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Reba McEntire - Greatest Hits Volume III: I'm A Survivor
Reba McEntire - Greatest Hits Volume III: I'm A Survivor
Price: $7.00
122 used & new from $0.01

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cream always rises to the top; believe me, Reba is cream., October 23, 2001
While all opinions are valid, I'm sorry to say that sometimes, they're just wrong. Such an opinion is any one negating the quality and integrity of music recorded by Reba McEntire.
With "Greatest Hits Volume III: I'm A Survivor," Reba releases her twenty-seventh studio disc. Fifteen tracks in all, three of them new, paint a vast, rich canvas of Reba's work in the nineties. Of the three new tunes, "Myself Without You" comes to the forefront as a touching and moving but not overly maudlin I'm-getting-over-you (allusion to Reba's 1984 "Just A Little Love" disc) song. Reba's voice transforms from a throaty, powerful torch on "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter," "The Fear Of Being Alone," and "Why Haven't I Heard From You," to a tender, soft ember on "She Thinks His Name Was John" and the aforementioned "Myself Without You." Also noteworthy is Reba's "I'm A Survivor," the theme song to her new show, which airs at 9:00 PM EST on the Warner Brothers' Network. As it has been described, it is a mature version of Jessica Andrews' "Who I Am". Tracks two to thirteen are a recollection of Reba's hits spanning 1990-1999. The quality of the songs makes it impossible to single out "standouts," as Reba was even forced to leave out songs worthy of any other artist's Greatest Hits collection. She closes with "Sweet Music Man," a new telling of Kenny Rogers' late 1970's tune, produced by Alison Krauss. The result is understated, subdued, and tender. The production is undeniably Kraussian, which is in stark contrast to Reba's usual moderately-country sound; therefore, it inevitably inherits bluegrass undertones. It may shock some fans, but once the stupefication subsides, the worthiness of the song will be seen.
Reba does unspeakable wonders with songs that other artists might render average. Why? The ultimate retort: Reba's voice is simply of a higher caliber than any other artist in Nashville. Face it. While Martina McBride can make your ears ring like bells and hold a note until the saints go marching in, it all becomes rather unspectacular when you yell those words and hold those notes on every single song. Consequently, there are also artists who are drowned out by a dropping pin. Reba is the quintessence of a happy medium; enough lung force to bend steel one minute, a poignant, tastefully restrained delivery the next.
Long live the Queen.

Love Letters
Love Letters
Offered by highspiritradio
Price: $13.77
42 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!, January 31, 2001
This review is from: Love Letters (Audio CD)
Maybe a more detailed review to come later, but I'm excited so this is a quick little review filled with my euphoria. Songwriter Leslie Satcher totally delivers. The highlight tracks include "Love Letters From Old Mexico," (backed by the lighter than air harmonies of Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris), "Burn me Down," "Every Time It Rains," "Texarkana," and her excellent cover of "Ode to Billie Joe." She breaks the streak of songwriters putting out subpar versions of their own music, and this should be a sweet breath of fresh air for Nashville. Proof that songwriters can sing their own music, and quite well. You probably haven't heard of Leslie Winn Satcher, but you will soon---get this and be a trendsetter!

A Separate Peace
A Separate Peace
by John Knowles
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
655 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERFUL DETAILS, "Look Closer.."..4.5/5 Stars, August 23, 2000
(There are a few spoilers so if you haven't read the book and don't want it ruined, don't read!) I really can't believe that some people, even teachers (though it was a history teacher, not an English one), can't find the deeper meaning in this book. It was given one star by many because of Knowles' impeccable attention to detail and allusion, while this, for me, is what makes much of the book. It takes sheer brilliance to masterfully wrap sentences around one another as Knowles does, by making allusions to culture and society like describing trees as Republican and the wonderful descriptions of New England scenery.
The storyline is told in flashback by Gene Forrester, an intellectual (by 90's (or 00's?) terms, a nerd) who forms the unlikely friendship (during the beginning of American's involvement in World War II) with the daring Phineas. Phineas has, at times, seemingly complete control over Gene, even in his eventual death and demise. The paranoia and partial mental breakdown that Gene goes through is no doubt directly parallelled with Phineas' health as well as other characters in the novel.
The novel also proves the point that was shown with the masterful film American Beauty; it shows that we're not all perfect - most of as are, as illustrated here, far from it - but what counts is what you do in any particular moment and how it affects others in that particular time. What matters is, since no one is perfect, being perfect enough; beauty, as well as perfection, is a relative term. Alan Ball must have read A Separate Peace before writing American Beauty; both so clearly show the states and effects of beauty, as well as actions. With the exception of, possibly, Phineas, no one in this novel is perfect. We find flaws of all sizes in not only Gene but Brinker, Elwin "Leper" Lepellier, and many other students at the school, Devon, in New Hampshire.
This is only a general overview of the book; read it yourself to find out all the details, this is a review, not cliff's notes.
Also, like its characters, the book is not perfect. At times his formerly masterful descriptions can turn into slight rambling and over-the-top, unnecessary details, but it's still worth the read; the details are much more appreciated once you've read the entire thing.
4.5/5 Stars

Touchdown: Favorite College Fight Songs
Touchdown: Favorite College Fight Songs
30 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST CDs EVER...BUY IT NOW!!!, August 6, 2000
THERE ARE simply not enough words I can say about this CD. It's so much fun to listen to them and really feel like you're at the game. I'm a Tennessee fan, but FSU's band delivers flawlessly. I have played this CD so many times that you wouldn't believe it!
But why? It's not like all I listen to is instrumentals; all of my CDs are country, but I was so happy to find this one that I bought it as soon as I could. Standout tracks are, of course, "Rocky Top" (which is actually listed as "Pre-Game University Of Tennessee," but it's Rocky Top alright), "War Eagle," "Yea Alabama!," "Step To The Rear," and "Forward Rebels." Every song is played right on beat and, like other fight song CDs, they don't slow it down to a boring concert pace, but keep them at the same speed played at game day. If I wasn't a Tennessee fan who had to say Rocky Top was the best track, I'd say "Yea Alabama" might be the best quality PLAYED track. (It's a fun one to play too.).
I can't say enough about this. I play it when people come over for games, or in the middle of non-football season (listening to it now!!). Buy this especially if you're a football fan, you won't ever take it out of the machine!

My Fellow Americans
My Fellow Americans
DVD ~ Jack Lemmon
Price: $4.96
241 used & new from $0.01

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: My Fellow Americans (DVD)
"MY FELLOW Americans" is everything you could ever want in a comedy. Sharp, caustic wits from Lemmon (as Russell Kramer) and Garner (as Matt Douglas) combined with a downright hilarious plot makes this my #1 movie of 1996, my #24 of the 90's, and my #3 comedy of the 90's (behind #1 Bulworth and #2 Dogma). This would be an excellent one to go rent and prepare for the election in November.
The excellent comedic writing is apparent ("There are only two watches like that in the world, Reagan has one and now Shamu the Killer Hick has the other!"), and Heard's underrated performance as Vice President Ted Matthews nearly steals the show. (For those that have seen it, tell me his last line shouldn't be ranked up there with other classic lines!) As usual, Lauren Bacall is magnificent ("Don't say friggin', if you're going to use the F word go for the gold"), and of course Jack Lemmon and James Garner turn in great performances.
The great cast, writing, and script idea all fold together to make one of the best movies ever made.

Drowning Mona
Drowning Mona
DVD ~ Neve Campbell
63 used & new from $1.18

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ALL THAT STAR POWER COMES TO THIS...WHAT A SHAME, August 6, 2000
This review is from: Drowning Mona (DVD)
I LOOKED forward to this movie from the first time I heard about it and saw trailers and read plotlines. I didn't expect a movie this bad. It's amazing that with such gifted actors and actresses (Midler, DeVito, Campbell, Curtis, etc.) you could have a movie this disappointing.
How exactly does "Drowning Mona" disappoint?
I love the stars.
I love the plot.
I love everything about this movie except, well, this movie. A basically good script idea and all these big named people somehow fizzled into a blandly acted, and worse, only mildly funny "comedy."
There are a good number of better comedies than this out, many of which didn't receive as much attention. It's not really THAT bad, but it's definitely much worse than what you would expect. At least if it's going to have a go-nowhere plot, you can have a few big laughs to make up, and "Mona" doesn't offer this.

One Voice
One Voice
Offered by Customer Direct
Price: $4.00
256 used & new from $0.01

5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SOME AVERAGE SONGS, A BAD REPRESENTATION..., August 2, 2000
This review is from: One Voice (Audio CD)
Talk about a review that will get criticism. Anytime you negatively speak your mind your reviewer rank plummets. But I just have to end this string of people thinking this kid is so great. Let me tell you, any 12 year old could get up there and sing like a girl, just like he's doing now; take a listen to Billy Gilman when he's about 13, puberty at work. It's going to be downright pitiful.
Like many of the songs on this album. I almost gave it two stars, as opposed to one, because you can stand some of the songs, but I realized that "some" was only four songs. One of them I can REALLY stand, if it was by its original singer. But it is NOT delivered right, which is my point. They should have let the little fella's voice mature before he made this CD.
And it's not like all the songs are that bad. Oklahoma, What Forever's For, and his single One Voice would all be great, had another singer sung them. And one track WAS great, when the First Lady Of Country Music sang it, but what really puts Billy Gilman to shame is when he attempts a Tammy Wynette song. It makes him look like just what he is; an inexperienced little kid who got lucky. He just embarasses himself with "Til I Can Make It On My Own."
Don't waste your money on this album which, beside the four aforementioned songs, is filled with bubble gum pop music in disguise.

The Green Mile
The Green Mile
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Offered by Solo Enterprises
Price: $9.99
394 used & new from $0.01

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars AN AVERAGE FILM THAT DRAGS ON FAR TOO LONG, July 29, 2000
This review is from: The Green Mile (DVD)
I'm not saying "The Green Mile" is a bad film.
I'm not saying that at all.
I am, however, disgusted that people can say this is a better film than "American Beauty," and here's why.
"American Beauty" was an incredibly filmed, superbly written film that shined a mirror on too many American families...possibly why some didn't like it.
"The Green Mile," however, was a hybrid of sap drama and far out sci fi. This isn't a good hybrid either; not like a mule, more like a three legged dog. First of all, it is far, far, far too long. There are about seventeen too many scenes with the way-overrated Michael Clarke Duncan moping around or mumbling or weeping or grabbing someone and healing them. Someone needs to learn that compelling drama + science fiction = this movie = drawn out, melodramatic bore. It's not all bad. The ideas are, for the most part, original. (Isn't originality what sci-fi is all about?) But as original as they get, it can't compete with the overall quality of the film. This movie makes too clear the edges between good and bad, black and white. What we need is more movies like "American Beauty" to show us the utter vastness of that gray area. The lines between good and evil are clearly seen here, too. (Paul vs. Percy, Coffey vs. Wild Bill, etc.), making it far too sugary sweet to be enjoyed long enough.
In my opinion, Hanks would have been a better Best Actor nominee than Duncan a Best Supporting Actor nominee; how overrated can a performance GET? I would bet 4/5 of his scenes feature him cowering in his cell block, mumbling incoherent babble, or grabbing Hanks between the legs. Why do grown men crying touch people so? I could get up there and act as John Coffey (if I was a bit older and taller), and so could almost anyone here that's faked a few tears in their day.
It's certainly worth watching, if for no other reason than writing a bad review just like me, but don't be fooled and expect too much.
2.5/5 Stars (I have 2/5 of there, would have been unfair to round to 3, but my real rating is 2.5/5)

DVD ~ Ben Affleck
Offered by DVDragonfly
Price: $38.99
54 used & new from $3.83

This review is from: Dogma (DVD)
I'LL ADMIT when I first got wind of this one and heard some reviews about it, it didn't sound incredibly appealing; but this is really, for me, all the more reason to see it. I kept seeing it in blockbuster and there was always just something else I wanted more. One day, I finally decided to rent it.
Man had I been missing out.
Many people think this is some kind of slam on religion or something like that; Dogma just points out what really is wrong with society today. Words really can't describe many of the joys of watching this movie; a comedy with quick witted humor, but strikingly insightful in its more sober moments.
Though I'm sure many religious fanatics will probably call this going against holy words, I think it's done more than anything in years to clarify and uphold them.
5 Stars.

Florida Straits
Florida Straits
by Laurence Shames
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
102 used & new from $0.01

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING, AMUSING, JUST OVERALL GREAT!, June 28, 2000
HAVING LIVED in Florida all my life, the added spice of this novel being set right down the road (well a long road, I-95, at that) from me, compelled me to go out on a limb and call this one of the best examples of comedy-mystery-mob novels ever written. Joey and Sandra are so incredibly "Noo Yawk" stereotypical that it makes them believable and understandable to readers! I loved this book ever since I started reading it. In a Hiaasen-esque (one must realize the similarities between Shames and Hiaasen...just look at the covers of their books) fashion, Shames tells the story of Joey Goldman and girlfriend Sandra as they seek their promised land; Joey doesn't know how, but he plans to get rich quick in the land of "sun, surf, and sleaze."
But Joey's NYC mob background catches up with him via his half brother Gino. I'll leave the rest of the story to you (I really hate when people just give a little summary of the book, that is NOT a review.).
Filled with lovable characters like Bert The Shirt and Zack, there just aren't enough words of praise to give it. You'll laugh out loud but you can really feel the things these people are going through.
I'm sure this probably isn't one of my better reviews, but this book puts me at quite a loss for words; on one hand funny, on the other poignant, but one word will describe it---excellent! 5 Stars.

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