are simply amplifications strengths possessed by humans and some animals here on earth.

Yet for all this, Ransom still never meets the all-knowing, all-powerful Maleldil. How similar to readers of Narnia learning all about Aslan, the Son of the Great Emperor Over the Sea. Yet at the end of all seven books, we still never meet the Great Emperor Over the Sea.

Out of the Silent Planet gripped my attention and fascination in the same way as 2001 A Space Odyssey though OOSP perhaps left me with more hope. Unlike Dave Bowman, Ransom encounters more than just the cold, darkness of space. Malacandra (Mars) is teeming with intelligent and even hospitable life. Makes me want to go back....

Guess How Much I Love You
Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.77
178 used & new from $0.17

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daddy/Daughter Reading Time, May 1, 2012
I wasn't sure what to make of this little book when my wife first suggested that I read it to our baby daughter before putting her to bed. But now it's our favorite. I realize Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hair are probably father and son, but I'm not too concerned with that. My daughter is still a toddler, and all she knows is that daddy is holding her in his arms and reading her a story. It's a cute story. It's a little silly. But it works. It works for both of us.

Pampers Baby Dry Diapers Size 3 Economy Pack Plus, 222 Count
Pampers Baby Dry Diapers Size 3 Economy Pack Plus, 222 Count
Offered by Boston Bella Baby LLC
Price: $53.25
6 used & new from $53.25

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There ain't no poop on me!, February 25, 2012
I can't review these diapers the way an experienced momma can. Nor can I tell you how much better they are than the "leading brand". When I hear that phrase in a commercial, I always ask, "If Your Brand is so much better than the 'leading brand,' then shouldn't Your Brand be the 'leading brand?'"

But I digress.

I'll promote Pampers Baby Dry for this one simple reason. Several days ago, I was playing with my 14-month-old daughter in the living room. It was "Hop-On-Pop" kind of playing. We laughed and had a lot of fun. Then mom took the baby for her bath. She then shouted to me, "Did you not smell her?" "Nope, never smelled a thing." "Well, she has diarrhea." And I did what any squeamish dad would have done. I checked myself over to make sure no...uh, well, poop had leaked out on me.

I understand that every baby is different, and every mom and dad are different. So, take my humorous little anecdote with a grain of salt. But this baby was crawling and falling and hopping all over Pop. And my ultra-sensitive nasal passages never smelled a thing and everything it's proper place.

Perry Como: Greatest Christmas Songs
Perry Como: Greatest Christmas Songs
Price: $8.08
46 used & new from $0.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Christmas crooning...gotta love it!, February 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Perry Como had one of those voices that almost seemed to be specifically engineered for Christmas music. This is not to take away from the quality of his non-Christmas music, but few (if any) old school crooners could deliver a Christmas song like he did. Perry Como's renditions of classic, heartwarming carols always have a tendency to take me back to when I was very little and hearing them for the first time on my parents' record player. My favorite on this particular CD is "Do You Hear What I Hear". I prefer Perry Como's version of that song to any other ever recorded.

I also highly recommend Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music.

Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage
Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage
DVD ~ Peter O'Toole
Offered by Sparks DVD Sales
Price: $5.69
94 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More disappointed with each viewing, January 19, 2012
My wife loves Thomas Kinkade; and I guess I do too. Also, we're both very Christmasy people. CHRISTMAS COTTAGE seemed to be right up our alley. But this movie which should have been one of the best family Christmas films ever is laced with very adult themes and crude material. There is a fair amount of unnecessary profanity as well as sexual themes in this film.

Yes, there is some heartwarming and sentimental feeling in COTTAGE, as well as an outstanding performance by Peter O'Toole. But how much garbage should a viewer have to wade through to get to the good stuff? It just isn't worth it. There are plenty of wonderful Christmas movies out there. CHRISTMAS COTTAGE does not earn a place among them.

Thomas Kinkade: Night Before Christmas
Thomas Kinkade: Night Before Christmas
27 used & new from $0.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something here for nearly everyone, January 18, 2012
When perusing Christmas CDs, few will really catch your eye like the ones sporting the beautiful and sentimental Thomas Kinkade paintings. They are intended to whisk you away to that enchanted Christmas dreamland. And only a marketing genius could have come up with that. It is extremely effective. The songs on these CDs have nothing to do with Thomas Kinkade. In fact, if you're already a Christmas music enthusiast, then you already have some of these songs in your collection.

But it's still great music.

These two CDs (to say nothing of the bonus DVD) boast a grander collage of Christmas tunes than most collections could lay claim to. This collection has classic favorites such as Andy Williams singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," and Bobby Helms crooning "Jingle Bell Rock". But added (and perhaps, unexpected) bonuses include "The Bells of St. Mary's" sung by Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin singing "Joy to the World," John Denver softly singing "What Child is This," and the mighty-voiced Mahalia Jackson with "Go Tell It on the Mountain."

My favorite track in this collection is "Little Drummer Boy" by the Harry Simone Choir. This is the same rendition featured in the Rankin/Bass claymation cartoon. It is beautiful and takes me (and perhaps many others) to early childhood when I very first heard that song.

What I like best about this collection is that the songs are almost entirely the classic Christmas carols and songs from the traditional school.

Memorex Portable CD Boombox
Memorex Portable CD Boombox
5 used & new from $19.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Believe the (negative) hype, November 6, 2011
I just recently purchased this stereo for use where I work. At the time we used a very small RCA radio/CD player/alarm clock. Unfortunately, it was so old it had much trouble playing CDs. Surprisingly the speaker quality on that very old and very small RCA model was far superior to this brand new Memorex stereo. Usually I check out the Amazon reviews before purchasing something like this. I didn't do my research this time. I just went out and bought it on a whim. I guess this is a very valuable lesson for me to do my homework first.

Or as Dave Ramsey would say, I paid my Stupid Tax. Don't pay yours.)

The Abolition of Man
The Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.95
41 used & new from $8.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A predictor of damage that has already been done, April 16, 2011
This review is from: The Abolition of Man (Paperback)
The disappointment was overwhelming after my first reading of THE ABOLITION OF MAN approximately 14 years ago. I thought C.S. Lewis was overreacting to say the least. To say that a simple argument over semantics in an English schoolbook would bring about the downfall of civilization seemed a bit farfetched to me at the time.

I recently reread ABOLITION. I suppose having experienced a little more life and a lot more education, my eyes were opened to the realities of what C.S. Lewis was talking about. What he actually does is talk about the slow, steady downfall of education. Later on in the book, he switches gears to discuss the demoralization of society in general and what causes this. The two subjects at first glance may seem unrelated. They are, in fact, close cousins.

In the Western Hemisphere, virtually all of Lewis's grim predictions about education have already come true. Most of the predictions about society in general are in the process of coming true. In virtually every area of life, man has promoted himself to far above what he was ever qualified to be. (I am "sublime" since I used a "sublime" descriptor.) This self promotion coupled with the utter rejection of absolutes will cause severe damage to societies, as it already has to varying degrees.

THE ABOLITION OF MAN is very philosophical compared to most (if not all) of Lewis's other works. Don't let its short length fool you. This little book has the potential to make for a very tough read. But the rewards are well worth it.

The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events #8)
The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events #8)
by Lemony Snicket
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $8.34
746 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hospital Hospitality -- Snicket Style!, April 2, 2011
Continuing onward toward the conclusion of his 13-volume crusade, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) throws our three unfortunate heroes into a hostile hospital as members of the unrealistically and perpetually optimistic Volunteers Fighting Disease.

Book Number 8's VFD reminds me of many different kinds of people I have found in social circles, politics, education, and even church. They see someone hurting and offer the proverbial heart-shaped balloon. It should fix all the person's worries and pains. These people - despite their good intentions - are totally incapable of hurting with those who hurt and weeping with those who weep. Optimism minus compassion is a very unfortunate event!

Knowing that I have five more books to read before I reach the (better be really awesome) payoff, proves difficult at times. So, I'm glad this one was at least fun to read and didn't lack for any of Lemony's dry wit and situational antics.

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