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Pamala P. Ritchie "pamr6" RSS Feed (Houston, Texas USA)
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Murder by the Waters: A Benjamin Franklin Mystery
Murder by the Waters: A Benjamin Franklin Mystery
by Robert L. Hall
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.36
44 used & new from $5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars History Made Interesting, September 13, 2010
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I found Robert Lee Hall's first Benjamin Franklin book at a little used book store in Pasadena, TX and came to Amazon to buy the rest. Wow. Originally being from Philly, old Ben has always been a qusi-hero of mine and so I was delighted to find this series. Murder by the Waters is the fifth book in a series of six that has our hero going to Bath, England to partake of healing waters, look up some old fop that used to run the town, and become involved with plots to kidnap, extort and murder.

One thing I can say - human nature has not changed in 250 years. The books are set between 1756 to 1760 and people are still more interested in how they look to other people than in themselves. They still long to be Big Fish in Little Ponds and they are still attracted to "power". Life is fleeting - more so for some than for others - and all this preoccupation in looks does not prepare one for Later. Benjamin Franklin is portrayed as more worried about the Later and in Justice and Truth. There's a hard word for you - Truth. Depends on your definition of it; even in 1757.

This is a rolicking good book and will keep you fascinated from cover to cover.

Why has Mr. Hall apparently stopped writing? If you ever read this, please think of bringing back Ben & Nick from end-of-series oblivion. We will never know what happens to Polly, Peter, Mrs. Stevenson and all the other fine characters given life in this wonderful series of books. Imagine fighting crime before there was even a Scotland Yard! Sherlock Holmes had it easy!


Historic Houston Streets: The Stories Behind the Names
Historic Houston Streets: The Stories Behind the Names
by Marks Hinton
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from $47.91

5.0 out of 5 stars You Couldn't Have a Better History of Houston, July 21, 2010
Mapping and history are passions of mine and I have yet to find a book as fascinating as Historic Houston Streets. There are concise histories, pictures when possible and humorous sidebars to what amounts to a book I cannot put down once I pick it up. The only problem is there are many missing streets here which beg for a Vol II.


Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square
DVD ~ Robert Downey
Price: $14.96
23 used & new from $6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Remember The Benches!!!, November 25, 2008
This review is from: Rittenhouse Square (DVD)
I just finished watching this excellent documentary on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA. What can I say? I am transported back to the city of my childhood. I remember the curved stone benches and running thru the park as a little one.
Even if you have no ties to the great city of Philly at all, you will find this film tugs on your heartstrings through the incredible music and the visual feast of humanity. I smiled, laughed, almost cried and got lost in the beauty of nature in the middle of a concrete jungle.
There's just something about the mental picture of a squirrel eating a French Fry but that's okay because it's a Urban squirrel!
Bravo, Mr. Downey. Bravo.


Fur - An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
Fur - An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
DVD ~ Nicole Kidman
Offered by Maple Bar Movies
Price: $14.99
114 used & new from $0.50

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yin & Yang, July 17, 2008
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After reading the other reviews, it seems to me that people write to their tastes; some love Kidman, some don't, etc. Their established tastes, by and large, make up their enjoyment (or not) of anything be it film, music or literature.

So, that being said, my ten cents:
#1. I'd never heard of Diane Arbus before picking up this film.
#2. I picked it up for Robert Downey Jr. (Established Taste).
#3. Guess what? There are no words for how I feel about his performance that could convey my depth of feeling. (picks up jaw and several other body parts from floor)
#4. I think I finally appreciate Nicole Kidman. I definitely appreciate her position.
#5. I actually felt sorry for Diane's husband but he didn't deserve her. Her talent in "helping" with his photographic work made him. He couldn't do it without her - not like he did.
#6. Cheesy? Depends on how hardened your heart is and, tell me, have YOU ever been in love? And then lost that person? As I cried I totally understood how she felt when she wore his fur coat he made for her and breathed in the air from the raft he inflated. Oddly enough, this is the only part of the film I couldn't believe in. Lionel was having trouble climbing the stairs to his apartment by the end there so if his lungs were as bad as all that, HOW could he blow up anything?
#7. This is a visual feast. The colors, the fashions, the hair!
#8. It is disturbing in places. Do Not Watch if nudity disturbs you at all. Really. Don't.
#9. Also, do not watch if suicide bothers you. Or did he? Whatever, Lionel dies happy - or as happy as someone with a life like his could be.
#10. As much as I liked this film I have to agree the ending fell short. It felt unfinished. For a period of time where there was so much rich drama you end up feeling like "what happened"? I feel they should have ended it on the beach. The next bunch of scenes should have been the main movie with all the rest done as flashbacks.

Oh well...if you are a fan of RDJ or Kidman, this movie will rock your world. If you are a fan of Diane Arbus, it is a damn fine "What If". All the artists involved with this project bent over backwards saying it was SO fictional it made me wonder if it actually was. How much "If" is it, really? We'll probably never know.


The Singing Detective
The Singing Detective
DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Offered by jstore1
Price: $13.99
76 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This needs more than one viewing, June 13, 2008
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This review is from: The Singing Detective (DVD)
What can I say? I was a Singing Detective virgin, being ignorant of the British TV show or the story line. I bought it for Robert Downey, Jr. It is weird, disturbing and pulls you in like a moth to a flame. I have watched it several times now, getting a little more understanding every time I do. My favorite scene is the Mr. Sandman number. How funny!

The acting is supurb; why this didn't get any critical acclaim is beyond me. Robert Downey Jr proves, yet again, that professionally no one can touch him. He is a rare class of actor that can deliver any range be it humor or tragedy. This role had to be a challenge though with the total body make up needed for Dan Dark's horrible skin condition; not to mention the emotional roller coaster the character is on. The man appears to cry real tears at one point! Kudos RDJ!! I wish The People could vote for Oscar winners and not "The Academy". There would be a lot of different winners. RDJ would have several of the gold guys on his mantelpiece if I had anything to do with it.

I don't care for the ending at all; I probably don't totally understand it yet. For a SD newbie, trying to figure out which scene is in Dan Dark's tortured mind or is for real is part of the fun of this film. I intend to see the British series as soon as I can. Maybe I can understand the ending better. Hummm......

It's not for everyone but for those willing to take a risk and actually have to think about a story rather than just watch it, oh, do try this film.


Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays
DVD ~ Holly Hunter
Price: $6.61
90 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Values NOT, June 13, 2008
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This review is from: Home for the Holidays (DVD)
This film embodies the abject misery a lot of people experience when forced to go home to The Family for the holidays. You have to confront aging parents, aging siblings and old school friends/rivals. Nothing is the same anymore; yet you are bombarded with bittersweet memories. This film delivers in all those areas. You identify with the characters because you either know people like this or are related to them!

Robert Downey Jr really shines in this - which is amazing since the cast was brilliant. His performance just sparkles. He plays the gay brother of Holly Hunter who starts out just plain weird and becomes The Star of the film. I was disappointed when his character just goes away by escaping the insanity of The Family when he goes back to his real home to be with people who really love and appreciate the person he is rather than the little boy his family remembers. It seemed to me that the spark was gone after that.

Anyway, buy this film, put on the popcorn, curl up and enjoy. Oh, and Merry Christmas. Heh heh heh.


Click (Special Edition)
Click (Special Edition)
DVD ~ Adam Sandler
Price: $9.17
721 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Wringer, June 13, 2008
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This review is from: Click (Special Edition) (DVD)
I bought this film because when I rented it it made me cry and I knew I wanted it in my collection. It may be the ONLY Adam Sandler movie I will ever own. The story is wonderful, the acting really good and the funny moments in it aren't overdone or immature as much as Sandler's material is. The hidden gem in this film is Sean Austin and Henry Winkler. Both do a wonderful job with the parts they were given. I highly recommend this film, esp if you enjoy a good cry.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2008 11:16 AM PST


Iron Man
Iron Man
by Peter David
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
99 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Davis comes through again, June 13, 2008
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This review is from: Iron Man (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book because: a) Peter David wrote it; b) I LOVE Iron Man; c) I like to read movie books. This one was helpful and eyeopening. Fans of the film will see the stark differences between what the actors came up with during shooting and what Peter David had to work with when making a screenplay into a novel. I love David's work and have done for years. I actually have his original work, Knight Life, and still count it as one of my favorites. Why isn't THAT a movie?? Anyway, a few points in the book explained things I was puzzled about in the movie. The actors got it right, however. David did an excellent job, as usual, with the material he had at hand but the actors humanized and humorized the story. Kudos to everybody!


Innkeeping with Murder (Lighthouse Inn Mysteries, No. 1)
Innkeeping with Murder (Lighthouse Inn Mysteries, No. 1)
by Tim Myers
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
90 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good first try, July 2, 2001
I picked up this book because of its cover - murder in a lighthouse. How romantic. How thrilling. How dull - I was disappointed.
I figured out who did it halfway through the book. The characters were rather stereotypical. It was a given Alex and Elise would be attracted to each other. It was a given Alex would find a way to keep Hatteras West. I found the book predictible...
...BUT, Tim Myers' writing style is good. Even though I knew what was coming I kept reading. I am looking forward to his next book in this series. Keep up the good work!


Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (Book 4)
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (Book 4)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.94
1407 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this one down!, February 13, 2001
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In July of 2000 this book was first released and I wondered what all the fuss was about. As a 40 year old adult I wondered who on earth is Harry Potter? My curiosity piqued, I picked up the paper copy of Book 1 and finally start to read it in mid January. It is now mid February and I just finished Book 4, Goblet of Fire. All I can say is Ms. Rowling really knows how to spin a yarn! This was the first time in years I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning with a book on a work night because I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it. And the illiustrations are wonderful as well.
I am so hooked! This delightful series of books brings back memories of my own childhood when you were smaller than everyone else and had to deal with mean teachers and other adults on their level.
These books have everything: mystery, drama, pathos, evil relatives, rotten teachers, school bullies and the feeling of flying you get when something in your school child life FINALLY goes right!
I will be among the people pre-ordering Book 5 from Amazon when it is avaliable and be standing in the line at the movie theatre in November!
Lastly, I'd like to say THANK YOU to Ms. Rowling for giving us a wonderful story that you can read to your grandmother as well as your three year old. Harry Potter is the son we all wish we could have or the child we wish we could have been. By the end of this book I wish I could have traded places with Mrs. Weasley and hugged Harry myself!
P.S. And I wish I could administer a nice swift kick to the nether regions of Harry's Aunt and Uncle Dursley. What horrid people! They deserve whatever they get from Harry's magical friends!


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