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The Spider-Man Chronicles: The Art and Making of Spider-Man 3
The Spider-Man Chronicles: The Art and Making of Spider-Man 3
by Grant Curtis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $50.00
38 used & new from $2.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blow-by-blow tour of Spidey 3's creation, May 3, 2007
The summer Hollywood blockbuster season is nigh upon us, and it's going to be quite a ride. Itchy fans will get a new fix of many of their favorites including Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates III, Shrek III, Harry and the Hogwarts gang, and the mighty Spidey threequel. Things officially kick off with the May 4 release of director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, with everyone's favorite web slinger this time taking on a trio of baddies--Sandman, the New Goblin, and Venom--while still grappling with his own inner turmoil. Curtis, the film's producer, takes fans on a blow-by-blow tour of Raimi's creation, highlighting the crafting of the original story, casting, costume design, and, of course, the stunning visual effects. A healthy portion of the text is dedicated to Curtis's production diary covering the daily shooting activities inside studio sets and on location in LA, New York City (again including NYPL's Fifth Avenue gem), and Brooklyn, giving lay readers an appreciation of just how monstrous and minutely detailed a production of this scale truly is. Pictures sell a book like this, and Chronicle's quality shines. Illustrations and photos are plentiful and range from thumbnails to two-page spreads (more finished costume pix over concept art would be nice, but that's nitpicking). With the series first two films scoring big time, Spider-Man 3 should be a slam dunk (online ticket sales reportedly are triple that of Spider-Man 2), so this book will have great browse appeal for fans, and film students will lap up Curtis's production notes. Recommended.--Mike Rogers, Library Journal/LJXpress


The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (Star Wars - Legends)
The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (Star Wars - Legends)
by J. W. Rinzler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $52.94
49 used & new from $39.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shining star in that galaxy far, far away, April 24, 2007
On May 25, 1977, fledgling director George Lucas released his "kids' movie," a white hat/black hat Flash Gordon-esque space adventure featuring archetypal heroes and an ominous masked villain like no other. That kiddy flick remarkably has endured 30 years, spawned five successful sequels, launched a multibillion-dollar empire, and for legions of fiercely devoted followers worldwide is a religion. Love it or not, Star Wars arguably is the biggest pop-culture phenomenon since The Beatles. To honor its 30th anniversary, Rinzler provides an exhaustive record of Lucas's struggle to create Star Wars, its continuously evolving characters/plots, Hollywood's initial rejections, its everything-that-could-go-wrong-did production, and its ultimate unimaginable triumph. On another level, this is a feel-good story of a determined guy who pursued his dream and was rewarded with a kingdom. The film's history unfurls through interviews with Lucas, cast, and crew members offering both positive and negative remembrances, plus script remnants revealing the story's multiple incarnations. And that's just the appetizer! Half the feast--with heaps of dessert--are the never-before-seen production pix and concept art offering serious behind-the-scenes peeks fanboys live for (keep `em coming!). Portions of this info have appeared previously, but never in such fine detail (yo, Del Rey: identical volumes for The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi please!). Rinzler's Making of will be an instant fan fave and a shining star in that galaxy far, far away. Outstanding, especially at this price.


The Children of Hurin
The Children of Hurin
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.90
313 used & new from $0.01

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark yet glorious addition to the Tolkien canon., April 17, 2007
This review is from: The Children of Hurin (Hardcover)
There's been great speculation about this book since its 2006 announcement. Based on a manuscript begun by father J.R.R. in 1918 and reworked throughout his life, son Christopher, who has edited 14 posthumous volumes of his dad's work, spent decades shaping the story's many drafts into this final form. Tolkien's legions of fans--all except those expecting Lord of the Rings Part II--shouldn't be disappointed; it's goooood! But far from hobbits frolicking in the Shire, this is a woeful tale laced with suicide, incest, and murder. Set 6500 years before Rings, the old master delivers new depth to Middle-earth lore, which, by its sheer weight, arguably is modern literature's greatest mythology. Many characters and settings will be familiar to those who've delved beyond Rings, and here we encounter Túrin and NiŽnor, son and daughter to Húrin, a great warrior held captive by Morgoth, the Dark Lord. Once grown, Túrin seeks vengeance against Morgoth, and though mighty in arms and the bane of orcs, Morgoth's icy fingers touch all Túrin's deeds, and doom and darkness surround him. The destiny of sister and brother are intertwined, and their ultimate fate is a family tragedy worthy of Shakespeare. Production wise, the book is a beauty, with nine color paintings and 25 pencil sketches by Tolkien artist Alan Lee, plus a glossary of names, family trees, and the obligatory appendix and map. The Children of Húrin is a dark and brooding yet glorious addition to the Tolkien canon. Welcome back, old friend (and bravo Christopher for bringing it to fruition!). Highly recommended.


Star Wars Chronicles
Star Wars Chronicles
by Deborah Fine
Edition: Hardcover
24 used & new from $150.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible of Star Wars, January 11, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars Chronicles (Hardcover)
Star Wars related books are legion, but the hands down best-and the champion film-tie-in book period-is the [massive (15"x10.5")] Star Wars Chronicles. Just mentioning the book's title can make diehard fanboys cream their trooper armor. Yeah, it's that good. Home costumers, model makers, artists, and prop geeks especially lust after the Chronicles for its rich mine of simply stunning and often unique OT reference photos. Next to a genuine Graflex or MPP lightsaber hilt, the Chronicles is any Star Wars fan's most prized possession.


The Star Wars Poster Book
The Star Wars Poster Book
by Peter Vilmur
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from $37.09

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous collection of 350 international poster illustrations, December 13, 2005
Stephen J. Sansweet and Pablo Hidalgo. Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels. 343p. ISBN 0-8118-4735-7. $150.

Stephen J. Sansweet and Peter Vilmur. The Star Wars Poster Book. 320p. ISBN 0-8118048883-3. $50. ea. vol: Chronicle. 2005. illus. index. film

In the religion of Star Wars (SW), Deborah Fine's original 1997 Star Wars Chronicles (SWC) is the Bible. Call this Prequels edition the New Testament. The mighty `97 SWC is every diehard SW geekasaurus's wet dream, and is lovingly cherished by home model/costume makers and prop replicators for its plethora of kickass reference photos. This sequel highlights Episodes I-III, aka The Prequels, plus the Cartoon Network's gangbusters animated Clone Wars series. Written by Stephen Sansweet, the noted LucasFilm Limited's (LFL) insider and guru of all things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, this update is a worthy heir to the original. The text is minimal, limited mostly to captions, but the whopping 3000 photos and illustrations of characters, ships and vehicles, weaponry, droids, and virtually everything viewed on screen are a sumptuous feast. This Prequels volume outshines its predecessor when it comes to detailing costumes and especially props (SW is all about the props, baby). Where Fine offered a scant few lightsaber pix-which obsessed fans since have scrutinized like the shroud of Turin-Sansweet's SWC is an absolute treasure trove of blaster and especially saber pix from multiple angles, including close-ups of emitters and end caps (woohoo!-thanks, Stephen!). There's seriously cool stuff in here, and Prequel heads will want to dive into this book and never come out. Switching gears, Sansweet is joined by Vilmur, LFL content developer and fellow SW junkie, to produce this ultimate SW film posters collection. The book boasts 350 international poster illustrations, including one-sheets, lobby posters, billboard spreads, and other advertising resources produced by artists ranging from the Brothers Hildebrandt to the great Drew Struzan. A portion of the works were never used and appear here for the very first time. Whether your taste runs to the Original Trilogy or the Prequels, Sansweet's duo will make SW fans reach nirvana.

-Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"


Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels
by Pablo Hidalgo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $97.41
57 used & new from $45.35

5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy heir to the original SW Chronicles, December 13, 2005
Stephen J.Sansweet and Pablo Hidalgo. Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels. 343p. ISBN 0-8118-4735-7. $150.

Stephen J.Sansweet and Peter Vilmur. The Star Wars Poster Book. 320p. ISBN 0-8118048883-3. $50. ea. vol: Chronicle. 2005. illus. index. film

In the religion of Star Wars (SW), Deborah Fine's original 1997 Star Wars Chronicles (SWC) is the Bible. Call this Prequels edition the New Testament. The mighty `97 SWC is every diehard SW geekasaurus's wet dream, and is lovingly cherished by home model/costume makers and prop replicators for its plethora of kickass reference photos. This sequel highlights Episodes I-III, aka The Prequels, plus the Cartoon Network's gangbusters animated Clone Wars series. Written by Stephen Sansweet, the noted LucasFilm Limited's (LFL) insider and guru of all things from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, this update is a worthy heir to the original. The text is minimal, limited mostly to captions, but the whopping 3000 photos and illustrations of characters, ships and vehicles, weaponry, droids, and virtually everything viewed on screen are a sumptuous feast. This Prequels volume outshines its predecessor when it comes to detailing costumes and especially props (SW is all about the props, baby). Where Fine offered a scant few lightsaber pix-which obsessed fans since have scrutinized like the shroud of Turin-Sansweet's SWC is an absolute treasure trove of blaster and especially saber pix from multiple angles, including close-ups of emitters and end caps (woohoo!-thanks, Stephen!). There's seriously cool stuff in here, and Prequel heads will want to dive into this book and never come out. Switching gears, Sansweet is joined by Vilmur, LFL content developer and fellow SW junkie, to produce this ultimate SW film posters collection. The book boasts 350 international poster illustrations, including one-sheets, lobby posters, billboard spreads, and other advertising resources produced by artists ranging from the Brothers Hildebrandt to the great Drew Struzan. A portion of the works were never used and appear here for the very first time. Whether your taste runs to the Original Trilogy or the Prequels, Sansweet's duo will make SW fans reach nirvana.

-Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"


Summer Crossing: A Novel
Summer Crossing: A Novel
by Truman Capote
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.56
81 used & new from $0.01

7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should have stayed in the garbage., November 16, 2005
Truman Capote. Summer Crossing.

Before departing for Europe in 1966 to write In Cold Blood, Capote dumped this book's manuscript in the garbage, but it was salvaged by his Brooklyn apartment sitter. Too bad. The 123-page, love-gone-amiss story follows 17-year-old Grady McNeil, a bored-with-it-all New York rich bitch enjoying her first taste of freedom when her money-bag parents hop the Queen Mary for a Parisian summer and her older sister heads for the Hamptons homestead. While mumsy is in a tizzy over securing the perfect dress for Grady's debutante come out, the girl, left alone, goes on the upper-crust social equivalent of a murder spree-she gets knocked up by a petty thief and pothead who parks cars in a Broadway lot when he's not sleeping in them, and, worse, marries the low-brow slob. There's no denying Capote's talent, and there is some beautiful writing here, but overall this is a predictable and pointless mess that's nuclear fuel for the debate on the pitfalls of publishing deceased authors' unfinished works.


Creating the Worlds of Star Wars: 365 Days (Abrams' 365 Days)
Creating the Worlds of Star Wars: 365 Days (Abrams' 365 Days)
by J. W. Rinzler
Edition: Hardcover
57 used & new from $0.24

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must have Star Wars book of the year, September 27, 2005
Trisha Biggar. Dressing A Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars. 215p. ISBN 0-8109-6567-4. $50.

John Knoll. Creating the Worlds of Star Wars: 365 Days. 744p. ISBN 0-8109-5936-4. illus. $29.95.

ea. vol: Abrams. Oct. 2005. illus. FILM

For diehard Star Wars junkies, Knoll's Creating the Worlds of Star Wars: 365 Days and Biggar's Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars can be summed up succinctly in two words: Oh mama! Knoll, visual effects supervisor at Star Wars' creator George Lucas's FX shop, Industrial Light and Magic, takes fans on a light-speed tour of the complete saga through 1000 color and monochrome pix (many unique to this title) with captions. 365 Days confirms what fans long have suspected-and hoped-that there are many never-before-seen original trilogy (OT) pix still squirreled away in Uncle George's archives. While the book chronicles all six episodes, it's the absolute killer OT material (e.g., Millennium Falcon, X-Wing, and Y-Wing cockpits; Kenobi hut interior; and McQuarrie concept Vader armor) that will have fanboys pouncing on this one like Jawas on a junk pile and wishing a year were longer. As if it didn't already rock the Kasbah, this book also includes a CD-ROM sporting manipulable 360į panoramic pix and video clips. All that for $30 makes it this year's must have Star Wars title. Biggar's Dressing essentially is a gallery exhibiting her work as the prequel films' wardrobe designer. Typical of Abrams, the 300+ costume photos are superb, and Biggar provides details on the concepts behind and materials used to elaborately outfit Jedis, Siths, princesses, and politicians (note to the publisher: a similar treatment for the OT films' costumes would be much appreciated). The book offers a preface by Lucas and is capped with a wonderful six-page index of thumbnail photos of the costumes from the entire series. To legions worldwide for whom Star Wars is a religion, there is no such thing as too much information or too many insider pix, making 365 Days and Dressing a Galaxy warmly welcomed. --Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"


The American Murders of Jack the Ripper
The American Murders of Jack the Ripper
by R. Michael Gordon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $52.00
30 used & new from $16.04

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous theory on Jack the Ripper in America, November 6, 2003
Gordon (Alias-Jack the Ripper: Beyond the Usual Whitechapel Suspects) here attempts to convince readers that following his funny little games in Whitechapel in 1888, Jack, whom he identifies as Severin Klosowski, went on tour in 1891, racking up another four kills in the New York/New Jersey area. While the information on the four alleged victims is quite thorough, Gordon fails to provide sufficient evidence to prove his theory. Few of the American victims follow the killer's established MO: only one was a prostitute, and only a single body was butchered. One was shot and another strangled and left intact. The murders were sloppy and amateurish and smack of robberies gone bad. Jack's crimes also took place within roughly a square mile of London-no doubt very close to his residence-while these murders are spread long distances apart in two states. The writing itself is quite uneven, and many of the illustrations amateurish. Diehard fans might find this interesting, but otherwise it's just another Ripper theorist Jacking off. Not recommended.-Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
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