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Wolfenstein: The New Order - Playstation 3
Wolfenstein: The New Order - Playstation 3
Price: $13.67
159 used & new from $5.97

1.0 out of 5 stars Never got ast attempts to install... but THAT wasn't much fun!, April 9, 2016
Absolute rubbish. Will not install. I've tried multiple times and it hangs at 75% every time. No scratches or flaws with the disc. I've tried deleting the patch, going offline... all the usual tricks and it just doesn't happen. This issue has been raised on Bethesda's message boards but no one from them will respond or fix. I will think long and hard before I buy a Bethesda game again.

Bound By Sea
Bound By Sea
DVD ~ Jack Viorel
Price: $24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grow up, Jack. Charity begins at home., February 27, 2016
This review is from: Bound By Sea (DVD)
I resisted the urge to give this one star because Jack Viorel has to be one of the most selfish man-children I've ever seen. It's interesting to read other reviews about how "inspiring" the man is because he holds himself out as doing charity work. And indeed, who would criticize a man who says he's doing it all for disadvantaged children? I guess that would be me.

To sum it up, this is the story of a guy who decides he doesn't want to work a job any longer and dumps the financial responsibilities on his wife so he can live out his pipe dream of surfing on all four of the world's oceans. But he's doing it for disadvantaged kids! And he's taking his daughter along, so bonding! Or something! Never mind that all this time spent planning and going on these trips takes him away from his wife and other two children. But don't worry, because he has a solution! He quits his job!

See, he's a first grade teacher, so he's automatically a good person. Never mind that he spent his days playing the ukulele for a classroom of a dozen kids while his wife worked as an attorney. But, you know... teachers are so unappreciated and he certainly couldn't do his charity work during the 4 months a year he didn't have to teach. And he certainly couldn't have taken a vacation with his wife, because then it wouldn't be charity work. But if he goes on his surf junkets with his daughter and teaches the local kids how to surf, well - that's charity. You're following the logic, right? Because his wife seems to wonder if there's something not quite right here.

The man spends tens of thousands of dollars going on these trips, and most of it was money he raised from the faithful because he was doing God's work and his wife financially supported him past the point of sanity and common sense. Because "he's just not a 9-to-5 kind of guy." You see, those of us who actually take responsibilities apparently do so because we ENJOY it. Heck, don't let our employers find out how much we enjoy getting the work done that makes the world go 'round so we can support this guy's fundraising, or they may realize that we'd do it for nothing. Perhaps this money would have been better spent oh, I don't know.... sending it directly to the orphanages and social organization rather than dropping ten thousand dollars on plane tickets for a single trip so he could go surf the oceans while feeling good about his generosity.

So, in short, this guy is a disgrace, and on behalf of men everywhere, I apologize to his wife and other children for his astounding narcissism and lack of self-awareness. You all deserved much better.

But when we separate alleged man Jack Viorel from the documentary itself, the documentary is actually pretty good. It's well shot and isn't afraid to show the audience the toll this takes on his long-suffering wife, who has no choice but to live life on the terms dictated by her self-absorbed Peter Pan of a husband. She is clearly in considerable pain.... well, it's clear to everyone but Jack Viorel, who either can't look up from his own desires long enough to see it or simply doesn't want to be inconvenienced by it.

They lost a star because details are not forthcoming at the end. How does this family recover from the toll that the events shown in the documentary take on them? It's when he returns home that you feel like the makers of the film are holding back on the stark details of what's going on in their marriage, which would normally be none of our business but that's the deal when you agree to have a documentary made about your life.

But it's interesting to see how people overlook the toils of those who pay the bills while the "charitable" frontman gets praise. This isn't inspiring, nor beautiful nor kind. This is the story of a negligent husband and sad excuse for a father who surfed his family down a sea of selfishness so he could pursue his own dreams under the (apparently effective, judging from some of the reviews) guise of helping others.

Cottage Country
Cottage Country
DVD ~ Malin Akerman
Offered by SpReAdLoVe
Price: $14.99
19 used & new from $4.56

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not proud that I loved it, but I totally did., December 10, 2015
This review is from: Cottage Country (DVD)
I thought this movie was hilarious. Malin Akerman was new to me, but she did a great job as the "take charge to the point of murder" fiance. And I suppose I'm something of a Tyler Labine fanboy because I like pretty much everything he's in. It's a very violent movie and will certainly not appeal to everyone, but my wife and I thought it was a great watch.

No Escape
No Escape
DVD ~ Owen Wilson
Price: $9.96
53 used & new from $2.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my faves of 2015, December 10, 2015
This review is from: No Escape (DVD)
I know a movie is great when I feel like I've lived through an experience I've only seen on the screen, and that's what happened here. This film takes you through the nightmare of not only being present during an uprising, but being the target of those taking over the country. Further compounded by the fact that the lead character has to have his entire family with him as he's trying to escape gives this movie a dimension that Die Hard never could. I was stressed, I was nervous, I was downright frightened at times... well done!

San Andreas (2015) (Blu-ray+DVD+DIGITAL HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
San Andreas (2015) (Blu-ray+DVD+DIGITAL HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
DVD ~ Dwayne Johnson
Price: $17.99
63 used & new from $6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In which 42 year-old Dwayne Johnson Fights to Save his 29 year-old Daughter. Wait... What?, December 10, 2015
I was certain that I had outgrown movies that were heavy on CGI, but San Andreas showed me that it's not that I'm too old, it's just that too few movies use CGI properly. San Andreas is a movie that would succeed or fail by CGI. You aren't watching the movie to see the Rock and Pauly Shore's love interest in "Son in Law" work out their estranged relationship while trying to rescue their daughter... who I'm pretty sure is pushing 30, which means this child was conceived when he and the child's mother were around 13 or 14 years old. THAT probably deserved a bit more discussion, but you know.... "willing suspension of disbelief" and all that.

But that silliness notwithstanding, San Andreas takes you there. You feel like you are right in the middle of the end of the world, earthquake-style. Once the ride starts, it doesn't stop until the closing credits and I lost myself in the chaos. It's big, it's noisy, it's stressful, it's over-the-top pure movie fun. You really can't ask for more than that from a disaster movie.

Why Not Me?
Why Not Me?
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mindy Delivers... For the Most Part, December 10, 2015
This review is from: Why Not Me? (Kindle Edition)
I'm not what Mindy herself would call her target audience, being a heterosexual male. But I love Mindy and her humor tickles me, so perhaps she underestimates her universal appeal. I love her television work as well as *Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Other Concerns*, so I was looking forward to this book.

At first, I indeed wondered if I wasn't her target audience because the first chapter focuses on appearances in Hollywood. I can't say I identify with that or even have much interest, but I'm glad to say I pressed on. Mindy shares more about her background in a lively way, loaded with her trademark self-depreciating humor.

But it's funny that she mentioned NBC's "Must See TV" era, because the book suffers in the same way that "Must See TV" did: There were some classic shows in that linup: Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends, Mad About You, Scrubs, Will & Grace, The Office, My Name is Earl, etc. But there were also some less-successful shows of that era like Joey, Hope & Gloria, Madman of the People, Union Station, Jesse, Daddio, Inside Schwartz, Leap of Faith, Four Kings, Battery Park, Coupling, etc. And that's what happens with this book.

Once you get to the comparatively long chapter about her crush on a White House employee, things start to falter. I made it about 80% through that and jumped ahead. Then, there is a lengthy procession of fictional e-mails that... well, it's the Union Station you sat through between Friends and Seinfeld.

The book ends strong with an affirming final chapter, so it finishes strongly. So, all in all, it's a good book that could have been great had it stayed on course. But it's well worth a read for any Mindy fan.

DVD ~ Domhnall Gleeson
Offered by MorningStar2
Price: $9.30
35 used & new from $1.58

5.0 out of 5 stars "Even among misfits, you're misfits!", July 14, 2015
This review is from: Frank (DVD)
When I watched this film, I remembered a time when wealthy kids spent a fortune to look poor. When I was younger, I wished I were the "bad boy" who the girls found exciting. This is a movie with a similar theme: A middle-class working guy with a stable life spends his evenings in his room dreaming of being a rock star. The opportunity to join a band and jettison his comfortable life to live in the woods and record a rock album presents itself and he readily accepts.

But, to paraphrase what Yukon Cornelius said in "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," our protagonist is a misfit among the misfits. He goes through the motions and does everything he can to become as tortured and screwed-up as his bandmates, but it means changing who he essentially is.

In that regard, the conflicts in the movie are largely internal, although they manifest themselves in the main character's attempt to relate to his bandmates. It's a thought-provoking film, so you have to be in the mood for it. But it's a well-made film with excellent performances and an unusual spin on the "band rises to fame" trope.

Maps to the Stars
Maps to the Stars
DVD ~ Julianne Moore
Price: $9.99
56 used & new from $2.66

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Comedy that Is All Dark and No Comedy., June 8, 2015
This review is from: Maps to the Stars (DVD)
John Waters, who called the movie "hilarious," clearly has a different sense of humor than I. Humor, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I cannot imagine how anyone would find this movie funny. And I don't mean this in the context of, "I didn't find these attempts at humor funny." I mean, I couldn't figure out what parts were *supposed* to be funny.

This movie reminded me of the 1980's, when we were more fascinated with the problems of the wealthy and successful. We had Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, etc... all giving us a peek into the "money can't buy you happiness" world of the rich and powerful. And I just don't think this is the right time for a movie about self-centered rich people who have forgotten what real problems are. Your child star of a son isn't finding his career satisfying? Boo-freaking-hoo. You can't find the right maid for you? Pardon me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. You didn't get the role you wanted? Waaaaah! Can we agree to a moratorium on movies about the movie business? It's been done to death.

So, while this might have worked in the "me" decade, it's impossible to generate any amount of sympathy for these people. The mentally-ill daughter character and accompanying plot had the occasional moment of bringing the movie up to "mildly interesting," but it's way too little to save this tragic waste of talent. Making movies like this should be grounds for criminal prosecution. AVOID. IN THE NAME OF EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND PURE IN THE WORLD.... AVOID!

South Park:  The Stick of Truth - Playstation 3
South Park: The Stick of Truth - Playstation 3
Offered by Awesome Fun Time
Price: $17.90
171 used & new from $2.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Finally! The South Park video game we deserve., June 2, 2015
If anything in the world offends you, this game will offend you. It revels in its offensiveness, and we're all the better for it.

The Stick of Truth joins the Simpsons Game in actually playing like a long episode of the series. So, if you love the series, you'll love the game. The voice actors, the animation, the crazy storylines... they're all there.

So why four stars? Well, I didn't just love the turn-based combat. I would have preferred a more traditional beat 'em up, but there it is. I don't know how other turn-based games go, but I didn't lose a combat scenario once, and I'm not exactly a master strategist. Once you have Butters with you, it's dang hard to lose. He heals you and can unleash all kinds of carnage as Professor Chaos, so you don't really need anyone else. One might argue that you don't want a spike in difficulty to disrupt the flow of the game, and there's some merit to that. Still... combat is stupidly easy.

The other thing is the inability to choose to bleep profanity. Bleeps are simply funnier to me than hearing the actual words. An option to have bleeps (like we had years ago in Brutal Legend) would have greatly improved the experience.

But all in all, this is a game not to be missed by any South Park fans.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
DVD ~ Tyler Labine
Price: $9.99
32 used & new from $5.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Let a Little Blood Keep You from this Comedy Gem, June 2, 2015
This review is from: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (DVD)
I was a little worried about watching this one with the wife because of the violence. She still hasn't forgiven me for Sin City. But the violence level here is... well, I'd say that if you can handle The Walking Dead TV series, this one won't bother you. It certainly didn't bother her.

With that out of the way, you are in for a treat. This is a clever, hilarious, well-directed and well-acted role-reversal movie that is downright charming. It's lots of fun and never lets up. Humor is subjective, of course, but if you don't mind silly and physical humor, there is a lot to like here.

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