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Mrs. Miracle
Mrs. Miracle
DVD ~ Erin Karplunk
Offered by amazingwildcat
Price: $8.12
39 used & new from $2.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Warming Christmas Story Of Love And Forgiveness, January 12, 2012
This review is from: Mrs. Miracle (DVD)
I only happened to come across this delightful Christmas themed television movie last Christmas by accident and I'm so glad I did. It would be without a doubt the highlight of my last Christmas viewing involving as it does a wonderful fantasy tale within a romantic theme. Playing the central character of the mysterious "Mrs Merkle' who seemingly appears out of nowhere to affect the lives of all the other characters, Doris Roberts is wonderful and the very core of this story. Roberts is fast becoming the "Queen of Christmas themed movies" due to her involvement in so many Christmas themed films and television episodes including the classic "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" right through this current film and its followup "Call Me Mrs Miracle". The two romantic leads played by James Van Der Beek as Seth the emotionally injured widower and father of two young twin boys, and Erin Karphik as Reba who is a young woman equally bruised by life's expereinces. Both are terrific in their respective roles and I found James Van Der Beek a real standout as the father who is still grieving the loss of his wife and who cannot move on with his life. I found he has developed immensely from his early days on "Dawson's Creek" and I'm now a fan due to his work here.

"Mrs Miracle" written by award winning authoress Debbie Macomber I feel is a standout from the many Christmas themed movies produced each year. I especially liked the whole mystery element to the story about who actually Mrs Miracle (as the twins call her) is and where she comes from. All the elements of the story come together beautifully and the story has equal elements of humour, sadness, human conflict and touching romance. The overall message delivered that forgiveness is the first step towards emotional recovery is one that is applicable for any time but especially so for the Christmas season. I highly recommend "Mrs Miracle" and I know I will be looking forward to checking out the follow up film "Call Me Mrs Miracle" which again stars Doris Roberts in the lead character but with a different supporting cast,this coming Christmas. Enjoy

The Devil Within Her (Katarina's Nightmare Theater)
The Devil Within Her (Katarina's Nightmare Theater)
DVD ~ Joan Collins
Price: $13.84
22 used & new from $6.35

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joan Collins Battles The Baby From Hell, August 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This film from 1975 known under a number of titles such as "The Monster", "I Don't Want To Be Born" and in its US release the more interesting "The Devil Within Her" always seems to raise feverish opinions among viewers ranging from it being a complete piece of cinematic junk, an awful camp classic rip off of "The Omen" and "Rosemary's Baby" that is not to be missed, right through to it being an interesting film from the then popular "Demon Baby" genre that flourished in the early 1970's. I personally love this film despite being well aware of all its very obvious short comings. Accused of being a pale imitation (of sorts) of the earlier mentioned horror classics I personally feel the film explores another angle on the demonic child idea with some admittedly unintentional laughs along the way. Filled as it is with horny curse delivering dwarfs, strippers, determined nuns and Ralph Bates struggling with an extremely uneven Italian accent (why did they have to make him and his sister Italian in the story?) the film perhaps for the wrong reasons will definitely stay in your mind after a viewing.

"The Devil Within Her" was produced around 1975 in the dying days of the great British companies such as Hammer and Amicus and in some respects this film does resemble the later products of those legendary film companies. Despite the often bizarre storyline elements the film does however have some very strong points to it. A terrific cast is headed by Joan Collins who really does give her all to her role as Lucy, the mother who becomes scared of her own child when it begins to display an extremely nasty side to its character behind the innocent facade. Joan once again proves what a good actress she can be even when dealing with slight material. Joan herself was very disparaging about her 1970's horror roles in her terrific autobiography "Past Imperfect" and while this film certainly wouldn't win any acting Oscars for her she is excellent as the terrified new mother who can't cope with this "unusual" new baby of hers. Ralph Bates, reunited with Joan Collins after their excellent Hammer thriller "Fear in the Night" actually has little to do here and as stated previously he is saddled with playing an Italian which never really comes off. In the role of Sister Albana, Eileen Atkins does what she can as Bates' sister who is the first to work out what is wrong and then takes action against "The Demon Child". Horror veteran Donald Pleasance as Dr. Finch who delivers the demon baby also manages to play it all seriously which helps the viewer overcome some of the hilariously bad parts in the script. And those moments are aplenty in "The Devil Within Her"!! The horny dwarf called Hercules played by George Clayton has to be seen to be believed and somehow here he possesses magical powers as he curses Joan's unborn baby and manages to superimpose his face over the baby in the crib at regular intervals. This whole supernatural element to the story is never explained which I find baffling and despite being spurned by Joan romantically it seems hard to believe he would try to destroy her life so utterly for a simply rejection of his advances in Joan's dressing room. The stripper club where Joan worked prior to her marriage is also alot of fun with its sleazy owner, gaudy costumes (what little there is of them! and tart talking girls auditioning for parts in the "revue". I personally love the mid 1970's look and feel to the film and there is real interest when the story takes the characters out into the streets where we are treated to some wonderful views of London circa 1975.

While no classic this film is still alot of fun and since all the actors play the story totally straight I believe you will find yourself sticking with it to the disturbing climax. After a number of lacklustre VHS releases it seems that "Scorpion Entertainment" are finally doing this little film proud with a first class DVD release complete with widescreen print and extras aplenty. I will update my review with that technical information after the DVD release in September. They sure don't make horror films like this anymore, mores the pity but I'm thrilled that more of Joan Collins' 1970's horror film work is now slowly getting DVD releases. Sit back and enjoy a most non-Alexis Joan Collins battling for her life against the angelic child from hell in director Peter Sasdy's "The Devil Within Her".
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2013 4:22 PM PDT

A Walton's Christmas: Together Again
A Walton's Christmas: Together Again
Offered by Baggett1Booksellers
Price: $27.74
39 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Christmas CD From America's Favourite Family, August 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For any fan of the much loved family series "The Waltons" this wonderful Christmas CD is an essential item to include in your Christmas music collection. Considering how superbly crafted the original series was it comes as no surprise to discover that this collection of old and newly composed Christmas music is first rate all the way. Containing new music from the multi talented Jon Walmsley who played Jason in the series, the collection here reunites the cast of "The Waltons" in a series of traditional carols, new compositions that have a real country feel to them, and poignant seasonal readings by cast members. The CD also contains the classic "Goodnights' which were such a feature of the classic series. There is something for everyone on this CD which also has superb sound quality and is very handsomely packaged in a great looking CD case. I was amazed at how talented the whole cast are in their musical numbers which once again should be no surprise considering the range of talent on display throughout the run of "The Waltons". Richard Thomas (John Boy), Ralph Waite (John), Michael Learned (Olivia) and the "Walton Children" are joined by series creator the legendary Earl Hamner who does of course the traditional voice over in that rich and emotional voice of his which was such a feature of the openings and closing of each episode of "The Waltons". All combine to make this Christmas CD something to treasure. Also it is nice to see that the CD is dedicated to the now deceased Ellen Corby and Will Geer who of course played Grandma and Grandpa Walton on the series and no "Walton" celebration would be complete without including them. "A Walton's Christmas: Together Again", has now become a special part of my Christmas CD collection and I highly recommend it for your next festive season. Enjoy!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2011 1:04 AM PDT

Nicholas Nickleby (Rachel Portman)
Nicholas Nickleby (Rachel Portman)
Price: $13.99
39 used & new from $7.80

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very Definition Of Perfection!, July 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After having enjoyed the magnificent film version of "Nicholas Nickleby" both in the cinemas and after purchasing it on DVD I found myself totally in love with its truly wonderful musical score and I just knew I had to purchase it on CD to enjoy it in its own right. It's a decision I most certainly have never regretted. This truly beautiful musical score by the multi talented Rachel Portman has me alternately smiling, crying and being uplifted by its fantastic combination of instruments and general mood which ranges from sombre, ie "smike dies", track 19 which is incredibly beautiful while being very sad, right through to the "end credits", track 22 which is nothing short of joyous in its upbeat tone which almost seems to promise new hope for a better future. You can follow the storyline of the film through the 22 tracks on the CD and it expertly conveys the message of all works by Charles Dickens that while there can be great darkness in the world and in our day to day existence there can also be great joy and common decency in people to be had as well. I collect film movie scores but rarely has one affected me as much as this one. The quality of the recording on this CD is also first rate and I highly recommend it to all lovers of uplifting and emotionally charged film music. Buy it now as a perfect companion piece to the DVD of this very special film. It most certainly is the "very definition of perfection"!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2011 8:48 AM PDT

The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (TV Series)
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (TV Series)
DVD ~ Hope Lange

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Charming Series That Should Be Released On DVD, April 16, 2011
I'm constantly amazed with the low quality of so much that is being released onto DVD nowadays when a classic series like "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" doesn't even get a mention in release schedules. This beautiful series was one of the last of the delightful fantasy sitcoms of the 1960's and first premiered in the 1968-1969 season just as many of the long running series from the '60's were coming to an end. "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", boasted a wonderful and highly romantic "ghostly" love story that would be far too sensitive and finely wrought for todays jaded television audiences now sadly dumbed down by the profusion of mindless rubbish passing as prime time viewing. I grew up with this series and loved everything about it, the great comedy, superb cast , terrific story concept, the setting of the "haunted" Gull Cottage complete with Captain Gregg's antique telescope looking out over the sea, and especially the subtle romantic interplay between the two lead characters. Boasting great talents such as Oscar nominee and two time Emmy award winner (for her role here as Mrs Muir) Hope Lange, Edward Mulhare, Reta Shaw and Charles Nelson Reilly and a battery of first class guest stars scattered over the shows two seasons this production is crying out for a proper DVD release. Based on the also classic original movie starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison this series which used the same basic premise while updating the setting to the present (1968), more than holds its own against such competition. The best element to the series is of course the ghostly love story between the lovely young widow Mrs Muir and the salty and at first crabby Ghost Captain Gregg. The Captain initially resents the disturbance caused by Mrs Muir and her children renting out his former home but those feelings gradually change into a begrudging affection and then to love. The chemistry between Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare is perfect and is yet another example of the first class casting that was done in most of these 1960's comedies. This story has charmed me for years and is a classic illustration of what television once was from a time now sadly long gone. This show needs a DVD release and I hope the good people at Shout factory will take this wonderful series under their wing like they have so many other classic series such as "The Patty Duke Show", "Mr Ed" and "Dennis the Menace", and give it a release that does this series proud.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2011 10:51 AM PDT

Voodoo Island/The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (Midnite Movies Double Feature)
Voodoo Island/The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (Midnite Movies Double Feature)
DVD ~ Eduard Franz
20 used & new from $6.87

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obscure Horror Gem Rescued from Oblivion, November 11, 2010
The legendary "Midnite Movies" DVD releases now seem to sadly be a thing of the past but while they were being produced they were responsible for giving "deluxe" releases to many long unseen, but very fondly remembered "B" horror films from decades past. Such is the case with this wonderfull dual release of horror features which if seen at all were consigned to late night screening times on local channel. While the first film "Voodoo island" is laden with atmosphere and stars the unforgettable horror icon Boris Karloff, it is the second feature on this DVD that really is it's crowning glory. The eerie "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake", is a real favourite of mine filled as it si with voodoo, decapitations, mad doctors and centuries old family curses. What more could any horror devotee want!! The MGM "Midnite Movies" DVD releases has done both films proud with beautiful clear print releases that show up the sets and actors in all their black and white glory. While "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake" is the best of the two both films combined here are not to be missed. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2010 6:17 AM PST

DVD ~ Dylan Fergus
13 used & new from $20.78

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric Halloween Slasher With An Original Gritty Look To It, December 11, 2009
This review is from: Hellbent (DVD)
"Hellbent", the much talked about "Gay Slasher Film" would never be a film that could boast a handful of Oscars to its credit but after a recent viewing of this film at Halloween I can say it is still a highly enjoyable entry with a number of unique little twists to it in what is labelled the "slasher" genre. Chronicling the ordeal of four fun loving friends out on the town to enjoy West Hollywood's Halloween Carnival where they encounter a strange masked killer intent upon murdering them for no specified reason, all the familiar elements associated with films in this genre are certainly present. Despite the film's gay slant the basic story is one we have definitley seen before. What the film does have that makes it worthwhile is a nice fast pace, likeable characters and some really excellent photography that certainly raises the overall look and the feel of the film above what it probably deserves. This finesse can"Hellbent also be seen in the personnel responsible for bringing it to the screen, the co-producer of the legendary "Halloween" and the executive producer of "Nightmare on Elm Street", two bona fide classics that are still the measuring stick for excelence in the modern slasher genre. "Hellbent" makes perfect atmospheric viewing at Halloween or indeed any other time of the year.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2010 6:35 AM PST

Mad Monster Party
Mad Monster Party
DVD ~ Boris Karloff
Offered by Sparks DVD Sales
Price: $18.49
27 used & new from $1.97

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Halloween Treat From The Legendary Team Of Rankin And Bass, November 14, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mad Monster Party (DVD)
The creative partnership of Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass were responsible for the creation of some of the most delightful holiday specials for television in the 1960's and early 1970's, with their Christmas and Easter offerings such as "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" now regarded as bona fide classics by successive generations of fans. The team produced only one "Halloween" themed story in the totally delightful "The Mad Monster Party" and it without fail every year made an appearance on our television during the holiday. Although Halloween itself is not really mentioned in the storyline of "Mad Monster Party" itself the combination of ghouls, favourite monsters from movie history and the marvellous Boris Karloff (voice only) make this film an ideal way to celebrate this holiday. Filmed in the wonderfully visual stop motion "Animagic" process so beloved of fans of this teams work "Mad Monster Party" like all Rankin and Bass specials boasts a first rate vocal team bringing the ghoulish characters in the story to life. Here we have the unusual combination of movie horror legend Boris Karloff providing the voice for Baron Von Frankenstein combined with funny lady Phyllis Diller voicing the other major character of the Monster's "Mate". The pair really make this film so enjoyable with their contrasting styles with Karloff's smoothly sinister delivery contrasting beautifully opposite Phyllis Diller's distinctive voice mannerisms. "Mad Monster party" is one of the very best of the Rankin and Bass efforts and shows the teams creative skills at their absolute peak making this ghoulish little effort which keeps it's tongue firmly planted in its cheek, an ideal way to enjoy Halloween evening..
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2010 6:48 AM PST

My Reputation
My Reputation
DVD ~ Barbara Stanwyck
Offered by Magic SuperCenter
Price: $15.49
18 used & new from $2.88

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barbara Stanwyck At Her Dramatic Best In Fine Family Drama, October 31, 2009
This review is from: My Reputation (DVD)
When the name Barbara Stanwyck is mentioned many people familiar with classic films will almost automatically produce images in their mind of the perrenial "tough woman" best remembered out shooting cowboys in the wild west or matching wits in some tense noir melodrama. Stanwyck however had a far wider range as an actress and during her long career she took roles in many genres and played all types of characters in both comedies and drama. Here we have her in one of my all time favourite Stanwyck vehicles 1946's "My Reputation". At first glance the storyline of a young widow who begins "seeing" another man a bit too soon after the death of her husband, (according to her "friends" and the stuffy local community) causing all kinds of gossip might sound like a fairly run of the mill soaper. However Barbara Stanwyck turns the story into a strong woman's role and her character of Jessica Drummond ends up being far from the victim she might have appeared to be at the film's opening dominated as she is by her very proper and straightlaced mother. Barbara manages to make her character appealing, feminine and yet with a strong backbone that carries the story. "My Reputation" boasts a wonderful cast including gifted Canadian character actress Lucile Watson playing Barbara's suffocating mother, George Brent in one of his typical leading man roles, the always magical Eve Arden playing one of her typical "best friend" roles that she did so well, and gifted child actor Scotty Beckett who appears as one of Barbara's sons who suffers due to the "scandal" of his mother's supposedly improper behaviour. While this film may not be as well remembered today as other Stanwyck films such as the tear jerker "Stella Dallas" or her Noir classic "Double Indemnity" it is well worth including in any collection of her films as it displays Stanwyck in a slight change of pace which she handles with her usual aplomb delivering a fine multi-layered performance in a very handsome looking film.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2009 1:53 PM PST

Sunday Bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday
DVD ~ Peter Finch
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $14.69
36 used & new from $2.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Mature Examination Of Adult Relationships Starring A Sublime Glenda Jackson, October 28, 2009
This review is from: Sunday Bloody Sunday (DVD)
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" starring Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch and Murray Head was a truly groundbreaking film in so many ways when it was released in 1971. It takes a totally different slant on the examination of what relationships are between men and women than what audiences had seen before. The film was also remarkable by the intelligent way it depicted a relationship between two men as being both natural and loving at a time when gays, if they were even depicted at all on screen, were usually portrayed either as psycho's or degenerates or as effeminate objects of ridicule. The film portrays a highly sophisticated romantic triangle played out by the three main characters, a mature Jewish doctor and his younger artist partner who in turn shares his time with an older woman who works as a Employment Consutant. Three average people all with their needs, complexities and vulnerabilities beautifully played out by the three leads. The acting especially from Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch as the two people who must share the man they both love is a tour de force and both totally deserved the Academy Award nominations they received. Glenda Jackson's beautifully modulated performance only heightens the real sense of loss lovers of well acted cinema have in her having left films for a career in politics. It truly is one of her best performances right up their with her outstanding work in "Women in Love" the "Elizabeth R" mini series "A Touch of Class" and "Stevie". The films non sensational treatment of homosexuality makes it an important piece of film making that can still nevertheless be appreciated by all types of audiences, gay or straight. The film's examination of love between ordinary people with all their joys and pains gives "Sunday Bloody Sunday" an almost timeless quality relevant to any age and it's a piece of cinema that I find myself enjoying more each time I view it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2009 2:33 PM PST

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