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Customer Reviews: 5
Top Reviewer Ranking: 25,989,917
Helpful Votes: 181




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Martin Unsal RSS Feed (Sunnyvale, CA USA)
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Brick
Brick
DVD ~ Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Price: $5.81
201 used & new from $0.01

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No more absurd than noir itself, October 12, 2006
This review is from: Brick (DVD)
I'm not quite sure what Rian Johnson intended to accomplish with this film, but in my opinion the film's greatest accomplishment is highlighting the absurdity of film noir itself.

Many people criticize this film for the absurdity of its setting, its dialog, its characters, and the difficulty one encounters suspending disbelief for the 110 minutes of running time. I think such critics are engaging in a subtle hypocrisy. Film noir always was absurd, and always required suspension of disbelief. By placing those absurdities in an unfamilar historical setting, a clearly fictional and somewhat otherworldly setting of saturated black and white, classic noir may seem cohesive to modern audiences. Thus even the literalists among us can enjoy the classics of film noir. But do not fool yourselves. It is not real, and never was. Nobody ever talked that way, and nobody ever will, except perhaps in a life-imitates-art affectation.

Rian Johnson committed the arguably hostile act of forcing his audience to cope with the fact that a particular set of cinematic customs is at once enjoyable and absurd. By using a modern and realistic setting and shooting in color, he is forcing us to integrate the customs of noir into our own world, and obviously the result is jarring and hard to accept. Mr. Johnson is challenging us to enjoy it despite its absurdity, and indeed, to enjoy it because it is absurd. Many people do not know what to do with this movie because it seems to be playing both satirical and straight at the same time. Is it comedy? Is it noir? It is both at the same time; live with it. But it is also subversive because it is poking fun at the audience and our expectations. That can arouse anger but it should arouse nothing but admiration, because Rian Johnson makes a dramatically effective point through this movie.

The question is, is that enough? It is certainly clever, but is the gimmick sufficient to sustain the film? Almost, I believe, but not quite, which is why I gave it 4 stars. I have a very prosaic complaint, that the dialog is just too hard to understand. The comedy and subversiveness came through fine, but to enjoy it as a detective story, I would have preferred if I didn't have to work quite so hard to understand just what was being said.


Brother HL-5250DN Network Ready Laser Printer with Duplex
Brother HL-5250DN Network Ready Laser Printer with Duplex
Offered by Shopping_Service_onLine
Price: $849.99
18 used & new from $70.00

108 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarifying UPS problems, January 31, 2006
I have this printer and I am very happy with it. It performs exactly as advertised, and it is very fast.

I'd like to clarify the power supply issue that so many reviewers have commented on.

First of all, this problem is NOT limited to users who plug their printer into the UPS. Many UPSes will detect the line voltage drop caused by this printer as a brownout and go online to protect the attached equipment. This happens even when the printer is plugged directly into the wall (as it should be). This is not just a matter of reading the instructions, it is a real problem.

Whether or not you see this problem in practice depends on a number of factors, including whether the printer is plugged into the same circuit as your UPS, whether you have 15 or 20A service, how far the printer is from the breaker panel, how old your wiring is, whether your UPS has undervoltage regulation or not, etc.

When this printer is heating up and printing, I have seen power draws of 900+ watts and voltages around 104 volts on recent 15A residential wiring. This did not cause my UPS to go online, however it is equipped with undervoltage regulation. Many UPSes would go online at this voltage. In any case, your mileage may vary.

On a completely different note, one small drawback compared with the model it replaces (HL-5140) is that it no longer has a straight through paper path for thicker paper or envelopes to prevent curling.


Mathematics for Finance: An Introduction to Financial Engineering (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series)
Mathematics for Finance: An Introduction to Financial Engineering (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series)
by Marek Capiński
Edition: Paperback
44 used & new from $4.36

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joining the chorus, August 2, 2005
I can only echo the other reviewers. As far as I can tell this book has no serious competition. This is an excellent introduction to mathematical finance for those with a solid undergraduate level understanding of higher math but without graduate level exposure. I agree that it is ideal for self study as that is exactly what I am using it for. The price is right especially in contrast with its overpriced brethren. Five stars!


Catherine Chalmers: American Cockroach
Catherine Chalmers: American Cockroach
by Catherine Chalmers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.58
39 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check your phobias at the door, August 2, 2005
Seeing that this remarkable collection hasn't been reviewed yet I thought I'd put in my two cents. To be truthful I don't own the book but I have looked through it carefully and I'm sure I'll buy it one of these days.

The book is a collection of close up photographs of cockroaches being anthropomorphised through constructed sets (like a dollhouse) and poses. The result is quite humorous and profoundly creepy.

Some of the compositions seem to echo William Wegman and his dogs, and others Anne Geddes and her babies. You could call it a homage, but I prefer to think of it as a blistering satire. That may reflect my own artistic taste, rather than that of the artist.

Few people would imagine themselves developing a sympathy for cockroaches, but the section of black and white photographs featuring tortured and dead insects is suprisingly poignant, perhaps because the preceeding chapters work so hard to portray the insect in human terms.

Obviously you have to decide for yourself whether the subject matter is for you. What I can say is that the concept is creative and well executed.


Canon PIXMA MP780 All-In-One Photo Printer
Canon PIXMA MP780 All-In-One Photo Printer
10 used & new from $98.00

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet all-in-one printer, slow duplexing, February 7, 2005
This is a great printer for the money. I loved my Canon i850 and the new Pixma print engine is a worthy successor.

Let me get to my gripe, though. One reason I bought this printer was automatic duplex printing. The good news is that using 24lb inkjet paper at default print quality, the ink does not bleed through at all, even with color printing, which is an improvement over the i850. The bad news is that automatic duplexing is extremely slow. I did not time it but I would say it takes about a minute per sheet at normal quality, vastly slower than single sided printing.

I still consider this a 5 star printer, but I thought this information could be useful to prospective buyers.


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