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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars only bad witches are ugly, January 27, 2011
"The Wizard of Oz: an illustrated companion to the timeless movie classic" is the official 70th anniversary of the book, released to coincide with the special edition blu-ray that came out in '09. The book is hard cover and a total of 160 pages long, and written by Grammy winning "Wizard of Oz" historian John Fricke, and Jonathan Shirshekan, a lifelong "Wizard of Oz" fan and collector.

What I like the most about this book is the cover. It includes a beautiful, full-color, vibrant picture of the core cast of characters printed directly on the hard cover (not on a slip cover). The book also includes many beautiful and otherwise unique pictures, such as on the inner and outer covers of movie posters around the world.

Perhaps the nicest picture included is the one on 131. This includes a lavish gatefold which showcases both the Kansas twister as well as Dorothy's arrival in Oz, in full technicolor.

There are a total of 9 sections of the book:
Forward - written by one of only a few other surviving munchkins, Ms. Margaret Pellegrini
It's always best to start at the beginning: L. Frank Baum and the Road to Oz
Follow the Yellow Brick: pre-production
Special section: when the moon comes over the munckins, or taking the bus to Oz
Over the rainbow: how Oz came to the screen
You're off to see the Wizard: the promotional campaign
Special section: the oddities of Oz
The merry old land of Oz: best-loved motion picture of all time
We thank you very sweetly: acknowledgements and image credits

This is hardly just a picture book though. "The Wizard of Oz: an illustrated companion to the timeless movie classic" tells the entire story of this perennial story that the entire world has seen. If you're a new to the study of all things Oz this is especially useful, however if you're looking for hard facts and figures you may want to check out the 50th Anniversary book or the 100th Anniversary Annotated WOO book instead as they present a more all-encompassing view.

This book would also make a wonderful gift to anyone that loves this movie (and really who doesn't?). "The Wizard Oz" conjures up so many special memories and can always bring a smile to one's face. Remember, there's no place like Oz.
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The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Movie Classic
The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Movie Classic
by John Fricke
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from $4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars there's no place like Oz, January 27, 2011
"The Wizard of Oz: an illustrated companion to the timeless movie classic" is the official 70th anniversary book, released to coincide with the special edition blu-ray that came out in '09. The book is hard cover and a total of 160 pages long, and written by Grammy winning "Wizard of Oz" historian John Fricke, and Jonathan Shirshekan, a lifelong "Wizard of Oz" fan and collector.

What I like the most about this book is the cover. It includes a beautiful, full-color, vibrant picture of the core cast of characters printed directly on the hard cover (not on a slip cover). The book also includes many beautiful and otherwise unique pictures, such as on the inner and outer covers which include movie posters from around the world.

Perhaps the nicest picture included is the one on 131. This includes a lavish gatefold which showcases both the Kansas twister as well as Dorothy's arrival in Oz, in full technicolor.

There are a total of 9 sections of the book:
Forward - written by one of only a few other surviving munchkins, Ms. Margaret Pellegrini
It's always best to start at the beginning: L. Frank Baum and the Road to Oz
Follow the Yellow Brick: pre-production
Special section: when the moon comes over the munckins, or taking the bus to Oz
Over the rainbow: how Oz came to the screen
You're off to see the Wizard: the promotional campaign
Special section: the oddities of Oz
The merry old land of Oz: best-loved motion picture of all time
We thank you very sweetly: acknowledgements and image credits

This is hardly just a picture book though. "The Wizard of Oz: an illustrated companion to the timeless movie classic" tells the entire story of this perennial story that the entire world has seen. If you're a new to the study of all things Oz this is especially useful, however if you're looking for hard facts and figures you may want to check out the 50th Anniversary book or the 100th Anniversary Annotated WOO book instead as they present a more all-encompassing view.

This book would also make a wonderful gift to anyone that loves this movie (and really who doesn't?). "The Wizard Oz" conjures up so many special memories and can always bring a smile to one's face. Remember, there's no place like Oz.
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Sony BDP-S470 3D Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model)
Sony BDP-S470 3D Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model)

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars there's always something on, January 23, 2011
The Sony BDP-S470 is my third Sony BD player. There are already so many helpful reviews, I hope I can tell you something you don't already know about this. My older player is a Sony BDP-N460, so this one is certainly an upgrade. By the way, I scanned and posted the Internet guide this came with so you can see all of the channels that the Sony BDP-S470 offers.

The Good:
**Sony finally leapt into the twenty-first century and put an eject button on the remote
** Very small/compact, sleek and stylish looking
** 1-year Sony warranty
** Plays all media (blu-ray, DVD, DVD-R, CD, CD-R, DVD+R, CD+R as well as a USB memory stick)
** like all of the Sony blu-ray players I have owned, this one was a snap to install, very quick and easy
** has a LAN output for wired connections
** has 2 USB ports
** has something new called "Gracenote" which gives the user info about the media being played
** the home menu background looks a little bit more modern and contemporary
** has 3D capabilities (when the price of 3D TVs comes down I will know how well this works)

The Exceptional:
** comes with a ton of Internet channels, many of them totally free, such as YouTube (see below about YouTube, though), Crackle and Pandora and even some VOD from Amazon is now coming up free, too
** once I logged into my Sony account all I had to do was enter the code the new player came with and all of my info from my other player transferred over to the new one
** loads blu-rays just a touch quicker than my other players did
** the price was roughly 25% less than my Sony BDP-N460 that I purchased in '09, yet this one has more features

The not-so-good (this is why I took off 2 stars):
** seems just a touch slower than my BDP-N460 when it comes to streaming video online
** makes some noise (like a slight humming sound) when loading a blu-ray (especially ones with a lot of info on it)
** sometimes have difficulty getting it to read blu-rays that have a lot of info on it (this seems to be a trend with Sony), keep a bottle of DVD cleaner on hand and this WILL help
** although it supports BD Live, the unit makes an exceptional amount of noise when this feature is being used
** unit automatically shuts down on its own after a period of inactivity (and according to Sony this can NOT be overridden)
** for reasons that are unclear to me, it does not always list the name of the blu-ray
** Sony's tech support is less than stellar
** tends to freeze up/slow down when certain blu-rays are being played (I have noticed that for some reason Sony doesn't like WB very much)
** homemade DVD-Rs that are filled to capacity sometimes freeze up
** no longer has that cool Back to the Future-looking blue light that only comes on when a blu-ray is being played
** In regards to YouTube, I have since found out that NOT all video from the site transfers over to the blu-ray. Depending on how the user posts it, if they do not specify blu-ray devices than the video will not show up on a playlist or in a search. Although Sony advertises YouTube as a benefit of this player, they do not mention this one problem anywhere. The best thing to do is contact the user that posted the video asking if they can change it to allow it for broadcast via a blu-ray.
** Also in regards to YouTube, there is some type of internal chip error (similar to the big problem last year with Sony and NetFlix). The player does not read/stream certain videos from YouTube. And the odd thing is my other Sony blu-ray (the older model) which I still use can stream the same clips without a problem.

Overall, if you're looking for an economical player that will offer multi-media entertainment for your entire family the Sony BDP-S470 is a pretty good choice.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2011 2:43 AM PST


Ed the Stool Pigeon
Ed the Stool Pigeon
DVD
Price: $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic, wholesome series that you can be proud to share with your entire family, January 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This series is hysterical because the hit of the show is a talking horse, Mister Ed. Mister Ed is the end and I love watching him. This ep in particular is bound to put you in hysterics. Mister Ed is envious of a poodle and cooks up a scheme to cause some more of his trademark horse playing. If you enjoy classic sitcoms of this '60s this one is for you. As always Amazon's VOD offers exceptional video imagery and audio and if you have it links to your Sony blu-ray all you need to do is select what you want to watch first for one-stop VOD shopping.


Free Elka
Free Elka
DVD
Price: $1.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you've come a long way baby, January 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Really love this series. It's so much fun to watch. The jokes are edgy, catchy and always delivered with a touch of deadpan. Betty White is amazing in this series. She has the funniest expressions. If you've never watched "Hot in Cleveland" before it's sort of a mix between "The Golden Girls" and "One Day at a Time." The premiere ep of S2 kicked off with a bang with a cameo by Mary Tyler Moore playing a jailbird, of all things. Besides Betty, I especially enjoy Valerie Bertinelli because her character is parhaps the most relatable. She is insecure and dramatic at times but also there is something very familiar about her; it's like watching an old friend. Jane Leeves and Wendy Malick each provide strong supporting roles and add a touch of theatrics to this already in-your-face and over-the-top production. BTW if you've never used Amazon's VOD don't worry. It is very easy to operate and the picture and sound quality is better than ever (they even offer this in HD which is a first for TV Land). If you need a good laugh (and let's face it, these days we all could use one) watch "Hot in Cleveland," you'll be glad you did.


Lenox Butterfly Meadow Dessert Plates, Set of 4
Lenox Butterfly Meadow Dessert Plates, Set of 4
Price: $29.99
9 used & new from $26.40

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everyone will love these, January 21, 2011
I purchased 2 sets of these plates; one of myself and one as a gift. And I am very happy with them because they look even more beautiful than these lovely pictures online. Each set comes in a Lenox box which includes care instructions and warranty/replacement information. The plates have a beautiful design and if you have other Butterfly Meadow by Lenox pieces in your collection please know that everything coordinates exceptionally. The plates are dishwasher safe; however I recommend hand washing because they are somewhat delicate. This would also be a useful gift for anyone that is just starting to add to their Lenox collection because the Butterfly Meadow line is very evenhanded and contemporary looking. Everyone will love these plates.


I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
by Nujood Ali
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.92
578 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad but true, January 17, 2011
Books like "I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced" are important because they try to dispel the systematic abuse and degradation of innocent children sold into slavery. This is a very short and very informative book. The most important thing to remember is that Nujood is not unusual because she was sold into marriage slavery, she is unusual because she was granted a divorce. She is the youngest person ever to be granted a divorce and her book tells her entire story, from her early upbringing to her legal battle. It is not only sad but sickening that these types of stories are all too common. What I enjoyed the most about Nujood's story is that it has a happy (albeit bittersweet) ending. The book is very well-written and although is very short includes a lot of information (including a reading group guide). It is my sincere hope that Nujood gets the education that she (and all young girls) deserve and has a safe and protected upbringing.


Pilot
Pilot
DVD
Price: $1.99

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars used to be sad, used to be shy, January 6, 2011
I purchased the complete VOD season 1 of "Alice" because it was always one of my very favorite shows and because each and every ep is so funny, thought-provoking and timeless. Sure the styles are dated and even the catchphrases (Flo's "kiss my grits") may seem a little tame in the year twenty-eleven but the stories and situations of "Alice" are never tired or unimportant.

One of my favorite things about "Alice" has always been the theme song. It just sums up the series, and season 1 in particular wonderfully. Linda Lavin did have a lovely singing voice because she always sounded inviting, like a familiar, old friend at the piano.

The breakout character/star from the moment the series began has always been Flo (Polly Holliday). Part Mea West, part Annie Oakley and 100% Florence Jean Castleberry, this fiery strawberry-blonde redhead knew what she wanted and always went for it. She spoke her mind, she was spicy and sweet and never evasive and if there's one thing I learned from Flo it's that life doesn't stop just because you're a 40-something waitress in Phoenix, AZ. No way. This cowgirl knows how to have a good time.

Some of my favorite eps are probably yours as well. And these include: Alice Gets a Pass - Alice finds out that Mel's old college buddy swings in the opposite direction in one of the first instances that homosexuality was dealt with in a '70s sitcom, Goodnight, Sweet Vera - the girls try to save poor Vera's life after she tries to OD on pills, and The Odd Couple - Flo moves in temporarily with Alice after her trailer is stolen. Take special note of Flo's nightgown in this ep, what a hot mama.

Rounding out the cast on "Alice" was veteran actor of film, stage and TV, Vic Tayback as the sourly diner owner Mel, Beth Howland as everyone's favorite dingy Vera and Philip McKeon as Alice's son Tommy.

"Alice" VOD from Amazon includes a total of all 24 eps from season 1; purchase the complete series together, don't buy the eps separately because it's a lot more. Each ep is unedited and unchanged, these are the original shows that we all remember from the 1976-1977 season. Also included is the rarely seen pilot that was never put into syndication and includes an entirely different opening and closing.

If you're worried about purchasing something from Amazon's VOD don't be. Everything comes in crystal clear, never any buffering or stopping or starting (and I have just a regular DSL connection) and Amazon offers exceptional round-the-clock tech support if you do have any questions or need help.

Let's hope Warner Bros. releases more seasons of "Alice." Until then, I am just happy enough watching it online though. Remember, you are what you watch.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2011 6:41 PM PST


Christmas With the Brady Bunch
Christmas With the Brady Bunch
19 used & new from $7.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Very Brady Christmas, December 19, 2010
The original release date of this album is 1970 and the sound and style of the music really reflect this time period. Everything sounds very festive and almost has a retro quality to it.

Please note, the CD incorrectly credits some of the kids as "lead vocals" on some tracks.

These are the correct lead vocals for the CD:
1) The First Noel - Mike
2) Away in a Manger - Maureen
3) The Little Drummer Boy - all 6 kids
4) O Come All Ye Faithful - Eve
5) O Holy Night - Maureen & Barry
6) Silent Night - all 6 kids
7) Jingle Bells - all 6 kids
8) Frosty the Snowman - Susan
9) Silver Bells - all 6 kids
10) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - all 6 kids
11) Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Barry
12) We Wish You a Merry Christmas - all 6 kids

Not surprisingly the best voice is probably Maureen's, but all of the kids sound good. Perhaps my favorite song on the CD is "Silver Bells" because it has almost a country western sound to it and all of the kids sound really great singing together on this song.

Be warned, the CD is very short, only 20 minutes in total. The first 6 songs are traditional and the last 6 are more contemporary or secular.

Get this CD and play it while you're wrapping or getting ready for Christmas and it will surely make you feel Christmasy. If you enjoy The Brady Bunch and Christmas (and really, who doesn't?) you'll love this CD.


Lenox Butterfly Meadow Seasonal Dessert Plates, Set of 4
Lenox Butterfly Meadow Seasonal Dessert Plates, Set of 4

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars add a little Christmas Spice to your table, November 21, 2010
The Lenox Butterfly Meadow Christmas Dessert Plates are absolutely stunning. The pictures online do not do these beautiful plates justice at all because there is so much detail and color and pristine shine in each and every plate in this set.

Here are the particulars... This set includes a total of four 8-inch dessert plates (these would also make fabulous salad plates or appetizer plates too during the Christmas season). The outer exterior of the plates is scalloped and the plates are made of Lenox everyday porcelain.

Lenox claims that these plates are dishwasher safe, microwave save and "freezer to oven to table safe." As someone that has a huge Lenox collection (who has used their brand for the past 20 years) take it from me, hand wash only, do not put these in the microwave or conventional oven under any circumstance.

I plan to use these plates during Christmastime because they are so practical and at this price it would really behoove the buyer to stock up. I have several other pieces of very fine Christmas china, but I would rather use my new Lenox Butterfly Meadow Christmas plates because I won't have a heart attack if one gets dinged or scratched. And these plates are just as beautiful as the nicest Christmas china that I have purchased at Bamberger's.

Like all of the plates, accessories, and other items in the Lenox Butterfly Meadow line (both the Christmas and standard Butterfly Meadow collections) these are made in Indonesia (to some customers, it's important to know that). Lenox offers a lifetime replacement warranty. I have not had to enact their warranty lately but I have been told that they have gotten a little stricter over the years (years ago they used to be absolutely wonderful). Warranty info and replacement info is included with the set, as well as care instructions (btw, I have scanned all of these items). And everything comes gift-boxed in a custom Lenox box that is sure to please the eye if you're giving these plates as a gift to someone special.

I have several other pieces in the Butterfly Meadow collection, but the Christmas plates are my very favorites. These are just so lovely and cute to look at. The designer's name is custom-etched on the back of each plate, Louise Le Luyer. And the backs of each plate are finished with the the designs from the front, and in color, too!!

The price on Amazon is as if they're giving it away. They are the best and if I live to be 100 I will never find another company that even comes close to them. And with their 4-for-3 promotion I was able to purchase several other sets. And they shipped everything for free too. They are even using a new shipper, called Ensenda that offers free expedited delivery and even Sunday delivery.

If you're looking for a quick and easy (not to mention very economical way) to add a little bit of Christmas spice to your table during Christmastime this is the set to get!!
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