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The World According to Iron Man (Insight Legends)
The World According to Iron Man (Insight Legends)
by Larry Hama
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.53
66 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A little Tony Stark masterpiece, June 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Pleasingly surprised by this book - I thought it might be a kiddie product, but it's actually a really cool illustrated book (with a lot of tip-ins and pull-outs and surprise pop-ups) for any Marvel fan. Entertainingly written (as if Tony Stark himself were writing it) and very uplifting - it has a positive message for both kids and adults. I think kids will enjoy it a lot (despite fleeting reference to Tony's notorious string of girlfriends...but it's all very safe and fluffy) and adult Marvel fans will get a kick out of it, too. It's the Tony of the comics, rather than the movies, but there are definitely crossover moments! A beautifully illustrated, craftily assembled and cleverly written keepsake for any Tony Stark/Iron Man fan.


Fiore® HD Blue Blocker Driving Sunglasses - Available in Various Styles (Sport Wrap - Black Frame)
Fiore® HD Blue Blocker Driving Sunglasses - Available in Various Styles (Sport Wrap - Black Frame)
Offered by NEWPORT BLVD (100% Perfect Feedback - U.S.A seller)

5.0 out of 5 stars Great sunglasses - fast delivery - five stars, June 1, 2015
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Great product - very well packaged, shipped very quickly -- highly recommend this vendor and product. Enjoying my Blue-Blocker sunglasses!


The Judge (Blu-ray + DVD)
The Judge (Blu-ray + DVD)
DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Price: $24.99
38 used & new from $10.71

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father-son fireworks between two of our finest actors -- a classic, March 27, 2015
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Beautifully filmed and lovingly acted, this is a movie to treasure. It didn't get enough love at Oscar time - although the Best Supporting Actor nomination for Robert Duvall was well-deserved. RDJ should have been nominated, too, for his role as feckless Chicago lawyer Hank Palmer, who learns he has a heart -- and the enduring value of home and family -- in supporting his aging father (Duvall) through his final challenges. The courtroom scenes are tense and tight, but it's the little moments -- Hank's interactions with his two brothers, his warmly realized affection for his former small-town love-interest Vera Farmiga (who is wonderful in this), and the delineation of the small town and its characters -- that make this movie heart-warming. Best of all, though, are the father-son fireworks between Duvall and Downey, two of our very finest actors, as they hash through their past and try to come to an understanding of one another. Anyone who has had an aging parent will see themselves in this movie - both the heartbreak and the enduring love. Highly recommended -- a classic.


Robert Downey Jr: The Biography
Robert Downey Jr: The Biography
by Chas Newkey-Burden
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.00
56 used & new from $0.03

1.0 out of 5 stars Total clip job - if you like that sort of thing, March 27, 2015
The great, definitive biography of Robert Downey Jr. SHOULD be written some day - and it will be. He's one of our finest American actors and one of the few true A-list stars, and his life story is both fascinating and inspirational. His life deserves to be written by a fine biographer. This hack job of a book, however, is not that biography. This is what we call a "clip job" - the author's research just involves gathering existing newspaper and magazine articles and hashing them together into a semi-readable text. Nothing is annotated, there are no personal insights, there's not much writing style at all, and no original interviews or research were done. It has all the earmarks of an author just cashing in on a celebrity's popularity. In lieu of the great "someday" RDJ biography, if you're looking for something a little longer than Wikipedia's, this clip job will fill your bill. Otherwise, a bit of researching RDJ online will probably get you to about the same place.


No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars Odd mistake, February 5, 2014
Nice poster - except the quote is entirely misattributed. Shakespeare did NOT say that - it was Oliver Wendell Holmes.


Sherlock Holmes Poster Movie UK 11x17 Robert Downey Jr. Rachel McAdams Mark Strong Jude Law
Sherlock Holmes Poster Movie UK 11x17 Robert Downey Jr. Rachel McAdams Mark Strong Jude Law

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous poster!, June 17, 2012
This is a teaser poster for the first Robert Downey Jr./Sherlock Holmes movie - it's beautiful. I have it framed on my wall - a silver-tone wood frame will pick up all the silvery hues in the piece. Must-have if you are an RDJ Holmes fan!


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Price: $5.00
115 used & new from $0.01

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking fun -- a brilliant, action-filled "Game of Shadows"!, May 10, 2012
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I went into this movie not knowing quite what to expect -- I've been a Sherlock Holmes fan since I can remember, and I took a pass on the first Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ) Sherlock movie because I'd heard (erroneously, as it turned out) that it turned Holmes into some kind of Victorian-era action hero.

Well, that was my loss - I completely LOVED this film! It's a rollicking, slam-bang, intelligent, witty and compelling update of the Sherlock Holmes canon, and surprisingly, in many cases it is closer to Arthur Conan Doyle's original concept of the characters than many earlier movies and TV shows have been. Doyle, remember, was writing popular, mass-market entertainments - and his Sherlock is not a stuffy, sedentary dude who just sits around in his armchair puffing his pipe and working out Great Deductions. The original Sherlock IS a man of action -- he is a boxer (yes, that's canon!) and in "The Final Problem," where he fights Moriarty to the death at Reichenbach Falls, we learn he knows an Asian martial art called "baritsu" (there actually IS one called "bartitsu," which may have been what Doyle meant). So RDJ's take on Sherlock is spot-on canonical -- manic, genius-brilliant, a bare-knuckle fighter, a martial-arts expert, a violinist, an imbiber of intoxicating substances (though they don't show his cocaine habit - interestingly, it was OK to mention it in Doyle's age, but in ours, it has to be Sherlock swigging stuff like formaldehyde and gypsy wine, although Mrs. Hudson does mention he survives on a diet of coffee and "coca leaves"...).

RDJ's Holmes is also dashingly handsome, as is, for once, Dr. Watson (how could he not be, when played by Jude Law?). And this, too, makes absolute sense -- Watson was portrayed by Doyle as a wounded war hero recently returned from Afghanistan (that earlier Afghan conflict that England found itself embroiled in), so it would make sense that Watson would be fairly young and in fighting trim (Law uses a cane and limps a little, due to that war wound, but he's a mean hand with both a stick and a gun) -- not some old, querulous duffer as portrayed by so many earlier actors taking on Watson.

There's a fair amount of covert (and overt, hilariously enough!) slashiness (fan term for, er, ultra-bromance) going on - Holmes and Watson are definitely crushing on each other; they bicker and make up like a married couple, which is the ongoing in-joke of both movies (yup, I've seen the first one, now, too!). All this means the ladies don't get to do a whole lot -- "The Woman" of Holmes' life, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) is in this movie only very briefly (and I'm not buying that she's gone for good...). Watson's new wife, Mary, gets booted early, too, but I can tell there's a lot more going on there - I'm liking Mary, and she gets to do a little a**-kicking of her own in this one. The leading lady of this movie is Noomi Rapace, playing the gypsy Madame Simza -- Noomi is the original Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and she's put on a few curves to take on this, her first big role in an American movie. She does well here, but her character is mostly a plot device to lead us to the middle of the web woven by Holmes' arch-nemesis, the "Napoleon of crime," Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris of "Mad Men," son of the late Richard Harris).

Now here is a villain worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Harris' Moriarty radiates menace, with his foxy face and yellowy teeth; he's here (in 1891)trying to create a sort of proto-World War I by taking over the whole line of products, "from bullets to bandages" -- including an armaments factory where some enormously anachronistic weapons are being manufactured, which becomes a setpiece battleground in the movie. Nicely done, too. Director Ritchie may have gone a bit overboard in his extreme slo-mo sequences, showing bullets crashing through and splintering trees as our heroes flee through a German forest, but it's all undeniably beautiful. The effect of his "Holmes-o-vision" (where Holmes -- and we -- "see" what will happen in a fight just before the fight takes place) is also very cool, especially when things don't quite turn out as Holmes pre-envisions them. It's especially effective in the final confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach, where the two engage in one of the great cinematic chess matches of all time (and half of it is in their heads, not on the board! And yes, there's a "chess advisor" listed in the credits, so I have to assume the moves are all realistic...).

A large part of the joy of this movie is just seeing an ultra-intelligent character who also gets to be an action hero -- so often, intellect is downplayed in movies, or relegated to the bad guy (aren't the bad guys always the brainy ones?); or the intellectual is portrayed as a sedentary "man of thought" rather than action, as in most earlier Sherlocks. This Sherlock Holmes dares to break the mold, and for that I say "Huzzah!" and here's to many more in this series. Thumbs way up!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2012 9:18 AM PDT


No Title Available

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking, compelling Game of Shadows, December 30, 2011
I went into this movie not knowing quite what to expect -- I've been a Sherlock Holmes fan since I can remember, and I missed the first Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ) Sherlock movie because I'd heard it turned Holmes into some kind of Victorian-era action hero. Well, that was my loss - I LOVED this film. It's a rollicking, slam-bang, intelligent, witty and compelling update of the Sherlock Holmes canon, and surprisingly, in many cases it is closer to Arthur Conan Doyle's original concept of the characters than many earlier movies and TV shows have been. Doyle, remember, was writing popular, mass-market entertainments - and his Sherlock is not a stuffy, sedentary dude who just sits around in his armchair puffing his pipe and working out Great Deductions. The original Sherlock IS a man of action -- he is a boxer (yes, that's canon!) and in "The Final Problem," where he fights Moriarty to the death at Reichenbach Falls, we learn he knows an Asian martial art called "baritsu" (there actually IS one called "bartitsu," which may have been what Doyle meant). So RDJ's take on Sherlock is spot-on canonical -- manic, genius-brilliant, a bare-knuckle fighter, a martial-arts expert, a violinist, an imbiber of intoxicating substances (though they don't show his cocaine habit - interestingly, it was OK to mention it in Doyle's age, but in ours, it has to be Sherlock swigging stuff like formaldehyde and gypsy wine, although Mrs. Hudson does mention he survives on a diet of tea and "coca leaves"...).

RDJ's Holmes is also dashingly handsome, as is, for once, Dr. Watson (how could he not be, when played by Jude Law?). And this, too, makes absolute sense -- Watson was portrayed by Doyle as a wounded war hero recently returned from Afghanistan (that earlier Afghan conflict that England found itself embroiled in), so it would make sense that Watson would be fairly young and in fighting trim (Law uses a cane and limps a little, due to that war wound, but he's a mean hand with both a stick and a gun) -- not some old, querulous duffer as portrayed by so many earlier actors taking on Watson.

There's a fair amount of covert (and overt, hilariously enough!) slashiness (fan term for, er, ultra-bromance) going on - Holmes and Watson are definitely crushing on each other; they bicker and make up like a married couple, which is the ongoing in-joke of both movies (yup, I've seen the first one, now, too!). All this means the ladies don't get to do a whole lot -- "The Woman" of Holmes' life, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) is in this movie only very briefly (and I'm not buying that she's gone for good...). Watson's new wife, Mary, gets booted early, too, but I can tell there's a lot more going on there - I'm liking Mary, and she gets to do a little a**-kicking of her own in this one. The leading lady of this movie is Noomi Rapace, playing the gypsy Madame Simza -- Noomi is the original Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and she's put on a few curves to take on this, her first big role in an American movie. She does well here, but her character is mostly a plot device to lead us to the middle of the web woven by Holmes' arch-nemesis, the "Napoleon of crime," Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris of "Mad Men," son of the late Richard Harris).

Now here is a villain worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Harris' Moriarty radiates menace, with his foxy face and yellowy teeth; he's here (in 1891)trying to create a sort of proto-World War I by taking over the whole line of products, "from bullets to bandages" -- including an armaments factory where some enormously anachronistic weapons are being manufactured, which becomes a setpiece battleground in the movie. Nicely done, too. Director Ritchie may have gone a bit overboard in his extreme slo-mo sequences, showing bullets crashing through and splintering trees as our heroes flee through a German forest, but it's all undeniably beautiful. The effect of his "Holmes-o-vision" (where Holmes -- and we -- "see" what will happen in a fight just before the fight takes place) is also very cool, especially when things don't quite turn out as Holmes pre-envisions them. It's especially effective in the final confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach, where the two engage in one of the great cinematic chess matches of all time (and half of it is in their heads, not on the board! And yes, there's a "chess advisor" listed in the credits, so I have to assume the moves are all realistic...).

A large part of the joy of this movie is just seeing an ultra-intelligent character who also gets to be an action hero -- so often, intellect is downplayed in movies, or relegated to the bad guy (aren't the bad guys always the brainy ones?); or the intellectual is portrayed as a sedentary "man of thought" rather than action, as in most earlier Sherlocks. This Sherlock Holmes dares to break the mold, and for that I say "Huzzah!" and here's to many more in this series. Thumbs way up!


The Flight Before Christmas
The Flight Before Christmas
DVD ~ Carly Baker
Price: $4.26
61 used & new from $0.01

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good European animation -- for older kids and grown-ups, December 14, 2008
This review is from: The Flight Before Christmas (DVD)
When this popped up on CBS TV the other night, I started watching it, and the first thing I thought was "This is not an American-made film." For one thing, it's fairly densely plotted and has a much more complex and dark storyline than a U.S. cartoon would have. Sure enough, although CBS zipped through the ending credits almost too quickly to read them, I saw that it was made in Finland. That explains it! The night I watched, it followed on the heels of the awful 1996 "The Return of Frosty" cartoon, which made the Finnish production seem that much more intelligent.

As a grown-up viewer, I thoroughly enjoyed the story -- a young reindeer searching for his father, whom he believes to be one of Santa's heroic flying squadron. The youngster is helped along his way by a fatherly, protective flying squirrel and a female ermine/weasel (?) who warbles pop tunes like an American Idol contestant. There's also a pink French poodle who appears suddenly and disappears mysteriously once her plotline is over (what becomes of her??). Yes, there are implications of reindeer one-night stands (how very Scandinavian of them!), and Niko's real dad turns out to have, shall we say, commitment issues (many kids will relate, I'm afraid). And there are some scary wolf villains -- but really, no scarier than the hyenas in "The Lion King," which this production seems to channel (one could say "copy" if one were ungenerous) more often than not. The digital character animation looks a bit clunky, with giant grinning amorphous faces that too often really look computerized -- but the backgrounds and landscapes are quite lovely. There are shots of the Scandinavian forest with the aurora borealis overhead that are very memorable. The musical score recalls Howard Shore's "Lord of the Rings" and almost seems a bit too grand for the room. But this is an hour-long cartoon that is really trying to be quite epic in its story and scope, and I think it's the first Finnish production (that I can recall, anyway) to make it to the U.S. TV market in such a big way (major network broadcast).

As for the scare factor of the big bad wolves -- really, can ANYTHING be scarier than the classic 1939 "Wizard of Oz"?? "Oz" gave me tornado and flying-monkey nightmares for years as a kid, but I loved it and watched it whenever it was on. I think a few good TV scares never hurt any child! Classic Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales are chock-full of scary and often quite violent situations; even the best Disney films (like "Lion King") are full of scares and sadness. I give the Finns points for offering a little darkness and scare factor, and not serving up sugary holiday syrup like "Frosty Returns" (or even the original 1960s "Frosty the Snowman," which also preceded "Flight Before Christmas" the other night -- yup, it may be a beloved classic, but wow, it's so sweet it makes your teeth hurt!).

So, yes, I recommend "The Flight Before Christmas" -- a Finnish production that is a quite worthy and surprisingly intelligent entry into the annual holiday animation derby.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2012 11:28 AM PST


Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Price: $10.99
102 used & new from $0.01

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Cheers for the Year's Best Soundtrack!, August 4, 2003
This, for my money, is the finest movie soundtrack of the year! For one thing, THANK YOU, Hans Zimmer (producer) and Klaus Badelt (composer) for not trying to shove some horrible pop song in over the closing credits. (Don't you just hate when they do that? Totally ruins the mood -- especially in a period movie!) This soundtrack is all orchestral (with some effective choir moments) and all great. Yes, Badelt's music does recall the best of Zimmer and has similarities to Howard Shore's brilliant "Lord of the Rings" music -- but this is all good. The tracks are rousing, exhilarating, and absolutely fit the mood of the movie (a lighthearted, heroic romp). Favorite musical moments -- the entrance theme of Capt. Jack Sparrow (just fits that hilarious moment perfectly!), and the music accompanying the first sword fight (in the smithy). Amazingly, I have read that this soundtrack only came about at the last moment -- when the movie's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, decided that he did not like the music that had originally been written (by another composer) -- he didn't think it sounded "piratical" enough. So he called in Badelt and had Zimmer produce -- and with only six weeks to go before the movie's release, they came up with this fantastic score. Say what you will about Bruckheimer -- he has his finger on the pulse! A big hats off to ye, Jerry, and Hans and Klaus. And -- the list of musicians and recording crew inside the liner notes HAS to be read: almost everyone is listed with their "pirate name"! (Hans "Long John" Zimmer...ok, I don't even want to know...)


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