Truck Month Textbook Trade In Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Goo-goo Dolls Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 Fire TV Stick Luxury Beauty The Baby Store Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Cash Back Offer DrThorne DrThorne DrThorne  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $149.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Recreation SnS
Profile for Allen Smalling > Reviews

Browse

Allen Smalling's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1715
Top Reviewer Ranking: 146
Helpful Votes: 15196


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Allen Smalling "Eclectic Reader," RSS Feed (Chicago, IL United States)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter
DVD ~ Peter O'Toole
Price: $9.99
76 used & new from $1.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative acting, drama, dialog and wit all in one movie, May 25, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Lion in Winter (DVD)
Here's a tremendous movie from 1968, a real classic, and at a great price. Katharine Hepburn plays her age and Peter O'Toole plays over his age as the mismatched Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II. So mismatched that he has had her thrown into prison and let her out only because Christmas 1183 is at hand. Their three sons (played by Anthony Hopkins, John Castle and Nigel Terry) contend for Henry's considerable lands in England and France after he is gone. A foil is introduced -- the French King, played by a very young Timothy Dalton.

This film has it all -- great performances by a great cast at various stages in their careers, familial conflict, historic conflict (the eldest son, Richard (known to history as Richard the Lion-Heart) is gay, or at least seriously smitten with the King of France), wonderful dialog and no small amount of wit (Eleanor on her role in a prior Crusade: "I rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. The troops were dazzled. I damn near died of windburn"). Impressive but realistic medieval locations and powerful choral music add to the overall excellence of this production. At this price, everyone should have THE LION IN WINTER in their home theater.


Gustav Klimt: A Book of Postcards
Gustav Klimt: A Book of Postcards
by Gustav Klimt
Edition: Card Book
Price: $10.95
23 used & new from $1.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-curated gathering of Klimt's meaningful art, May 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Some wise choices went into this book of Gustav Klimt tear-out postcards. While it is true cut-outs from many of Klimt's paintings are shown, this allows the book to include, but not be dominated by, the close-to-war-horse portraits like Adele Bloch-Bauer, and to heighten other areas of Klimt's interest such as wildflowers or the sensuous fabrics of friend and dress designer Emilie Floege. Yes, these cards cost (currently) forty-seven cents to mail instead of the postcard rate of thirty-four (one US Dollar fifteen abroad). Use a ballpoint or other very stable pen, as the address side is nearly as shiny as the "art" side. Still, highly recommended.


Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas
Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas
DVD ~ Various
Price: $4.78
51 used & new from $0.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Sentiment for the grown-ups, raucousness for the kids, a top-notch production overall, May 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This 49-minute version of EMMETT OTTER'S JUGBAND CHRISTMAS is shorter than the network version introduced by Kermit the Frog, but it holds together well nonetheless. Jim Henson and his Muppets crew did themselves proud in this 1977 TV movie based on the 1971 children's book of the same name, and incorporates use of marionettes (top-string puppets, unusual for the Muppeteers) some radio control (a new technology at the time), and traditional hand-controlled Muppets. The elaborate sets convey well the atmosphere of water, mountains and small towns so crucial to this story. The story of impoverished widow Ma Otter and her young son Emmett, who hope so badly to win a Christmastime talent contents and buy nice presents, works best at Christmas but is suitable anytime. Paul Williams' music conveys well the flavor of Central Appalachian bluegrass whether in poignant ballads or jug-band mayhem. Although the sets, characters and songs say "Hill Folk," the production was actually filmed in Toronto. Along with the usual Muppetts crew, a special vocal talent is singer Marilyn Sokol as Ma Otter. This disc includes welcome making-of interviews from 2005. The price makes this treat an offer you can't refuse, and a welcome stocking-stuffer come Christmas.


Trailer Park Boys: Dont Legalize It
Trailer Park Boys: Dont Legalize It
DVD ~ John Paul Tremblay
Price: $6.99
26 used & new from $3.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Good comedy, but not enough made of the multiple plots, May 23, 2016
This sprightly Trailer Park Boys movie from 2014 sends the boys east for various reasons -- Julian has a big sell to make in Montreal, Bubbles finds he has inherited some land hear Kingston (Ontario), and Ricky wants to attend a federal conference in the national capital of Ottawa to protest possible legalization of marijuana, which he feels might wreck his thriving hydroponics and "honey oil" business. Prompted in part by Jim Lahey's chronic if unadmitted homophilic feelings for Julian, he and shirtless Randy follow the boys, just out of sight. This is an entertaining enough feature-length film with lively performances but not enough has been made of two of the movie's three plot streams. The best story is Ricky's, who ramps his dissent up to the federal level and gets away with it -- sort of. Any TPB fans will enjoy this one.


Trailer Park Boys: Xmas Special - The Dope and Liquor Edition
Trailer Park Boys: Xmas Special - The Dope and Liquor Edition
DVD ~ Cory Bowles
Offered by Two Thumbs Up
Price: $7.43
36 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Prequel, May 21, 2016
What did Randy do for a living before he met Mr. Lahey? Why did Ricky's wife kick him out? This prequel to the mockumentary sitcom TRAILER PARK BOYS takes place at Christmastime 1997 and fills in a lot of gaps. You can see Ricky's green s***mobile before it got its first ding (and during) as Julian springs an ungrateful Ricky from jail on Christmas Eve, and "the boys" go hunting for impromptu Christmas presents from car trunks at the mall. For anyone who knows and appreciates TRAILER PARK BOYS, this is a hilarious prequel to the series (and for those who don't, it won't make a lot of sense). It runs only 48 minutes but is cheap and worth every penny.


Trailer Park Boys: Season 1-2
Trailer Park Boys: Season 1-2
DVD ~ John Paul Tremblay
Offered by Two Thumbs Up
Price: $11.99
43 used & new from $7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Effin' great sitcom from Canada, May 20, 2016
At the turn of the Millennium, before MY NAME IS EARL added the trash to "trailer trash" and IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA added "dirt-bag" to "sitcom," a modest little mockumentary out of Nova Scotia got going on those concepts and then some. Fast, funny and profane, TRAILER PARK BOYS has been a Canadian joy for over a decade, and is now widely available in the States through Netflix or here, on DVD.

The series begins when life-long buddies Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (John Paul Tremblay) are let out of the local jail, not for the first time. Ricky tells the camera that jail isn't really so bad, the guys are nice and the inmates and staff alike are a great market for the home-grown pot he and Julian produce. Soon thereafter the two are joined by a third friend, "Bubbles" (Mike Smith), a sound guy for the show who quickly figured out that art was more fun than life in the making of this wack but endearing show, which apparently will run forever and has spawned several movies as well. At least Bubbles has a shack on the trailer-park grounds; the other guys sometimes find themselves without accommodations (though Ricky has an ex-wife and pre-teen daughter who have a trailer of their own.)

Ricky isn't the brightest thing going, and he's hot-headed to a fault, but he does have a way with the blarney when it comes to talking his way out of re-arrest. Julian is more the problem-solving type, cooler, magisterial and always willing to step into a crisis -- and with Ricky around, crises are almost inevitable. Ricky, by the way, has enhanced the Canadian (and now American) vernacular immensely with his very own malaprops and misusages -- the Urban Dictionary even has a listing for "Rickyisms" such as "horviculture" (how to grow things) and "RACK-in" (Ricky's pronunciation for the woodland animal with the ringed tail). Ricky lives by the precept "What comes around is all around" and speaks of "Canepillars" and "Indianapolis Jones." Bubbles, with his Coke-bottle glasses, may be the smartest member of this triumvirate, but he is frequently undone by his hobbies, which include electronic gear and pet "kitties" (the more the better), not to mention a weakness for following the other guys into trouble.

These early seasons give the boys two clear antagonists: Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth), a deposed local cop, now abuses his tenure as "trailer park supervisor" to "clean up" the Sunnyvale Trailer Park, which may be an impossibility since most of the population seems either retired, on dope, or pre-teen thugs-in-training who smash beer bottles into cars and people when least expected. (Lahey never quite "gets" that Ricky and his crew have no small number of supporters in the trailer park, and that politically and economically, it's Ricky's "turf" as much as his.) Lahey's live-in sidekick is "Randy" (Patrick Roach), a woebegone Barney Fife-type toady who never wears a shirt. As the TRAILER PARK BOYS series grows in years and hilarity and production budgets, the number of residents who are sworn enemies (or cash-only employees) of Ricky and Julian grows, and sides and alliances are frequently changed. Word has it that the filming of TRAILER PARK BOYS so roughed up REAL trailer parks in the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia area, that effective with Season 8 the show's producers had to create a Sunnyvale set to accommodate all the mayhem. (Here's where I interject that most residents of real trailer parks are hard-working, tax-paying people. I know this because I lived in one for two years.)

I can't name the titles of these episodes, because nearly half of them are so pungent as to require asterisks here at Amazon. I can say that each year averages only about eight episodes, and the "cliffhanger" for each year -- the season-ender -- always comes when Ricky, Julian and sometimes others have to go to jail -- again. But fear not, they'll be released for the next funny season just in time. Whether or not you're stuck in jail, TRAILER PARK BOYS is prime viewing. Here's the logical place to start, and at a good price.


North Dallas Forty (1979)
North Dallas Forty (1979)
DVD ~ Nick Nolte
Price: $5.91
28 used & new from $2.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Allegedly based on the real Dallas Cowboys of the early Seventies, May 14, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: North Dallas Forty (1979) (DVD)
NORTH DALLAS FORTY (1979) is often compared to SEMI-TOUGH (1977) because they both take place in the late Seventies among similar Dallas-area pro football teams and rely on considerable star power in their casting. However, they are really quite different: SEMI-TOUGH is a romantic triangle in which the two males (Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson) just happen to play pro ball and have their eyes on the ball-club owner's daughter (Jill Clayburgh) and even at that, most of the humor comes from send-ups of various contemporary therapies such as EST and Rolfing. NORTH DALLAS FORTY is about the sport of pro football and the difficult physical and psychological demands it makes on its players, especially the leads played by Nick Nolte and singer Mac Davis. It is much less of a satire and much more of a complaint about how the players are used for the owners' purpose, especially Nolte's character, who is not averse to taking pain-deadening shots to keep playing but is (spoiler) unwittingly used as a role model for a fellow player, who will not. Of the two, my preference is for NORTH DALLAS FORTY because, despite its disco-era hair and dancing, it is less diminished by topical concerns. Nolte is at the peak of his physical beauty and close to his peak in acting prowess (he had not yet made DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS); Mac Davis, as his buddy, is a good comedic foil; and the supporting cast includes such standouts as Charles Durning, G.D. Spradling, Dabney Coleman and the late John "Tooz" Matuszak. The price for this no-frills DVD makes it very attractive. Based on the best-selling novel by the late Peter Gent.


Love in a Cold Climate
Love in a Cold Climate
by Nancy Mitford
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.68
110 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The fact was that Cedric could bring out edgings of white to suit all tastes,", May 13, 2016
This review is from: Love in a Cold Climate (Paperback)
LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE (1949) is a kind of sequel to Nancy Mitford's THE PURSUIT OF LOVE (1945). It follows narrator Fanny, who is now married to Oxford don Alfred and thus a little isolated from the family home at Alconleigh and the social home in London. Much of this novel concerns imperious Lady Montedore, who is more feared than respected and more respected than loved. Having disinherited her daughter Polly for marrying an older man, Lady Montedore now turns her lights to the sole remaining heir, Cedric, who grew up in Nova Scotia and is feared a rustic. Cedric, however, is anything but, and his epicene antics make for good light reading.

There is a drawback to the Montedore/Cedric story line, though, and it's the near disappearance of the garrulous Radletts, who were central characters in THE PURSUIT OF LOVE. Tyrannical Uncle Matthew is merely alluded to, and even Jassy and Vict(oria), so welcome for their enthusiasm and over-the-top understatement of the kind the fictional Radletts and real-life Mitfords excelled in, make but brief appearances here. It IS unfair; otherwise I'd have given LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE five stars like its predecessor.

Note: THE PURSUIT OF LOVE, this LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE and DON'T TELL ALFRED are sometimes referred to as Books 1, 2 and 3, respectively, of the "Radlett and Montedore series."


Saint-Saens: Carnival of Animals (Essential Classics)
Saint-Saens: Carnival of Animals (Essential Classics)
Price: $4.99
41 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff and cheap, May 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A wonderful collection of Saint-Saens' best-known orchestral music at a great price. "Carnival of the Animals" is here without narration (cello by Yo-Yo Ma); also the entire Organ Symphony (E. Power Biggs). This low-priced disc also includes the shorter pieces "Bacchanale," "Marche Militaire Française," and "Danse Macabre." These are all wonderful light classics that will never grow old. Note to moviegoers: if some of "Carnival of the Animals" already sounds familiar, note that "Aquarium" from that suite was widely used in the movie DAYS OF HEAVEN, and the Finale provided music for the "Flamingos with a yo-yo" segment of FANTASIA/2000.


Making Movies
Making Movies
by Sidney Lumet
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.13
191 used & new from $1.11

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, May 11, 2016
This review is from: Making Movies (Paperback)
MAKING MOVIES is an informative and quick read, in which the celebrated director of such gems as TWELVE ANGRY MEN, THE PAWNBROKER, SERPICO, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and NETWORK takes us through all the phases of moviemaking, from choosing the director and script through making the movie to postproduction and release. Lumet promises us at this book's outset that he won't offer celebrity gossip, and he doesn't. What the reader will find is enormous insight into the craft of filmmaking, right down to actual callsheets and the director's exhausting schedule. Highly recommended for anyone curious about why movies are made, how they're made and what happens upon their release.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20