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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly a low-budget zombie film, but still delivers entertainment in its confined space, July 12, 2014
This review is from: Stalled (Amazon Instant Video)
'Stalled' is a good "cheap" zombie comedy film. Thus, with low-budget expectations, the film does well. The protagonist is not some traditional hero and is actually really just a loser. The film does not try to create some magical transformation of an every-man to an action-packed hero. His flaws and personal mistakes, some of which approach idiotic sadness, still seem authentic and understandable. Pity and sympathy are emotions that might be drawn from the audience, which may or may not bring desire for a happy ending. There is another main character that is never really seen or unseen, so applause is earned for that creative direction, script writing, and voice acting.

Is "Stalled" a high value piece of zombie film art? No. But because it is clearly an independently crafted low-budget film in this genre that delivers on entertainment with a new story, I give it 5 stars.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good content, but nothing new., July 29, 2012
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'The Defining Decade' is a well-presented book, but its words of wisdom are nothing new. Humanist-thinking leaders and philosophers stretching back to antiquity stress the need for work ethic and relationship-building (with self and with others) from an early age, especially in young adulthood. Habits form early and later can only die hard. Some of the greatest words from America's Father were directed at his many surrogate children and relatives concerning their personal and professional development. In fact, a quick study of Washington's life reveals an utterly non-linear progression of different careers and positions. The only thing static in his existence was his utter moral core and strong character.

I rate this book a 4-star because the content is important, but I was skeptical of the way the author neatly divided each chapter so as to happily "solve" each patient's relevant problem in the end.

"A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous."

--George Washington, letter to Steptoe Washington, December 5, 1790

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Overview of Mitt Romney and His Life, January 8, 2012
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This review is from: Mitt Romney (Kindle Edition)
Ron Scott gives a brief, non-partisan overview of Mitt Romney's personal and professional life. His purpose is to figure out a man that can initially give off wrong impressions. Thus, Scott provides background on the Romney family going back several generations, the Mormon faith, and Romney's personal and professional work leading up to the beginning of the U.S. presidential primary season in mid-2011. We get to see glimpses of Romney, both good and bad: his rallying of fellow missionaries in France after a terrible tragedy; his seeming callousness in urging a hospitalized churchwoman to abstain from an abortion. We are also shown Romney's triumphs and failures: his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; his defeat by Senator Ted Kennedy in 1994.

The book ends with a fast-paced recounting of Mitt Romney's 2007-2008 Presidential run and then the lead-up to 2012. Scott summarizes Romney's political positions and then gives his analysis on their sincerity and what he thinks Romney will actually do when in office. Scott does not shy away from revealing Romney's "flip-flops", but he sees it as a necessary evil in order to win an election before governing with competence and moderation. Scott makes a connection to Romney's father, former Governor George Romney of Michigan, who lost the 1968 Republican Presidential nomination due to his propensity to speak frankly.

Ron Scott admires Mitt Romney, but he does so with a clear view of the candidate's flaws and in spite of them. The book is neither an authoritative nor exhaustive biography. The reader should not expect to learn about Romney's childhood hobbies or what he was doing the day his firstborn came into this world. I personally would have liked to have learned more about his autodidact father and ambitious mother, and how they shaped and helped Romney through the years. Regardless, Scott's book seems to be the best available book on Mitt Romney's life at this time.

Game Of Thrones (Ramin Djawadi)
Game Of Thrones (Ramin Djawadi)
Price: $13.99
49 used & new from $6.77

52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of Music, July 2, 2011
I have 'Main Title', 'Game of Thrones', 'King of the North', and 'Finale' replaying on a constant loop as I go about my day. It makes me powerful.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2012 3:46 PM PDT

How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk
How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk
Price: $9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everlasting Gifts, March 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Here is what somebody said to me two weeks after I gifted this book to them:
Hey JimBob! Ahhhhhh this book is just what I needed! It has taken me to a another level in terms of relationships. God has used this book to increase my wisdom...its funny because I have friends in situations where they r making marriage decisions based on their heart and r planning weddings within a few months of meeting men and I am like NOOOOOOOOOO!!! Unfortunately, when it comes to love, you can't come in between a woman and her man after she has made up her mind in the period of infatuation. You must know the man on a situational and relational basis.Know and interact with his family! AM LEARNING SO MUCH! He is confirming a lot God has spoken to me about too! OOOOO I LOVE IT! I will never forget you for getting me this friend ordered it within 5 seconds on amazon of telling her! GOD BLESS U!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2012 6:52 PM PDT

The Reluctant Fundamentalist: A Novel
The Reluctant Fundamentalist: A Novel
by Mohsin Hamid
Edition: Hardcover
412 used & new from $0.01

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grow up, August 23, 2009
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Some responses.

- Changez let lust rule him in his interactions with Erica, possibly leading to the disaster. She was in love with a perfect ghost, and he ironically ended up doing the same.
- In accordance with the above, Changez placed everything on a pedestal --- be it the perfect American girl, elite society, corporate America, and America itself. He recognized that things were not as they seemed (society, class, etc.) growing up in Pakistan, but did not apply the same rules to America?
- Changez is selfish. His lust was already a marker. He gets to come to America, gets a scholarship to attend Princeton, gets a high-paying powerful job, gets some time with a beautiful high-class goddess, but eventually feels the need to fight America?
- Changez is emo and childish. He thinks he is helping his family by giving up the gifts in America (specifically the money) to return to live with his parents in Pakistan all melancholy and angry while he dreams of American girl Erica being right there with him?

I have little sympathy for Changez. Be aware, but be not bitter.

Try "Dreams From My Father" by Barack Obama.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2009 12:19 PM PST

Those Episkopols
Those Episkopols
by Dennis R. Maynard
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.08
46 used & new from $1.87

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers the basics, which is very important., July 30, 2008
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This review is from: Those Episkopols (Paperback)
I advocate this book "Those Episkopols" by the Rev. Dennis Maynard be issued to every member and interested parties of the Church. It answers basic important questions about our Episcopal Church such as how we worship (it's supposed to be "boring"), how we think (we must use reason in order to understand God's creation), how we treat the Bible (divine inspiration, not divine dictation), how we live (dogmas are silly; when we get to heaven, Jesus is probably not going to ask us what (mostly man-made) rules we followed, but whether we loved him and one another), and how we are saved (not something that just happens; it is an ongoing process through our lives), etc.

The book provides a good starting point to becoming a thoughtful, knowledgeable Christian and member of the Church. The reader should continue their studies and actions by beginning a study of the Bible, asking questions of their fellow man, doing good works, and most importantly THINKING.

An easy and quick read (1 hour), I marked up my book with tons of highlighter and am now more confident when inquiring friends and strangers ask me about my faith and practice.

Great Commanders and Their Battles
Great Commanders and Their Battles
by Anthony Livesey
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from $1.15

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thirsty, December 31, 2005
It is a fun read, but was a let-down as it was not as broad as I would have liked. Chronologically, it jumps from Scipio Africanus (c. 200 BC) to Ghenghis Khan (c. 1200 AD) with nothing in between. That is almost a millenium-and-a-half of commanders and battles! How can one ignore Belisarius or Charles Martel?

The O.C.: Season 2
The O.C.: Season 2
DVD ~ Rachel Bilson
Price: $16.20
55 used & new from $0.37

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad start. Good end. Thus, I am in the middle., July 19, 2005
This review is from: The O.C.: Season 2 (DVD)
***WARNING: Spoliers***

The OC really strayed this second season . I think the main problem was creator Josh Shwartz left this season mostly up to new writers that terribly corrupted the show. Josh only wrote the first episode, the Rainy Day Women in the middle of the season, and the last story arc in the end of Season 2.

Anywho, ***THE STORY***

The story from the beginning was silly. Ryan came back to Newport right away. Marissa has a little thing with Hispanic lawn guy. Lawn guy has no story or really any lines. He sillily acts along with Marissa who cries about crap.

Meanwhile, Seth-Summer-Zach triangle gets old and corny... and not the corny good. Seth was corny in Season 1, and we loved him for that, but this corny sucks.

Lesbianism between Alex and Marissa was neither hot, nor serious. In this situation, Marissa once again is shown as dumb and shallow little girl. Things went awry with Ryan, so she needs to experiment with Alex and actually live with the girl of which she then faces cleaning and paying rent. I was looking forward to the hookup, but unfortunately, teleplay and script never furnished a turn on. Pitiful. One Tree Hill did a much better, serious job with the lesbian issue.

Lindsay was such a nice girl. I liked her intelligent spunk. She went well with Ryan. They actually had good chemistry onscreen. However, writers shipped her off as well as other guest stars and even main stars!

Tate Donovan's leaving was a shame. Luckily he is back as a regular for next season. He has such a warmn character.

Meanwhile, both Sandy and Kirsten go off and be unfaithful and oblivious

The highpoint and redeeming part of the season, which showed a glimmer with Rainy Day Women midseason, began with the entrance of Trey, Ryan's brother. He added a freshness of character to the show. We wondered whether he was bad or not, just like Ryan felt. His crime against Marissa shocked us all, and the final confrontation between the two brothers was core TV at its best. Meanwhile, the climax of Kirsten's drinking problem was a stunner with the truck, and her sending off was quite moving. The intimate talk between Seth and Sandy showed finally that there was heart behind these characters, and that there was indeed a family.

***THE CAST***

All the guest star either sucked or were given terrible story lines. DJ, the lawn boy, was nothing. Zach was just a corny, repetitively annoying nothing. Alex and Lindsay were decent, but then disappeared.

Ryan was a pale shadow of his former self. No more action for him. No longer the outsider, there was not real much imminent trouble for him, but we need that for the hero of the story. Also, aging must have done him badly. Already showing in Season 1, he has gained much facial weight. I suspect even bodily weight, too! When we first saw Ryan in Season 1, he has a nice, angular face. However, with Season 2, he no longer has that sleek body. I think he caught on, because he improved bodily for the finale. I think the problem was that he may have focused on lifting rather than running. Bad idea. Our hero does not need to be a body builder.

Marissa must not have been very enthusiastic this season, for her acting was terrible. Please recall when she made that silly scream and threw the chair into pool to tell Julie what she was feeling. It was real terrible. All Marissa did this season was whine, cry, or giggle. To add to that, she was not that hot anymore. The OC costume person needs to be fired. Season 1 had Marissa in all these designer clothes with tight, short skirts and such. This season had Marissa in punk clothes with ugly jeans and shirts. Her look was all off. When we first met Marissa, she had this mysterious aura about her --- a sexy look and glance. It is gone. What is also gone is that she has lost weight. Twigs are not good-looking.

Speaking of weight, Summer has also lost some. She has shrunken. When you lose weight, you lose it in ALL areas. Summer does not have that killer body she had in Season 1. Just compare the bathing suit scenes of Summer and Marissa from the two seasons. Anywho, with the story, Summer is not as interesting as she used to be. We need the bitch Summer aspect of her back. Characters are becoming too extremely one-dimensional on the show.

I would go more in depth with the other character, too, but I am lazy and this is already really long. I will make quick blurbs.

Kirsten has lost too much weight, too. old people should not be doing that. He face has imploded at the cheeks.

We need to see Sandy in the courtroom and not chasing after ugly women from his past.

Caleb was a great man. His last scene was beautifully done and moving. He was the last arch-nemesis on the OC. Julie was one last season, but now she has been made into a more likable character with soul.


Overall, Season 2 came out decent. I cannot forget the ugly first half, but neither can I forget the beautiful end.

It needs some new, colorful characters. Luke was a great character. Jimmy is back. Caleb was great as the antagonist. That is the thing with stories. There needs to be antagonists and protagonists. Everybody is becoming or became a protagonist. Luke, Julie, and now Caleb is dead. Who is the ass/bitch to come?

What was so great about Season 1 was the satire of the rich life. We see no intelligent satire or quip this season. We need to get to school as the story. Seth needs to become the nerd to be in the element that we love him for. We saw just a glimpse in the prom episode where some faceless guy in the crowd cried, "Seth Cohen is a tool." That was awesome. We need a return to the superficial rich (and hot) people and parties (with scantily clad, drunk girls) of the OC. That is what it is all about. Also, the kids are kids. They need to go to school. Not lumber around with their lesbians and such.

Season 3 holds great promise building on the momentum from the finale and the base from Season 1. The Theresa/Ryan's baby story can be quite good if it is done right. Sandy and Kirsten can become the lovable couple again. Anywho, sorry for the long review, and make sure you at least own Season 1. That is the best, and watch this promising show.

DVD ~ Armand Assante
Offered by Achilles' Reel
Price: $77.89
26 used & new from $2.98

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, OK DVD, September 23, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidnapped (DVD)
The made-for-TV film is excellent. Its historical and story setting is enchanting. Set in Scotland, you will really get a feel for the time and culture, as well as beautiful views of the land. The story is engaging and stirring with wit and poise. There is intrigue, adventure, fighting, and romance. Acting is superb. Alan Breck Stewart (Armand Assante) and David Balfour (David Blessed) are a dynamic pair. Their juxtaposition showcases the classic opposites - a hot-headed Highlander and level-headed Lowlander - thrown together and united as common Scots. The direction and soundtrack were good. The music will have you humming and is well timed onscreen.

I had first watched this movie several years ago on VHS. I watched it many times. I have long waited for a DVD release. While I am glad that this is finally on DVD, I am somewhat disappointed. The video and sound are not remastered, so they are not up to par in quality. It is still in stereo. It could have at least been remixed to Dolby Surround. Special features are lacking. Commentaries, featurettes, and documentaries are lacking. For a movie that has such a rich historical background, this lacking is a sin. A redeeming feature that is not documented on the box or anywhere as far as I can see, is that the scenes have been integrated better and new footage has been added amounting to at least 10 minutes according to my estimates. When a TV-movie is released for home video, a scene would fade back into itself, denoting the in-between slot for commercials. In this DVD, this has been eliminated. The new integrated transitions are alright, though sometimes interrupted the short-term flow of the movie. As for the other new footage, they are nothing ground-breaking, but add a litte more content to the movie.

To sum things up. if faced with the choice, I would still give up the cash for this DVD anyday. The film is excellent.

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