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OrangeCrush "Still shooting with Film!" RSS Feed (Farmington Hills, MI USA)

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Xbox One Kinect Sensor Bar
Xbox One Kinect Sensor Bar
2 used & new from $134.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing!!, December 9, 2014
To start this off, I will openly admit that I am not a fan of motion controlled gaming. Maybe its because I have been gaming for 30+ years with some sort of controller in my hand. Whatever the reason, I just vastly prefer a controller in my hand as opposed to motion controls. That being said, I absolutely LOVE what Kinect bring to the Xbox One console outside of motion controlled gaming.

My single favorite feature that Kinect brings to the console is without question Skype. I have a cousin who lives down in Florida and we play online games together at least 3-4 times a week. We actually grew up together in Michigan and we were both video game nuts back in the day. I still remember the all nighters we used to pull playing games like Karateka and the Sierra and LucasArts adventure games. Unfortunately, he moved down to Florida with his parents when I was roughly 13. As soon as Xbox Live went live back with the original Xbox, we started playing games together online. We both enjoy the same types of games so its just really great being able to play games with him even tho is he almost 1000 miles away. Anyways, we both purchased an Xbox One at launch and decided to give Skype a go. All you do is start Skype up and snap it to the edge of the frame and your good to go. The difference was truly amazing. As nice as it was playing online together, being able to see each other while playing was just amazing. Being able to see each others reactions to whats occurring in game really does make it just a vastly superior experience overall. A lot of times, well just pause the game for 5-10 minutes and just catch up with each other. Ultimately, Skype is just a FAR more personal experience than regular online gaming and after 6+ months of using this feature....well, I simply couldn't imagine going back to the way things used to be without Skype. It truly raises the overall experience a couple of notches.

I have also become a big fan of the voice controls that Kinect enable. Being able to walk into the room and say "Xbox On", and then being able to direct Xbox One to the game I want to play, even before I am am sitting down and have the controller in hand is just really convenient. Its a bit weird talking to your console at first, but give it a week or two and it becomes as natural as pressing buttons. Not only is it really convenient, its also faster than using a controller. Another big plus is Kinect being able to automatically recognize each user and automatically selecting the console settings for that particular user.

Last but not least, I purchased the Master Chief Collection a few weeks back and inside that game was a redemption card for the Halo TV Series, Nightfall. There was a code that you could enter or there was a big scan code on the back of the card. I absolutely HATE entering in those kinds of codes using game controllers. Its one of my biggest pet peeves with consoles in general. For some reason, Netflix used to make me sign in every time I visited the site on my Xbox 360 and it was just a total pain having to enter that info time and time again, especial using a game controller. Anyways, I had never used one of those scan codes before so I simply held up the card in front of the Kinect sensor to see if anything would happen. It instantly recognized the code and entered it into my account. I immediately got a message on screen telling me that Nightfall had been added to my account. It took all of 2 seconds and was honestly one of the easiest things I have ever done. This may not be a big deal to some, but for me.....well, I absolutely LOVE the fact that I can use those scan codes now, as opposed to entering those ridiculously long codes using my game controller. I was just in awe at how easy and convenient that whole process was. It really was instantaneous.

Its also important to note that this is definitely NOT your Xbox 360 Kinect. The Xbox One Kinect is one hardcore piece of optical equipment. You will recognize that the minute you pick it up and see it with your own eyes. Its just a quality piece of equipment, well beyond the quality of the Xbox 360 Kinect. I was actually blown away at the overall quality of this accessory. It truly is a beautiful little camera.

I actually purchased a 2nd Xbox One, the White Sunset Overdrive Bundle, and that doesn't come with a Kinect camera. I set that console up in my bedroom and my original Xbox One is set up in my living room. Since the white Xbox One doesn't have a Kinect camera, its given me the opportunity to jump back and forth between my Xbox One that has a Kinect and my Xbox One that doesn't have a Kinect. As beautiful as the white Xbox One is, it just feels empty without a Kinect. In all honesty, it really doesn't even feel like the same console. It only took about a week before I decided I was definitely buying a 2nd Kinect for my white Xbox One. Hopefully MS will release a white Kinect. If they don't, I will simply buy a standard version and spray paint it white.

Bottom line - even if your like me and absolutely hate motion control gaming, there are still plenty of reasons why you would want to add a Kinect to your console and I have no doubt that as time goes on, there will only be more reasons for wanting to own one. At least for me, Skype is the only app I need to make Kinect a worthwhile investment. Everything else is just a bonus in my book. Skype has significantly improved my online game sessions with my cousin and again, I just couldn't imagine going back to gaming without it. I was actually one of the people who was legitimately upset with MS that they were making me buy a Kinect with my Xbox One. I owned one for my Xbox 360 and I never used it. I felt like I was spending $100 on something I was never going to use, that is until I actually used it. Now.....well, now I can't imagine an Xbox One without it.

5 Stars!!

Edit:

I wanted to add to this review as I just discovered another very cool voice command with Kinect, the "Xbox Record that" command. At any time during your gameplay, you can simply say "Xbox Record That" and it will automatically record the previous 15-20 seconds of gameplay. For people that like to upload game clips or highlight clips, its a really cool feature, one that doesn't require any game stoppage at all. You can just continue on playing without interruption. The longer I use Kinect, the more I realize its all about convenience. Sure, you can still do a lot of the things even without Kinect, but it won't be as easy and convenient as the Kinect commands. I really have to give credit to MS on this front. They took Kinect and made it FAR more than just motion controlled gaming. Clearly a lot of thought went into how to make this console as simple and easy to use as possible and having Kinect really makes all the difference in the world on this front. As I said before, I just can't imagine using an Xbox One without it now.


Xbox One Kinect Sensor with Dance Central Spotlight
Xbox One Kinect Sensor with Dance Central Spotlight
8 used & new from $149.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing!!, December 9, 2014
To start this off, I will openly admit that I am not a fan of motion controlled gaming. Maybe its because I have been gaming for 30+ years with some sort of controller in my hand. Whatever the reason, I just vastly prefer a controller in my hand as opposed to motion controls. That being said, I absolutely LOVE what Kinect bring to the Xbox One console outside of motion controlled gaming.

My single favorite feature that Kinect brings to the console is without question Skype. I have a cousin who lives down in Florida and we play online games together at least 3-4 times a week. We actually grew up together in Michigan and we were both video game nuts back in the day. I still remember the all nighters we used to pull playing games like Karateka and the Sierra and LucasArts adventure games. Unfortunately, he moved down to Florida with his parents when I was roughly 13. As soon as Xbox Live went live back with the original Xbox, we started playing games together online. We both enjoy the same types of games so its just really great being able to play games with him even tho is he almost 1000 miles away. Anyways, we both purchased an Xbox One at launch and decided to give Skype a go. All you do is start Skype up and snap it to the edge of the frame and your good to go. The difference was truly amazing. As nice as it was playing online together, being able to see each other while playing was just amazing. Being able to see each others reactions to whats occurring in game really does make it just a vastly superior experience overall. A lot of times, well just pause the game for 5-10 minutes and just catch up with each other. Ultimately, Skype is just a FAR more personal experience than regular online gaming and after 6+ months of using this feature....well, I simply couldn't imagine going back to the way things used to be without Skype. It truly raises the overall experience a couple of notches.

I have also become a big fan of the voice controls that Kinect enable. Being able to walk into the room and say "Xbox On", and then being able to direct Xbox One to the game I want to play, even before I am am sitting down and have the controller in hand is just really convenient. Its a bit weird talking to your console at first, but give it a week or two and it becomes as natural as pressing buttons. Not only is it really convenient, its also faster than using a controller. Another big plus is Kinect being able to automatically recognize each user and automatically selecting the console settings for that particular user.

Last but not least, I purchased the Master Chief Collection a few weeks back and inside that game was a redemption card for the Halo TV Series, Nightfall. There was a code that you could enter or there was a big scan code on the back of the card. I absolutely HATE entering in those kinds of codes using game controllers. Its one of my biggest pet peeves with consoles in general. For some reason, Netflix used to make me sign in every time I visited the site on my Xbox 360 and it was just a total pain having to enter that info time and time again, especial using a game controller. Anyways, I had never used one of those scan codes before so I simply held up the card in front of the Kinect sensor to see if anything would happen. It instantly recognized the code and entered it into my account. I immediately got a message on screen telling me that Nightfall had been added to my account. It took all of 2 seconds and was honestly one of the easiest things I have ever done. This may not be a big deal to some, but for me.....well, I absolutely LOVE the fact that I can use those scan codes now, as opposed to entering those ridiculously long codes using my game controller. I was just in awe at how easy and convenient that whole process was. It really was instantaneous.

Its also important to note that this is definitely NOT your Xbox 360 Kinect. The Xbox One Kinect is one hardcore piece of optical equipment. You will recognize that the minute you pick it up and see it with your own eyes. Its just a quality piece of equipment, well beyond the quality of the Xbox 360 Kinect. I was actually blown away at the overall quality of this accessory. It truly is a beautiful little camera.

I actually purchased a 2nd Xbox One, the White Sunset Overdrive Bundle, and that doesn't come with a Kinect camera. I set that console up in my bedroom and my original Xbox One is set up in my living room. Since the white Xbox One doesn't have a Kinect camera, its given me the opportunity to jump back and forth between my Xbox One that has a Kinect and my Xbox One that doesn't have a Kinect. As beautiful as the white Xbox One is, it just feels empty without a Kinect. In all honesty, it really doesn't even feel like the same console. It only took about a week before I decided I was definitely buying a 2nd Kinect for my white Xbox One. Hopefully MS will release a white Kinect. If they don't, I will simply buy a standard version and spray paint it white.

Bottom line - even if your like me and absolutely hate motion control gaming, there are still plenty of reasons why you would want to add a Kinect to your console and I have no doubt that as time goes on, there will only be more reasons for wanting to own one. At least for me, Skype is the only app I need to make Kinect a worthwhile investment. Everything else is just a bonus in my book. Skype has significantly improved my online game sessions with my cousin and again, I just couldn't imagine going back to gaming without it. I was actually one of the people who was legitimately upset with MS that they were making me buy a Kinect with my Xbox One. I owned one for my Xbox 360 and I never used it. I felt like I was spending $100 on something I was never going to use, that is until I actually used it. Now.....well, now I can't imagine an Xbox One without it.

5 Stars!!

Edit:

I wanted to add to this review as I just discovered another very cool voice command with Kinect, the "Xbox Record that" command. At any time during your gameplay, you can simply say "Xbox Record That" and it will automatically record the previous 15-20 seconds of gameplay. For people that like to upload game clips or highlight clips, its a really cool feature, one that doesn't require any game stoppage at all. You can just continue on playing without interruption. The longer I use Kinect, the more I realize its all about convenience. Sure, you can still do a lot of the things even without Kinect, but it won't be as easy and convenient as the Kinect commands. I really have to give credit to MS on this front. They took Kinect and made it FAR more than just motion controlled gaming. Clearly a lot of thought went into how to make this console as simple and easy to use as possible and having Kinect really makes all the difference in the world on this front. As I said before, I just can't imagine using an Xbox One without it now.


Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix, 29 oz
Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix, 29 oz
Offered by Your Buddy Stan
Price: $9.99
17 used & new from $5.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Has Become a Favorite in Our Household!!, December 8, 2014
We first started using Red Bob like 3-4 years back. Fast forward to today and Red Bob products can be found everywhere in our kitchen. I really have yet to come across a Red Bob product that I don't like. That said, there are definitely a few that stick out above the others and Red Bob's 13 Bean mix is definitely one of them. We initially made this mix plain, just using the beans and Red Bob's seasoning packets. Then my wife mentioned buying a ham bone from Honey Baked Ham and making ham & bean soup using Red Bob's mix. For those unaware, you can buy ham bones from any Honey Baked Ham store. They are already bagged and can be found in the frozen section. There is actually a TON of meat left on those bones, a perfect amount for full bag of Red Bob's 13 Bean MIx.

We use a full package of Red Bob's 13 Bean Soup Mix when making our soup as again, its a perfect amount to use with a ham bone from Honey Baked. We just open up a package of Red Bob's 13 Bean Soup Mix, dump it into a large bowl, fill the bowl with water until all of the beans are covered, and let the beans soak overnight. The next day we rinse the beans with water and put them in a large pot. We then add 4 1/2 quarts of water, 2 Tbsp's of Red Bob's Bean Soup Seasoning Mix, and throw in the ham bone from Honey Baked. We bring it to a boil and then simmer for roughly 2 hours. At about the 30 minute mark, we pull the ham bone out of the soup and start cutting the ham off the bone and into small bite sized pieces. At that point, the ham will be tender and very easy to cut. We then put the small piece of ham and the ham bone back into the soup for the remainder of the cooking time. It smells FANTASTIC when its cooking. When its finally done, we take the ham bone back out, remove any ham that might be left on the bone and throw it away.

We thoroughly enjoy Red Bob's 13 Bean Soup Mix by itself, but adding a Honey Baked Ham Bone to the soup....well, its really kicks it up a notch! Its absolutely amazing!! If you enjoy bean and ham soup, you really owe it to yourself to give this a try. Its actually hard going back to just the basic 13 bean soup mix once you have had the Honey Baked Ham in there. All in all, this has become one of our favorite soups. Its just super hearty, perfect for the colder months. Total time, around 2 hours once the beans have soaked overnight. Homemade bean or ham/bean soup in just 2 hours....well, whats not to like about that. Definitely one of Red Bob's best products. If your a soup fan or love beans in general, you really can't go wrong with this one.

5 Stars and then some!!


Bob's Red Mill Soup Mix, 13 Bean, 29-Ounce Units (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Soup Mix, 13 Bean, 29-Ounce Units (Pack of 4)
Price: $20.76
19 used & new from $17.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Has Become a Favorite in Our Household!!, December 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We first started using Red Bob like 3-4 years back. Fast forward to today and Red Bob products can be found everywhere in our kitchen. I really have yet to come across a Red Bob product that I don't like. That said, there are definitely a few that stick out above the others and Red Bob's 13 Bean mix is definitely one of them. We initially made this mix plain, just using the beans and Red Bob's seasoning packets. Then my wife mentioned buying a ham bone from Honey Baked Ham and making ham & bean soup using Red Bob's mix. For those unaware, you can buy ham bones from any Honey Baked Ham store. They are already bagged and can be found in the frozen section. There is actually a TON of meat left on those bones, a perfect amount for full bag of Red Bob's 13 Bean MIx.

We use a full package of Red Bob's 13 Bean Soup Mix when making our soup as again, its a perfect amount to use with a ham bone from Honey Baked. We just open up a package of Red Bob's 13 Bean Soup Mix, dump it into a large bowl, fill the bowl with water until all of the beans are covered, and let the beans soak overnight. The next day we rinse the beans with water and put them in a large pot. We then add 4 1/2 quarts of water, 2 Tbsp's of Red Bob's Bean Soup Seasoning Mix, and throw in the ham bone from Honey Baked. We bring it to a boil and then simmer for roughly 2 hours. At about the 30 minute mark, we pull the ham bone out of the soup and start cutting the ham off the bone and into small bite sized pieces. At that point, the ham will be tender and very easy to cut. We then put the cut pieces of ham and the ham bone back into the soup for the remainder of the cooking time. It smells absolutely FANTASTIC when its cooking. When its finally done, we take the ham bone back out, remove any ham that might be left on the bone and throw it away.

We thoroughly enjoy Red Bob's 13 Bean Soup Mix by itself, but adding a Honey Baked Ham Bone to the soup....well, its really kicks it up a notch! Its absolutely amazing!! If you enjoy bean and ham soup, you really owe it to yourself to give this a try. Its actually hard going back to just the basic 13 bean soup mix once you have had the Honey Baked Ham in there. All in all, this has become one of our favorite soups. Its just super hearty, perfect for the colder months. Total time, around 2 hours once the beans have soaked overnight. Homemade bean or ham/bean soup in just 2 hours....well, whats not to like about that. Definitely one of Red Bob's best products. If your a soup fan or love beans in general, you really can't go wrong with this one.

5 Stars and then some!!


Birds of Steel - Xbox 360
Birds of Steel - Xbox 360
Offered by Shark Distributors
Price: $25.80
38 used & new from $19.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Believe It Took Me This Long to Play This - Absolutely Brilliant!!, December 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I hate to admit this, but I purchased this game back in September of 2012 and I finally got around to playing it for the first time a few weeks back. Unfortunately, thats one of the downfalls of having such a massive backlog of games, games like this can easily get swallowed up and forgotten. Anyways, in the mood for a flying game, I finally decided to unwrap this baby and finally give it a spin. Now that I have done so, I am in absolute awe that it took me this long to finally play this game. As the title of my review states, its absolutely brilliant!

One of the best aspects of this game is its as difficult as you want it to be. It has various difficulty setting which take it all the way from being easy, to extremely challenging, and I do mean challenging!! The amount of content included is really impressive. Most games pale in comparison. There is campiagn, dynamic campaign, tournaments, versus, events and if that wasn't enough, there is an editor that allows you to make your own missions. Again, most games pale in comparison!

All that being said, its the game itself that really shines. Its just brilliant with everything that you would expect from a great flight simulator. The combat is tense and exhilarating and the graphics are beautiful. Each of the planes have a unique feel to them and are rendered in amazing detail. Not to mention, the damage modeling has to be seen to be believed.This is honestly the best combat oriented flight game I have ever played, BY FAR!! I honesty can't think of another game that I enjoyed this much.

Bottom line - I enjoy writing reviews, but I rarely do so for video games. It really takes an incredible game to motivate me to write a review for it. So the fact that I am even writing this review is a testament to this games quality. The fact that I had this game for over 2 years before actually playing it is a just a crime. This is without question the single best combat flight sim I have ever played on a console, by far. If your looking for a quality combat oriented flight sim....look no further. This is really as good as it gets. I sincerely hope we see a Birds of Steel 2 for Xbox One/PS4 someday soon. It would be a real crime not to have a single sequel for this game.

5 stars and then some!!


Terraria - Xbox One
Terraria - Xbox One
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $29.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Indie Games Out There...Now on Xbox One/PS4., December 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Terraria - Xbox One (Video Game)
I wound up buying Terraria based on a recommendation of a friend. I had initially written it off as some sort of Minecraft clone and to be perfectly honest, I think I am one of the only people in the world that do not really care for Minecraft. I just have a really hard time getting past the low resolution textures and graphics. Anyways, one of my good gaming freinds told me that while it did have similar aspects to it, that of building and resource gathering, it had many aspects that made it very different from Minecraft. I am a big fan of 2D sidescrolling games in general so I decided to take a chance and bought it on Xbox Live Arcade. I basically spent the next week completely immersed in this game.

For those unaware, Terraria is basically a 2D sandbox style exploration game. One of the best aspects to Terraria is the world is randomly generated at the start of the game. This type of randomly generated world/dungeon is becoming more and more popular in the gaming world and for good reason. It significantly adds to the replayability of a particular game. Terraria does have many things in common with Minecraft. Like Minecraft, the heart of the game is exploring, collecting materials, and crafting an ever increasing number of items available to you. You start off in the forest, but Terraria has many different biomes with which to explore, each offering unique items with which to craft with. By the time you get 8-10 hours into Terraria, you will already have a large number of items that you can create, including various types of armor and weapons. One of the best items in the game is the rocket boots that one can craft. They allow one to traverse long distances in quick measure. Not to mention, its just fun flying around in rocket boots!

One of the biggest differences between Minecraft and Terraria lies in the fact that combat plays a much larger role in Terraria and that is ultimately one of my favorite asepcts about the game. On top of there being enemies galore, all over Terraria's map, you also have the added bonus of multiple boss monsters that one can summon at certain points in the game. The big eye you see on the XBox 360 Terraria box art is one of these bosses, The Eye of Cthulu. The bosses are definitely challenging, especially if your playing the game solo. Playing Terraria with friends is definitely fun, but I actually prefer to play solo a lot of the time as its a much more challenging game when your going it solo.

There is a small tutorial at the beginning of the game that gives you a basic idea of the games mechanics and how you go about collecting resources and building items, but its short and not very in depth. That actually wound up being one of my favorite aspects to Terraria, the fact that it just basically throws you into the world and you have to really figure everything out on your own. I can see where this might annoy some people, but I absolutely loved this aspect of the game. Slowly buy surely you learn more and more about the world of Terraria. Its just makes the whole exploration aspect to Terraria that much more exciting. Another interesting aspect to Terraria is the NPC's that populate the world. There are NPC's that will come and live in your shelter, but only if they have thier own furnished rooms. There are various NPC's, each offering various services including healing, selling items, etc. It definitey adds incentive for creating a really nice home base.

If there is one aspect of Terraria that I found disappointing, its that its completely void of any sort of story or quests. As amazing as Terraria is, it would have just been that much better if the game actually had a story and quests. Personally, I think that is the next step for this genre, adding a story and various quests. A Terraria styled RPG, one that had a story and quests, now that would be an absolutely amazing game.

I am such a big Terraria fan now that I wound up updating to the Xbox One version right away and unfortunately, the developers did not include a slider to adjust the overall zoom level for the game. Basically, the Xbox One game is running at a much higher resolution, which means your able to see a much larger portion of the game world at one time. Of course, this also means that everything is much smaller, which becomes problematic on an HDTV as everything is just too small when your sitting at a distance, which most people do with HDTV's. In order to play it, you really have to sit much closer than you normally would. The good news is that a fix is currently underway. They are working on a slider that can be accessed from the pause menu that will allow for players to adjust the overall zoom level. Hopefully they will get this update out asap as this is really a vital aspect to being able to enjoy Terraria on Xbox One, at least the way it should be enjoyed.

Its important to note that the Xbox One version is running the 1.2 update so it is basically the same game as the Xbox 360/PS3 game updated to 1.2. There are a few extras however. On top of that, its 3 times larger than the previous release on Xbox 360/PS3. So basically you can create one massive sized world now, although I am not sure if that is really a positive, lol. I just hope 505 has plans to update this version with the 1.3 update asap!! That update looks like its going to be the best one yet!! It would be a real shame if console versions had to wait a long time to get that content. Hopefully they get it out in a timely manner! If there is one negative in regards to the Xbox One release, besides of course the lack of a zoom slider which again is being addressed, its the overall price. At $29.99, its $10.00 more than the previous console versions. I just don't agree with that level of pricing at all. If anything, it should be the same price level as the original release. There is really nothing here that would dictate a 50% rise in price. That said, I am still giving this game a 5 star rating as there is still plenty enough here to make it well worth the purchase, even at the $29.99 price point. I regularly spend $40-60 on games that normally give me anywhere from 10 to 25 hours of play time so a $30 dollar title that gives me 200+ hours of play time is......well, again its easily worth it even at the new price level.

Bottom line - Besides the zoom slider and the $10 rise in price, this game is a home run in every way imaginable. Again, the zoom slider is being worked on right now so hopefully that will be out soon. Until then, you can always pop a squat a little closer to your HTDV or simply wait until the zoom slider patch is released before buying the game. Terraria is easily one of my favorite games of the Xbox 360/PS3 generation and the fact that its now available on the Xbox One....well, thats a very good thing in my book. Wether your new to the series or a fan wanting to update to the next gen version, this is one purchase you won't regret.

5 Stars!!


Heavy Metal: 25 Years of Covers
Heavy Metal: 25 Years of Covers
by John Workman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.82
27 used & new from $11.91

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Fans of Heavy Metal!, December 6, 2014
If you a fan of pin-ups, science fiction, or fantasy art in general, you no doubt know the Heavy Metal name. Started in 1977, Heavy Metal is a science fiction/fantasy comics magazine that is heavily influenced by both erotica and pin-up styled art. Many internationally renowned artists have graced the pages of this magazine through the years including H.R. Giger, Frank Frazetta, and Luis Royo. This book is a culmination of 25 years of Heavy Metal covers, basically 1977 to 2001.

What I find most interesting about this book is its literally like a time machine. You might not expect this kind of art to change so drastically over a period of 25 years, but it did, quite dramatically in fact. Going from 1977 to 2001, you can clearly see the changes that were occurring at the time as the covers really are an amazing representation of the art of that time. Its just really interesting seeing the art style transform over such a period of time. Even the bad hair of the 80's can be seen in here, lol. All in all, this is just a great book for Heavy Metal fans, pin-up fans, fantasy art fans, etc.

My only disappointment lies in the fact that they stopped at 2001. They really should have made it 35 years of classic covers and brought the date up to 2011 instead of 2001. In my opinion, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of high quality pin-up styled artwork released over the last 15 years. Basically, the years of 2002 to 2014 were easily some of the strongest yet for Heavy Metal covers. Not to mention, we continued to see big changes in the overall style of the artwork itself. I personally attribute a lot of this to the advent of digital artwork programs like Photoshop. It allows artists to work faster and more effectively. It also allows artists to experiment more freely. Including the 2002-2012 covers would have made the time machine aspect that I spoke about up above all the more interesting. It would have been great seeing all of Heavy Metals covers in a single volume. There will no doubt be a 2nd book somewhere down the line, one that will cover the more modern years. That said, I would much rather have had it all in a single volume.

There is actually a 1 star review currently up on Amazon. The reason why this reviewer gave this book a 1 star rating is because the book contained nothing but covers. Basically, he didn't read the product description and wound up getting something completely different than what he expected, even tho it says "25 Years of Classic Covers" right on the cover of the book!! Ultimately, this is just another perfect example of lazy buyers who can't take the 20 seconds required to read a product description or even researching the book online before buying it. They then turn around and give the product a low rating when really they have nobody to blame but themselves for receiving a product that was different from what they expected. Personally, I absolutely LOVE the idea of hard cover books that concentrate solely on cover runs. In fact, I just wrote a review on Amazon regarding Dynamites New Vampirella art book. That book contains every single cover from Dynamites first Vampirella series and it ultimately of my single favorite aspects about the book. I really hope we see more art books that focus solely on covers.

Bottom line - Heavy Metal 25 Years of Classic Covers is a great book, for both art fans and Heavy Metal fans alike. Every cover from 1977 to 2001 in included here. Its not often that we get to compare such a large body of work, spanning such a long period of time. Again, it really highlights the overall changes that occurred in the medium itself and that is ultimately one of the books best aspects. Had this been 35 years of covers and included the years from 2002-2012, I would have given it a 5 star rating. Unfortunately, given its current content....well, its missing many of Heavy Metal's best covers to date so it feels a bit incomplete. Hopefully, once they reach the 40 year mark, which should be in 2017, they will release an updated version of this book that contains all of its covers in a single volume. Until then however, this book will definitely do!!

4 Stars!


And the Band Played On
And the Band Played On
DVD ~ Matthew Modine
Price: $5.89
30 used & new from $1.80

5.0 out of 5 stars HBO's Best film to date!, November 30, 2014
This review is from: And the Band Played On (DVD)
I just got done watching this again this last weekend and its just amazing how well this film stands the test of time. Its as powerful of a film as it was 10 years ago. In my opinion, this is HBO's best movie to date and that is really saying something as HBO doesn't fool around when making films. They have made some absolute masterpieces! This film tells the story of the beginning days of the AIDS virus, as told from the perspective of a small lab of doctors who set out to discover exactly what this new disease really was. Its a heart wrenching story and you will be shocked at just how our government and the various medical agencies handled this disease at the onset. I think this is Mathew Modine's strongest performance to date and Ian Mckellen puts in an absolutely BRILLIANT performance. The sheer number of cameo's in this film is really quite stunning! Just to name a few, you have Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Anjelica Houston, Phil Colllins, etc. The film finishes off by honoring many of the people that have died of AIDS. Its just incredibly powerful stuff!!

All in all, And the Band Played On is easily one of the best films the last 20+ years running! If by chance you haven't already seen it, BUY this DVD ASAP!! This is one film that everybody should see, regardless of their personal beliefs.

If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would!


Knox 16 Bay Smart Fast Charging Ni-MH AA/AAA Battery Charger + 12 AA (2100 mAh) & 4 AAA (1000 mAh) Rechargeable Batteries Included
Knox 16 Bay Smart Fast Charging Ni-MH AA/AAA Battery Charger + 12 AA (2100 mAh) & 4 AAA (1000 mAh) Rechargeable Batteries Included
Offered by aSavings
Price: $59.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely LOVE it!!, November 30, 2014
Just received this as an early Xmas present from one of my sisters. I have been a big proponent of rechargeable batteries for a number of years, but for some reason I just never got around to buying a quality charger. I used a cheap Energizer charger that I have owned for FAR too long. It made charging the batteries a total pain. To charge all of my batteries, it basically took like 4 days. I just had to keep an eye on the charger and keep switching out batteries. A total pain in the rear end!! Anyways, its something I have complained about openly on many occassions so I guess my sister took it upon herself to finally fix this issue.

I could tell when I first opened it up that this was just a whole different league of charger. It really does have quality written all over it. The best part about this charger is the sheer number of batteries that you can charge, 16 at a time, which is roughly 3 times bigger than my old unit. The LCD displays are super easy to read, even in daylight, and the display is easy enough for a child to understand. It simply shows a picture of a battery and as it charges, it fills up with black lines. With my old charger, it was impossible to tell just how much charge a particular battery had. With this unit, you can throw a battery on there and get a reasonable idea of how much charge that battery has left. I also worried about the overall safety of my old unit so the fact that this unit comes equipped with built-in protection for short-circuits, over-current, and over-heating is a big relief.

It used to take me more than 3 days to charge all of my rechargeable batteries, but this unit has knocked that down to a single day. I primarily use Eneloop rechargeable batteries and I got recharge times of around 4 hours with this unit. That means I can charge 48 batteries in a single 12 hour period!! If your looking for a quality rapid charging station that can handle a large number of batteries than look no further. I should have updated to one of these stations a LONG time ago. Learn from my mistake. Recharging batteries doesn't have to be a total pain! If your using a slow outdated charger like I was, order one of these as soon as possible! Stop putting it off like I did! It honestly brings enjoyment back to using rechargeable batteries again. I now consider a station like this to be absolutely mandatory and I will never go without one ever again. If your going to use rechargeable batteries, which in all honesty everyone should, buy a quality charger like the Knox 16 bay. Its worth every penny and then some!!

5 Stars!!


JOE JUSKO: Savage Beauty
JOE JUSKO: Savage Beauty
by Joe Jusko
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Beautiful Art Book!!, November 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Joe Jusko is one of the worlds most famous fantasy/comic artists and for good reason. He just has a TON of talent and a really unique style. Joe's style is really like a perfect cross between the more realistic styles seen by artists like Lucio Parrillo and Alex Ross and the more comic book style artwork that you see with artists like J. Scott campbell and Michael Turner and even tho their styles were very different, Jusko's female work reminds me a lot of Michael Turner's work. Both of their female work is just infused with sexiness, yet its all tastefully done and that is something that is getting rarer and rarer in the modern comic market. A lot of bad girl art today is just overtly sexual in nature. It really makes me miss Michael Turner all the more as I am just not a fan of overtly sexual comic art. I think artwork like Joe's and Michael's is just a thousand time sexier. Basically, subtly sexy when done right is just a million times sexier than overtly sexual artwork and joe has really become a master in this regard. Even his work that starts to push the boundary of overtly sexual are really tastefully done. His Dejah Thoris #5 cover is a perfect example.

I actually wasn't even aware this book even existed until I stumbled onto it at Amazon. I am a huge fan of Joe's so I immediately ordered a copy. I was not disappointed in the least. This book has a great assortment of Joe's work including work of Vampirella, Red Sonja, Conan, Shi, Jungle Girl, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman, and even the Wizard of Oz. All in all, its just a great assortment of work from one of the comic industries leading talents. There is really something for everyone in here, regardless of your tastes. It would have been nice if the book was a bit larger, but the quality of the work itself is so amazing that it more than makes up for the books size. If your a fan of Joe's work than this book should be considered a mandatory addition to your collection.

5 Stars!


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