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Joshua Koppel RSS Feed (Chicago, IL United States)
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Baking Must Have, March 30, 2008
Baking parchment was a wonderful invention but the rolls never seem to work out to the right length and it is single use only. If you have ever baked a bunch of cookies (several trays worth) with parchment you know it can be a pain to keep replacing it. Well, super parchment is reusable and super non-stick. If you do a lot of baking it quickly pays for itself.

I trim my super parchment to be the same size as my cookie sheets. I have used the same to sheets for years without any degradation of function. When I back cookies it is at least a gross and often far more. I also use them for panless bread baking. The sheet is 13"X17" and will fit most pans. It feels a lot like oil cloth in its slickness but this can take the heat. My local overpriced gourmet kitchen store sells these for $[...] but they are worth much more in time savings, ease of use and cleaning, and functionality. If you bake then you should check this stuff out.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2013 12:30 PM PDT


Maintenance Volume 2
Maintenance Volume 2
by Jim Massey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.96
34 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Tales From TerrorMax, March 30, 2008
This review is from: Maintenance Volume 2 (Paperback)
Doug and Manny are back. These two average Joes are just trying to get through life without too much hassle (and maybe catch the eye of the receptionist at work). But as maintenance men at TerrorMax, a giant think tank for evil mad scientists, their work situations are anything but average.

The second volume collects issues 4 through 6 and include a special short scene of what happened when they were cleaning up a giant fetid pile of ####. Doug and Manny are blackmailed into being shrunk to microscopic size to battle evil, sentient germs and must face a killer experiment gone wild during a morale boosting party. Many of the characters from the first volume are back (you gotta love the manshark). Good humor and clean art make this one to check out.


Maintenance Volume 1: It's A Dirty Job (v. 1)
Maintenance Volume 1: It's A Dirty Job (v. 1)
by Jim Massey
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from $2.22

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Dirty Job, March 30, 2008
Doug and Manny are two ordinary guys just trying to get through life without too much trouble. They are maintenance/cleaning staff. Unfortunately they work at TerrorMax, a think tank for evil mad scientists. They have to deal with everything from huge fetid piles of ####, aliens, intelligent germs, time travel, and runaway biologicals, all while trying to impress the cute receptionist. It doesn't help that their boss was given the position as a form of punishment.

This volume collects the first three issues. Herein Doug and Manny must face fetid piles, aliens, a lonely and bored manshark whose only view of reality is the movie Porky's 3, time-traveling cavemen and aliens. Tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with clean art makes for a fun series. Check it out.


Cranium Zooreka
Cranium Zooreka
Offered by VERY-HQS
Price: $44.69
49 used & new from $4.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Build a Better Zoo, March 30, 2008
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Cranium Zooreka (Toy)
Players compete to build a zoo and open first. A zoo can be opened after a player builds four habitats. Habitats require food, animals and shelter in order to be built. On each turn players try to guess which of the tree resources will be rolled on the resource die. If they guess correctly, they take an appropriate resource card. The player whose turn it is then moves the number of spaces shown on the standard die and follows the space's instructions.

Play is fairly simple but fun. Although resources can be collected by everyone on every turn all other functions can only be performed by the player whose turn it is (the box claims all players can play on all turns). The game comes with sixteen habitats. Usually a player will choose a habitat when they can build one but variations can include dealing out the habitats at the beginning or having players choose them at the beginning (this can remove some of the disappointments from not being able to build first). All in all a fun game. Check it out.


No Title Available

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not So Punk, March 30, 2008
This is a simple girl-on-girl porn movie. See the woman on the cover? Well, neither she nor the one on the back are in this movie. Nor is anyone else so impressively decorated. The girls in this movie have a few minor tattoos. There are modestly pierced nipples but it seem more mainstream and conformist that anything labeled "punk".

There are three scenes and the opening set makes one think these are suburban housewives. The first two scenes are simple one-on-one while the third is two-on-one with a little pretend mild dominance (mostly in the form of fancier lingerie). The action is basic and almost laid back. Other that the use of a strap-on in each scene they are very vanilla.

Overall one gets the impression that someone heard of punk and wanted to play at it a little without really knowing much about it. So if you are looking for punk this is not the place to look. Nor is this the place to look if you want hot or wild. The cast is attractive enough but the characters are not especial well played and there just doesn't seek to be a whole lot of enthusiasm.


Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)
Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut)
DVD ~ Ray Winstone
Price: $6.19
415 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Am Beowulf! Not!, March 25, 2008
If you watch the various extras included on this DVD you will hear the writers and others responsible for the movie, say that they never got the original story. They did not understand it. They also seemed to have missed a lot of it's detail. It would appear that all they really got of the original story is that Beowulf kills a bunch of monsters. The result is a movie that is not really based on the book outside of some names and dead monsters.

Hrothgar is menaced by a monster named Grendel. Beowulf shows up to kill it. He then confronts Grendel's mother (nameless in this version) and finally a dragon. This all accomplished through a cgi-enhanced cast of very talented actors. That is the film's best selling point. There is excellent acting in this film even if the story is pretty thin. The extras provide a very good look into the thoughts and ideas that made this movie.

Many people have know this story to some degree thanks to the school systems. The main thing people remember is that Beowulf holds onto Grendel's arm until the arm is torn off. This is not in this movie. Yes, Grendel loses an arm but not in the classic heroic manner, it is much more common and mundane. But when it is all said and done this is a visually beautiful film powered by superior acting skills, I only wish the writing was on the same level. Check it out.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2012 4:18 PM PDT


In the Spider's Web
In the Spider's Web
DVD ~ Lance Henriksen
Price: $7.93
17 used & new from $2.43

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Since Night Feeders, March 25, 2008
This review is from: In the Spider's Web (DVD)
One day I watched a film called Night Feeders and found some real talent at work. I had a similar feeling with this film. Lance Henriksen (the only actor whose name is used in the packaging) is a mysterious doctor living with a jungle tribe. A jungle tour runs afoul of a spider and they go to the native village for medical help. These natives worship spiders as gods and Lance seems to have some similar feelings. Some of the tour stay in the village and some go back to civilization for additional help. Eventually we find out what Lance is up to and we get a pretty good resolution.

The story is not great but it has some interesting twists and traits. Like with Night Feeders an unexpected character rises to the top. This character is one of my current favorites from recent movies and shows that the makers were willing to try something different. The rest of the film is not as good as Night Feeders in originality and has a few problems. For some reason the natives who worship the spiders also eat them. In one scene Lance looks like he is participating, even chewing, although the effects team, or someone, let the spider be seen going right past his head instead of into his mouth. There is no explanation as to why the natives are helping Lance and he seems to have no real power over them. I guess they were going for a little Doctor Moreau. But overall it is an okay film and worth it for that one special character. Check it out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2008 9:26 AM PDT


Mammoth
Mammoth
DVD ~ Tom Skerritt
Offered by Media Favorites
Price: $19.99
38 used & new from $2.81

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just a Frozen Elephant, March 25, 2008
This review is from: Mammoth (DVD)
There have been a lot of movies where a prehistoric beast is thawed/discovered/created just so it can go around killing people but this one is different and more original than most. After five years of study a frozen mammoth comes back to life after the museum is struck by a meteor. But if you payed attention to the wonderful dancing cave paintings in the credits, you will have a better understanding of the alien involvement in this event. Said mammoth goes on a rampage and sucks out people's life force (like the creature in Stephen King's Cat's Eye). Only the scientist studying it and his crazy family have any chance of stopping the beast. Add a couple of government agents to the mix and you have a pretty good movie.

Tom Skerritt is excellent as the UFO conspiracy believing patriarch of the dysfunctional family. The agents are well played as are most of the remaining recurring characters. As the film progresses we see that this story is bigger than just the events in the film. A pair of strange minor characters give a glimpse into the bigger picture. Even the ending is above normal for a prehistoric killer film. While not Jurassic Park this film has a unique take on the idea. The mammoth looks almost like a zombie due to its long freeze (now there's an idea). My only problem is a couple of scenes where the mammoth shows up out of nowhere suddenly but otherwise I had a real good time with this one. Check it out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2008 9:29 AM PDT


LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)
LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)
Offered by Blue Duck Toys
Price: $54.68
25 used & new from $21.99

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun Little Set, March 25, 2008
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585) (Toy)
My daughter's Belville sets have provided a lot of fun but they are rather thin on regular block pieces so I bought this set to go along with them.

This is a very nice set. Packaged in a storage tub with plenty of extra room my daughter's other sets could be easily combined with this one. Pieces are in a lot of interesting colors; three different pinks, bright blue, bright green, yellow, white, red and some others. A nice selection of block shapes as well as some special pieces (windows, door, flowers and an ice cream sundae).

The clear instructions show how to build an adorable little cottage as well as showing many other figures. My daughter has been having a grand time with this set and wants more like it. Check it out.


LEGO Creator Mini Trains
LEGO Creator Mini Trains
Offered by buyrookies
Price: $64.34
8 used & new from $24.95

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3-In-1 Train Set, March 25, 2008
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: LEGO Creator Mini Trains (Toy)
This is the first Mini Creator set I have tried. I was very pleased. Using mostly common pieces you can quickly produce a wonderful 1880's Western steam engine. The set comes with detailed instructions for two other models as well. You can put together a smart looking diesel engine or what looks like a hand car (although a different scale than the other two).

The set is packaged in a reusable plastic box and the directions are clear and straightforward as Lego fans have come to expect. A very pleasing little set sure to bring pleasure to anyone who likes trains. Check it out.


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