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A. Gammill RSS Feed (Tupelo, MS United States)
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Woody Woodpecker and Friends Halloween Favorites
Woody Woodpecker and Friends Halloween Favorites
DVD ~ Walter Lantz
Price: $10.19
20 used & new from $7.86

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spook it up with classic cartoon fun, September 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For someone like me, who loves classic cartoons and just can't get enough of Halloween, this is a real treat. Although much of the material here has been previously available (in Universal's excellent Woody Woodpecker and Friends Vols. 1 & 2), there are some new-to-video cartoons here as well. Franken-stymied, Witch Crafty and Phantom of the Horse Opera, all from early 60's, were all new to me. Most fans agree that the original series was past its prime by then, but I still find the cartoons from that time lots of colorful fun.

There are also 3 cartoons, comprising a single half-hour episode, of the early 2000's revival show. While certainly not as irreverent or funny as "classic" Woody, they're still pretty good. A bonus black & white Oswald short, Wax Works (also carried over from the previously-mentioned set), may not quite fit in, but it's a wonderful and genuinely spooky short that could serve to introduce younger viewers to classic animation.

The best part of the collection is a half-hour episode of The Woody Woodpecker Show, with creator Walter Lantz as host. Although a couple of the cartoons within the program aren't Halloween-themed, the wrap-around live-action/animation segments are. And best of all, "Woody's Halloween Spook-a-nanny" cartoon is an absolute blast. I've been using it as part of my own Halloween cartoon collection for many years. The episode was is also available in one of the Universal sets (I know I sound like I keep plugging them. . .but seriously, as of this writing they are under 20 bucks each, you need to have them!).

Video and audio quality are very good, although the aforementioned 3 new 60's shorts aren't quite as sharp as the previously-available ones. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles. All in all, this is a fun addition to any Halloween gathering that includes kids and/or nostalgic adults. Enjoy!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2014 6:11 PM PDT


Monster Madness: Golden Age of the Horror Film
Monster Madness: Golden Age of the Horror Film
DVD ~ Tom Proveaux
Price: $11.99
20 used & new from $10.03

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for beginners, but hardcore fans won't find much here, August 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As a lifelong monster movie fan, and one who especially enjoys the early days of the art form, I was initially very excited about this release. A feature-length documentary about the classic films from the 1920's, 30's and 40's seemed to be right up my alley, although I did find myself wondering about this company (Filmlandia) about which I'd never heard. But the back cover boasted that the program won a 2012 "Rondo" award (again, not ringing any bells), so I hoped for the best.

And truthfully, "Monster Madness" isn't a bad documentary, especially for newcomers just learning about the genre's roots. But for those of us steeped in horror filmmaking lore, there really isn't much new information. Any self-respecting monster fan already has the excellent series of Universal DVD's or Blu-rays, on which one can enjoy several well-made documentaries on the individual films, or the Universal monster series as a whole. Monster Madness rightfully does spend a large amount of time on the studio, although it does acknowledge the contributions of MGM and Paramount, among others.

The main problem with the film is that the source prints for most of the movies discussed are in terrible shape. Good DVD copies of the Universal series have been available for many years, yet the clips used here could easily be 25 year old VHS tapes. It's very distracting, considering the newly-filmed interviews and such are generally of very good quality.

The film also has a sometimes annoying tendency to drift away from its namesake. Several minutes are devoted to films from other genres in the late 1930's. I could understand a few lines here and there to put the horror films into the perspectives of their times, but much of it fills like filler.

Apparently the film is part one of a series, but I'm not sure I will want to continue with it. If you know next to nothing about the classic era of monsters on film, you will learn a bit about it here. But seasons fright film vets will probably watch this one once and never pick it up again. Sadly, I think I will be among that group.


The Time Machine [Blu-ray]
The Time Machine [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Rod Taylor
Price: $13.89
23 used & new from $11.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Gentlemen, when it comes to high definition, we are prisoners.", July 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
One of the most-treasured films from the classic era of science fiction cinema finally makes its debut on Blu-ray. For anyone who doesn't already own it, it's certainly a must-have for your video collection. But for those of us who already know and love the film, and have previously bought the DVD (and the VHS as well, for us long-time fans), the question is: Is it worth the upgrade to Blu?

The answer is. . .maybe. I buy ALL the classic sci-fi films on Blu-ray when they become available, and I already own well over 100 of them on DVD. And I would estimate I've watched The Time Machine DVD at least 10 times. And while the Blu version IS a slight improvement in terms of color and clarity, it's hardly the best upgrade I've seen. Typically, even with the limitations of its source material, many classic-era films really shine in the format when it comes to bright, outdoor scenes. So when inventor George Wells (spoilers! ha ha) lands in the sunny, tranquil world of the Eloi, I really expected the colors to pop off the screen. Sadly ,this was not the case. The picture DOES look great. . .just not quite HD great.

On the other hand, the audio is superb, probably among the best of heard for an older film. The sensitive and at times soaring soundtrack really shines through, even in some of the quieter moments. Dialogue is clear throughout, and the overall sound mix is just right.

Extras are carried over from the DVD, and include the great "Journey Back," which is a combination of documentary and scripted follow-up to the film. Rod Taylor, Alan Young and Whit Bissell briefly reprise their roles, as we learn what happened to George after he went back to the future.

Again, if you don't already have it, Blu-ray is the way to go. And if, like me, you're a huge fan of the film, you'll probably want to upgrade anyway. But for the casual fan, or anyone expecting a major improvement over the DVD, you might want to pass.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 9:53 PM PDT


Huggies Little Movers Diapers, Size 4, 112 Count
Huggies Little Movers Diapers, Size 4, 112 Count
Price: $34.49
5 used & new from $34.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, June 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We've always been Pampers parents, although I've also found at least one store-brand diaper that works just fine. So even though I didn't have any prior experience with Huggies, I assumed such a well-known brand would do the job. But not in this case. The main problem with these (admittedly attractive-looking) diapers is that they tear too easily. On multiple occasions, both my wife and I accidentally ripped them apart while trying to fasten them. They also aren't absorbent enough for overnight use. My little girl woke up with wet PJ's several times while wearing these.

With so many other options out there, go ahead and pass these duds by.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 22, 2014 6:47 PM PDT


Cake Boss Stainless Steel Tools Collection 5-Piece Kitchen Prep Tool Set, Red
Cake Boss Stainless Steel Tools Collection 5-Piece Kitchen Prep Tool Set, Red
Price: $31.99
8 used & new from $31.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, but be sure to keep 'em clean, June 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After only a month or so, I've gotten plenty of use out of this nice set. The rubber handles are especially useful, and make the utensils more attractive. My only complaint--and this is largely my own fault, I admit--is that the slotted spatula seems to have a couple of rust spots already. I accidentally left it outside after flipping hamburgers. So yeah, that one's kind of on me. But if you take care of them, I imagine these will last a long time.


Doctor Who The Day of the Doctor The War Doctor 5-Inch Action Figure
Doctor Who The Day of the Doctor The War Doctor 5-Inch Action Figure
Offered by ZANY Values
Price: $28.00
7 used & new from $27.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best figures in the Doctor Who collection, June 22, 2014
The first thing one notices about the War Doctor figure is how much it actually resembles actor John Hurt. But Character Options goes even further and gives the figure a very detailed and accurate costume. And "The Moment" (or the Doomsday Box, as I call it) is a thing of great detail and beauty. The alternate 8th Doctor head isn't quite as good a sculpt as the War Doctor's, but it's still a very good likeness of actor Paul McGann. One minor complaint--and I've seen a couple of other buyers voice a similar concern elsewhere--the figure's left arm is a bit too loose at the shoulder. Not too loose to hold a pose, but I could see it becoming a problem if you plan on moving it a lot.

Overall, a great addition to the dwindling line of 5" figures. Hopefully, we'll get a 12th Doctor in the same range soon, instead of the 3.75" one already released. Seriously, does anyone prefer the smaller figures? Get this one before it's gone.


Summons [HD]
Summons [HD]
DVD
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good show that probably will look great on Blu-ray. . .so where's the Blu-ray?, May 19, 2014
Bitten is one of those surprisingly good shows that have popped up on the SyFy Channel. . .a place where good shows are hard to find. I won't spend much time telling you about the show; there are plenty of reviews here that do that already. What concerns me is that the show is clearly shot in high definition, and will no doubt look fantastic on Blu-ray. So let people who enjoy this streaming nonsense watch the show on their phones or whatever. I want to OWN the show and watch it on my HDTV. I've tried streaming, both from Amazon and another popular rental service. It looks terrible compared to a full 1080p Blu-ray or even a lower-definition DVD. There is still a market out there for those of us who want our shows and movies on physical media that we can keep forever. I know there are people who might disagree with this, but there's no harm in giving customers options. It is pretty much standard procedure now to include digital copies with physical discs, so everybody wins.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 9, 2014 1:53 PM PDT


Belkin Universal Tablet Stand / Holder for Most Tablets including iPad, Galaxy Tab and Kindle (Blue)
Belkin Universal Tablet Stand / Holder for Most Tablets including iPad, Galaxy Tab and Kindle (Blue)
Offered by CrazyLittleDeals
Price: $10.95
10 used & new from $5.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty basic, but it works just fine, May 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a handy little accessory for tablets. My iPad Air fits nicely in the slot, although I would imagine any tablet larger than that might need something a bit larger to support it. There's an opening for the "home" button when the tablet is displayed upright at a 15 degree angle. I didn't really see much use for the option of laying the device flat (well, at a 30 degree angle), but I guess for people that do a lot of typing, it would be a good feature. No frills, just functionality.


Xscape
Xscape
Price: $11.99
96 used & new from $7.62

9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thriller or Filler?, May 13, 2014
This review is from: Xscape (Audio CD)
OK, I've always like MJ's music. Honestly, would anyone who ISN'T a fan even care about this release? So, just like a I did with the 2010 release "Michael," I snatched this one up right away. And although I'll admit there are a few catchy tunes, the overall result feels like the songs are exactly what they are: outtakes that never made it onto an official album.

The problem isn't necessarily in the production, although Timbaland's bass-heavy beats do become repetitive. In fact the only track that I feel is sabotaged by the modern production is "A Place With No Name," which virtually recreates the melody from "Leave Me Alone" (the song itself was never original; it's a take on America's hit "A Horse With No Name").

Speaking of originality, I think that's the main problem here. With very few exceptions, ALL of Jackson's past hits were written by the King of Pop himself. In mining the vault for these cuts, album producer L.A. Reid has picked a few tracks that either weren't written by Jackson, or were collaborations with other writers. And the fact is that, while there's only one truly terrible song ("Do You Know Where Your Children Are"), the majority of the 8 cuts are simply average.

The Deluxe Edition offers a sort of double-edge sword for fans. In addition to the 8 re-worked tracks, we are treated to the original versions as Reid uncovered them. While some of them sound very much like barely-finished demos, the fact is they sound more like Michael Jackson than the modern versions. Also, the variety of the material, which spans over two decades, works against the album as a whole. Few would argue that the MJ vocal instrument was at its peak during the time of 1983's "Love Never Felt So Good." But does it belong on the same album with an excised track from 1999 ("Blue Gangsta")?

The Deluxe Version also offers a brief DVD documentary, in which Reid, Timbaland and other producers share their thoughts on the creative process, and how Michael Jackson influenced each of them. It's hard to fault the guys for their sincerity, although it is at times almost comical to watch Reid be so affected by such adequate but uninspired music.

Bottom line: Hardcore fans will want to have this in their collection. But for anyone who's on the fence about it, I'd suggest sampling all the tracks first to get a feel for it. At the end of the day, it's still 17 Michael Jackson tracks that we might never have had access to. . .so that's hardly a waste of time. Speaking for myself, though, it's just not going to be an album I revisit with much frequency.


Ingenuity Washable Playard With Dream Centre, Shiloh
Ingenuity Washable Playard With Dream Centre, Shiloh
Price: $179.99
10 used & new from $147.59

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of its kind, May 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A playard (or "pack 'n play" as they are often called) is one of those baby items you really only need to buy once. And this one by Ingenuity is the only one you need. It has all the standard accoutrements one looks for: changing table, comfy bassinette, various musical tones, a fold-up 'n go design. . .and one thing most other don't have--it can be folded up and tossed in the washing machine. And if you don't think that's a selling point, well then you've never had a baby.

My only minor sore point might be that taking the unit apart and putting it back to together takes practice and a little patience. But that's probably any of these portable playpens. It also appear fairly durable, so I expect I won't have to buy another to replace it before my baby girl is too big for it. Definitely recommended.


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