Profile for calvinnme > Reviews


calvinnme's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1832
Top Reviewer Ranking: 574
Helpful Votes: 37307

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
calvinnme RSS Feed

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
Brewer's Yeast Flakes 12.35 oz Pwdr
Brewer's Yeast Flakes 12.35 oz Pwdr
Offered by Total Health Vitamins
Price: $13.00
2 used & new from $13.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I used the old formula for at least ten years and loved it., August 26, 2014
This new Brewer's yeast has only a fraction of the nutrition that the old formula had in almost every category. Most importantly, the old version had 190mcg of chromium per serving. This version has only 7% of that per serving. I used the old formula for at least ten years and loved it. I guess, being a diabetic and needing the chromium, I'll have to find a replacement. Too bad.

Learning Python, 5th Edition
Learning Python, 5th Edition
by Mark Lutz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $40.89
54 used & new from $35.99

118 of 125 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great reference, but not a tutorial, August 10, 2013
I like how O'Reilly breaks out its PERL books. There is "Learning PERL" for beginners, "Programming PERL" as a reference, and "PERL Cookbook" for solutions. Alas, this book, a weighty tome that makes the dictionary look skinny, should really be renamed "Programming Python". It's a great reference, but good luck trying to learn Python succinctly and from scratch. It's like trying to learn English by reading the dictionary. I'll give it 3 out of 5 on correctness and completeness, but like trying to buy a pair of shoes at a giant Megamart with no department signs, you'll eventually just get frustrated and leave.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 10, 2014 9:04 AM PDT

Among The Missing
Among The Missing
DVD ~ Arthur Hohl
Price: $20.95
25 used & new from $11.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film seems t be among the missing..., July 2, 2013
This review is from: Among The Missing (DVD)
... because in spite of being released on DVD via Sony's MOD program, hardly anyone ever reviews the film and I've never seen it on TV, not even on Turner Classic Movies.

This was a blind buy for me, and it is among the best of the early production code films, which often got ridiculously sentimental in attempts to not violate the code. This one is a little sentimental, but it's interesting and a bit different too. In spite of having everything going for it - good quality script, acting, and production values, it does have a near anonymous cast, even for classic film fans, and that may be the reason it is overlooked.

A 65 year old woman (Henrietta Crosman as Martha Abbott) walks out on her family after basically being made to feel old and unwanted. She leaves a home she owns outright and shares with her difficult nephew and nephew's wife. We never see the argument that drove her out, but we do get to meet the nephew and his wife when they go to the police in a panic about missing aunt Martha. You see, it turns out they probably don't want Aunt Martha back as much as they need her to close on the house - after all she holds title, and they can't sell without her.

Meanwhile a trio of jewel thieves are about to get pinched for their latest robbery. The youngest among them walks into the park where he sees Martha, sitting there looking lost and forlorn He starts a conversation, and stuffs the stolen jewels into her things. The police come up and question them, search the boy, and eventually figure these are not the thieves and leave. The jewel thieves take Martha home with them, at first planning to turn her out the next day. But then a cop sees the back door open, starts wandering around, and is instantly disarmed by Martha's demeanor since she seems like everyone's grandmother. The thieves now see the usefulness of Martha as an apparently harmless front to their operations, and they hire her as a cook and housekeeper.

Martha is not as clueless as you'd think though, and she soon figures out what the three are up to. But she also figures out that Tommy is not a hardened criminal like the other two, although outwardly he is very gruff and pretty disrespectful of Martha. She can see that the other two thieves plan to use Tommy to take the real risks in their operation, all the while acting like they are teaching him some kind of trade. She hangs around to try to make Tommy see the error of his ways and to act as a bit of a matchmaker between Tommy and "the girl next door" - literally - Judy.

Ivan F. Simpson plays Smeed, the most outwardly tough of the two hardened thieves, and that's an interesting bit of casting since I'm used to seeing him play gentleman's gentleman types. Arthur Hoyl plays the other thief, which is not an unusual turn for him since he usually played back-stabbing underhanded types. Of the three thieves he is the most slippery and very good at controlling Tommy, making him think he is always thinking of him.

I'd recommend it to anybody who likes films from the 1930's. Plus the audio and video quality of the DVD itself is wonderful. There are no extra features.

Film itself: 4/5
DVD quality (audio, video) : 5/5
I round up to a combined score of 5/5.

Streets of Ghost Town
Streets of Ghost Town
DVD ~ Smiley Burnette
Price: $16.96
25 used & new from $8.76

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes a stew made of leftovers is a hearty meal..., July 2, 2013
This review is from: Streets of Ghost Town (DVD)
... and that's the case here. The story is told mainly in flashback as The Durango Kid (Charles Starrett) recounts the tale of a stolen stash of gold known only to blind outlaw Bill Donner and a child in which Donner confided, but is desired by outlaw Frank Fenton. The "ghost town" was once a thriving place, but Fenton ran everyone out of town by terrorizing the settlers, all so he could have the place to himself and eventually find the gold. There are lots of good action shots in this film mainly because about two thirds of the film is stock footage from past Durango Kid westerns. Only the ending shots and the scenes where Durango is recounting the tale are new footage. There are some macabre elements here you don't normally see in these westerns, such as outlaw Bill Donner locking his partners in the hidden vault with the gold and leaving them, now two of the richest men in the world, to die in a grave of gold. In another scene Donner is captured by Fenton's gang and then returns blinded. It is not clear whether Donner blinded himself so he could not be forced to divulge the location of the loot, or if Fenton did it out of meanness, and in this case, stupidity.

If you haven't seen the past Durango Kid westerns and therefore recognize all of the stock footage, and you like westerns in general, you should like this one.

The Squall
The Squall
DVD ~ Richard Tucker
Price: $15.91
27 used & new from $11.26

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the unintended humor alone, July 2, 2013
This review is from: The Squall (DVD)
This is a tale of a prosperous Hungarian farming family that takes in a gypsy girl (Myrna Loy as Nubi) who says she has run away from her tribe and will be beaten by her gypsy husband if reclaimed. They hide her, take her into their home as a servant, and come to regret that decision.

Although directed by the renowned Alexander Korda, he did a poor job here, possibly not having veto power over the diction coaches in this very early talkie. This is Loretta Young's first talkie and it shows. She is very good at conveying emotion, but she probably is the most wooden member of the cast in speaking her lines. In her next surviving talkie, "Loose Ankles", she has improved tremendously. ZaSu Pitts is endearing, what little we get to see of her. As dizzy and well-meaning as ever as servant girl Lena, she is captivating even under all of those peasant petticoats.

After watching Nubi laze around the house not doing her work, seducing all the men of the house to the point she has the servant man singing a ballad to a bovine, and enticing the son in the house, Paul, to steal Lena's life savings to buy her an expensive necklace you've got to wonder - Why didn't they just throw the dame out? The parents had to have figured that Paul's allowance disappearing and Nubi practically slumping from all of that fancy jewelry she was suddenly wearing had to have some correlation.

I have seen some early talkies that are poorly paced, but this one should hold your interest, if only from the standpoint of watching the clean-up of a multi-vehicle accident from which you cannot turn away. There is one interesting rather precode line spoken by the father to the mother when talking about Nubi carrying on with Paul. The mother believes Paul has stopped paying attention to his fiancée because he is in love with Nubi. Dad is more insightful - "Paul is not interested in love, he's interested in sex!"

Recommended, if only to see how Loretta Young and Myrna Loy started out in talking pictures.

DVD ~ James Cagney
Price: $16.68
27 used & new from $12.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opposites may attract, but can they coexist?, July 2, 2013
This review is from: Taxi (DVD)
That's the question this 70 minute little movie asks in reference to hot-head independent cab driver Matt Nolan (James Cagney) and waitress Sue Riley (Loretta Young). The two are brought together after Sue's dad, Pop Riley (Guy Kibbee), has his cab deliberately smashed by a truck driver due to a war between the independent cab drivers such as Pop and Consolidated Cab. Pop grabs a gun and shoots the smirking truck driver dead in the back.

Pop dies in prison and Sue becomes a pacifist, urging the other cab drivers to shun violence. Matt wants the cab drivers to take the fight to the Consolidated Cab company. Matt and Sue are attracted to each other despite their differences and marry. Matt promises to change and keep a lid on his hot head. But then a drunken member of Consolidated Cab's muscle men, Buck Gerard, kills Matt's brother and Matt wants to kill the guy himself before the cops can find him - anything the police can dish out is too good for his brother's murderer, he figures. But then Matt would be a murderer too and Sue will do anything to prevent having a second loved one sent to prison. How does this all work out? Watch and find out. Sure, Matt is in the wrong here, but Sue takes some questionable actions herself begging the question - why doesn't she just call the police and TELL THEM where Gerard is, once she knows? Warner Brothers keeps this rather routine plot interesting with a good solid cast. Besides leads Cagney and Young you have George E. Stone as Matt's cab driving friend and constantly gabbing Leila Bennett as Sue's friend Ruby, which make for very colorful double dates. Then there is David Landau who looks as mean as he acts here as Buck Gerard, the drunken muscle that kills Matt's brother. Dorothy Burgess is Marie, Buck's girl. She's an attractive well-spoken girl and you can't help but wonder what she sees in such an abusive slob who is bound to turn his violent personality on her from time to time.

Some strange coincidences of film history make this one worth watching closely. Notice who James Cagney's character loses the dance contest to in the opening half hour or so - George Raft, famous for his Charleston, as an uncredited extra! During that dance contest a small part of "Yankee Doodle" plays, 10 years before Cagney plays the song's author, George M. Cohan.

Also, when Sue and Matt are double dating with Skeets and Leila they are going to the movies. The camera shows they are going to watch "Her Hour of Love" starring Donald Cook and Evelyn Knapp, both Warner Brothers stars of the day. They even show a rather stilted love scene from the movie once inside the theater. Problem is, that film never existed! I wonder why Warner Bros. just didn't show a clip from a real film they were trying to promote at the time rather than going to all of this trouble? It would have been cheaper, and, after all, the word "cheap" was music to Jack Warner's ears.

Metagenics, Estrovera, 30 Tablets
Metagenics, Estrovera, 30 Tablets
Price: $28.74
42 used & new from $28.73

2.0 out of 5 stars Caution to diabetics, July 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I began taking this on the advice of my healthcare provider. Hot flashes are not my problem, so I don't know how this works in that situation. What I can tell you is that as a diabetic, my glycemic control went haywire while on this product, which surprised me since ERT itself has always helped my glycemic control, not worsened it. Progesterone can worsen glycemic control - and it has in me - but not estrogen. I got off of the product and my glycemic control stabilized once more.

I may be a "weird diabetic" - after all I was diagnosed with type two diabetes at 140 pounds, lost 18 pounds on Metformin and my A1c number actually got worse! I just wanted to warn anybody out there who is a diabetic about my own experience with the product.

Men Without Law
Men Without Law
DVD ~ Carmelita Geraghty
Price: $18.84
23 used & new from $12.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It happened in Hollywood..., July 1, 2013
This review is from: Men Without Law (DVD)
... that Westerns simply were not made during the transition to sound since they so depended upon motion and outdoor scenes - something that early sound technology could not handle. In 1930 silent Western star Buck Jones made his first film in two years because of this. This is his third sound film.

The film opens with some fantastic WWI battle scenes that are partially stock footage. Buck risks his life to get his wounded comrade in arms, Ramon, out of the line of fire and to medical attention. Unfortunately, his friend doesn't make it and succumbs weeks later to his injuries. Ramon's family, the wealthy Del Reys, remember Buck's kindness in not allowing their son to die alone on a battlefield, and Senor Del Rey, head of the family, writes to Buck of his gratitude.

The war ends and Buck comes home to Arizona. As he gets off the train he meets Juanita Del Ray, sister of his friend Ramon. However, each does not know who the other is. She is cold to him, and that's strange in and of itself because here she is wearing fur in the middle of the Arizona desert! Even after he rescues her from a runaway buggy she is snobby to him. When Buck gets home and has a heartfelt reunion with his old mother, he discovers his younger brother Tommy has been away from home for some time, worrying mom.

Buck hasn't got to search long before he discovers Tommy is in jail - left the fall guy in a bank robbery by the Murdock gang. Buck doesn't want mom to drop dead of shock, so he devises a plan. He convinces the sheriff to hold him in Tommy's place while Tommy goes home, visits mom, and tells her he's going off to seek his fortune and will be gone a long time. This will cover the time Tommy is in jail for the robbery. Now this works great for Buck, Tommy, and mom, but the sheriff should have thought this one through. What if Tommy doesn't come back? The law doesn't let you put one man in jail for another one's crimes! Freedom may be the creed of the early west, but apparently it doesn't necessarily follow that these sons of the pioneers - even the lawmen -know anything about the Constitution.

Well lo and behold Tommy doesn't come back. So the sheriff does put Buck in jail in his place, although I'd like to see him explain this substitution to a judge. While in jail, Buck is left in the charge of the world's stupidest deputy - Honestly folks, he makes Barney Fife look like Columbo. But that doesn't make Buck's escape from jail any less humorous.

The reason Tommy never came home? He was kidnapped by his old gang on the way to see mom, because he knows too much and he might talk. Funny they didn't think of that WHILE he was in jail left holding the bag! Now free, Buck shows up at the Murdock gang's cabin looking for Tommy. This begs the question - If Buck knew where the Murdock gang was hiding why didn't he just tell the sheriff? At any rate, the gang spots Buck, which isn't hard to do because, there he is, in a great profile dressed up in what has got to be his Western Sunday best. Buck, who is smart enough to escape from jail, apparently loses his IQ altogether when he sees his brother, sent out at gunpoint by the gang to lure Buck. Buck walks right into the Murdock gang trap and once again he is a prisoner.

Murdock sees the letter of introduction to the Del Rays and Buck's discharge papers and decides to steal his identity, 60 years before identity theft is part of the vernacular. You see, Murdock has had his eye on the famous Del Ray jewels for some time.However, Murdock didn't need this elaborate subterfuge, because Senor Del Ray takes Murdock on his word that he is Buck. Mr. Del Ray seems mighty naive, even showing Murdock the location and beauty of the family jewels, and ignoring that Murdock gets completely wrong some facts about Ramon's death, which should have been a dead giveaway seeing that he was supposedly at Ramon's bedside at the time of his death. When Buck escapes the gang - humorously once again - he is not so lucky. Mr. DelRay doesn't entertain the possibility he could have been fooled. He just locks Buck up - again. Too bad Buck didn't introduce himself to Juanita Del Rey when he saved her earlier in the film. How will all of this work out? Watch and find out.

Now you might think I didn't care for this film, given the fact that I called out so many of the plot holes. You'd be wrong. This early sound film is well acted with plenty of good action and humor as well as pathos. The fact that some of the fine points of the script seem to have been cobbled together doesn't change the fact that Buck Jones caught on to how to play the cowboy in sound Westerns fairly quickly.

As for the quality of the video and audio - it is completely top drawer. There is just the slightest hissing in the audio but the sound still comes through very clearly.
DVD quality: 5/5
film itself: 3/5

A Soldier's Plaything
A Soldier's Plaything
DVD ~ Harry Langdon
Price: $14.53
24 used & new from $12.22

2.0 out of 5 stars Who exactly is doing the fighting during this war?, June 16, 2013
This review is from: A Soldier's Plaything (DVD)
This one was a blind buy for me from the Warner Archives, interesting to me because it was Harry Langdon's first talking feature film. Here Langdon plays Tim, the operator of a carnival shooting gallery, and Ben Lyon plays Georgie, occupation unknown, whom we first meet at a poker game being played in a bookie's office from the looks of the surroundings, with bookie Hank (Fred Kohler) and associates. Apparently Georgie and Tim are buddies, and also apparently Georgie routinely cleans out Hank and his associates at their poker games. When an extra ace is discovered after George collects his winnings and leaves, Hank jumps to the conclusion that George cheated and tracks him down to face off with him over it. In self defense George hits Hank hard enough that he crashes through the railing of the rooming house hallway in which they are arguing and falls several stories. Being chased by both Hank's gang and the police, and with Hank not looking particularly alive the last time he saw him, George decides to hide by - joining the army??? (The time is WWI).

The U.S. army is NOT the French Foreign Legion, and the police would have no trouble tracking George down if they so desired, but that's beside the point apparently. Tim has already joined the army, so the rest of the movie is set in Europe with Lyon and Langdon as two privates in the war with the rest of the script just being a bunch of comic bits strung together like so many disconnected comic Vitaphone shorts. There really is not much of a story here. The odd thing about it is that all of the soldiers shown here in "the army of occupation" as it is blandly called by the title cards, inexplicably see less combat action than marine Gomer Pyle saw at the height of the Vietnam War - which was absolutely none. Instead they shovel horse manure when they run afoul of the gruff captain, played by Noah Beery in a role that reminded me very much of his brother, and spend the rest of their time drinking, singing, and fraternizing with the local Germans who don't seem at all bothered by the fact that they are being occupied and treat them like tourists.

I'm no expert on WWI, but somehow I don't think this was a typical wartime experience. As for the comedy, I found Ben Lyon likable as always, doing the best he could with comedy material that was obviously meant to give the spotlight to Langdon. I like Langdon in his silents, but here he just seemed to wrestle with incorporating the dialogue he was given with his traditional befuddled expressions and slapstick from his silent years.

Oddest scene/line in the film: Tim and George want to escape the MPs by donning the horse costume that two of the German saloon performers were wearing, but they are getting nowhere with these two fellows due to the language barrier. George turns to Tim and says : "Let's just knock these two guys off". That stunned me and I replayed this section of the DVD just to make sure I didn't misunderstand what was being said - I didn't. George, who has not been portrayed as anything more than a rather streetwise fellow up to this point is suggesting killing two men to escape punishment for being in a bar off-limits to military personnel? This seemed like overkill to me (pardon the pun) and something that belonged more in Little Caesar than in a buddy war pic.

I'd recommend this one mainly for fans of Harry Langdon and early sound enthusiasts.

As for the transfer - both sound and picture quality are excellent. I don't know if Warner Brothers did any restoration work, but it looks and sounds great - no hissing at all in the soundtrack, which is so common in the early talking films.

Dead Men Walk
Dead Men Walk
DVD ~ George Zucco
Price: $5.98
34 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Book burning is always a bad idea..., June 14, 2013
This review is from: Dead Men Walk (DVD)
... and although that was probably not the intended lesson of this film, you've got to wonder why Dr. Lloyd Clayton would burn so much material belonging to his dead brother when he truly didn't understand the power that brother Elwyn had. With the "Dr." in front of his name you think he'd have more of an appreciation for the value of information. Brother Elwyn turns out to be a vampire in the untraditional sense. He dies and rises from the grave a vampire without having been made one by another vampire, and the recipe for this transformation is never made clear. Not to worry, though, because Elwyn has veteran vampire lackey Dwight Frye to serve him faithfully, here as the rather excitable Zolarr.

Also unlike other vampires, Elwyn just doesn't bite you and be done with it, he enjoys talking you to death - at least in the case of his brother Lloyd. Instead, at mealtime, Elwyn begins to slowly drain the blood and thus life from Dr. Clayton's ward, Gayle. Soon there are rumors among the townspeople that Dr. Lloyd Clayton is slowly poisoning Gayle so that he can usurp her inheritance. So if Elwyn is successful not only will Lloyd probably be hit with a murder charge, but ward Gayle will become one of the undead too. However can this mess be fixed with all of the answers to Lloyd's questions now in ashes? Watch and find out.

This is one of my favorite public domain horror films. The main problem with the film is that the elements survive in a rather washed out state being a bit hard on the eyes and the ears. However, if you can get past that and the low budget, the acting in this one is pretty good and the script is a good one with a bit of a twist on your traditional vampire tale. I recommend it.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20