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Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episode IV: A New Hope / Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back / Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) [Blu-ray]
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episode IV: A New Hope / Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back / Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Mark Hamill
Offered by R and B Distributors INC
Price: $96.82
36 used & new from $37.49

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 'Meh' with some extra 'meh' sprinked on top, September 14, 2011
It's the 2004 release--with all the 2004 release problems--in slightly higher resolution...with NEW problems. Yay. Thanks, George. :( I'll stick with my old VHS tapes, I guess.


Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Mark Hamill
Price: $89.96
91 used & new from $49.99

26 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should've been amazing..., September 12, 2011
...but it's not. :(

Some people--who, let's be honest, will buy anything with the Lucasfilm name attached to it--will say 'but the picture quality is the best!' Is it? Sure, the resolution is higher, but we're still dealing with ridiculously overdone blue tint (especially in Empire), crushed blacks galore, and TONS of other problems that LFL created during the creation of the 2004 DVDs, of which these are pretty much just gussied-up versions of. On top of that, we have lots of POINTLESS additions, such as Vader's extra 'nooooooooooo' *barf!*, a stupid new Krayt dragon yell by Obi-Wan, a Dug (Sebulba creature) in ROTJ, very fake looking Wicket blinks, a lazy new reveal of Jabba's big palace door (a 2D zoom in?), etc...and they still can't fix the stupid lightsabers! Luke's is still green on the Falcon and Vader's is PINK all the time! They did fix it for a few seconds in front of the Emperor's face, but who cares when it's the same 2004 mess the rest of the time? >:-( And they have the audacity to blame it on the color spectrum changing or something like that when transferring to digital blah blah...which is total nonsense. The cores and colors are still correct on my old VHS tapes. Stop feeding us these lines. Between all the backpeddling and revisionist history, we don't believe you anymore!

They complain about restorations and such costing too much, but then they spend who knows how much time and money on messing with the movies to the point where people don't want to buy them. Good plan, George! I also have NO interest in your version of the prequels, so no help from me there either. I must say that it's kinda nice that this time, it's not just the old schoolers complaining about this nonsense, as many whom one might consider casual fans are disgusted by some of the stuff they've seen and heard. Oh, and the cover is extremely underwhelming as well. Did they commission some random 13-year-old at deviantART to do it? (no offense to 13-year-olds at DA, but you know what I mean...)

Thanks for making us wait for something we really wanted only to be so TURNED OFF by the whole thing. I feel as confused and disappointed as I was after I saw The Phantom Menace. I'm sure for the next release (3D Blu-Ray? Some new format?), they'll just release these versions again in slightly higher res and add more fluff to it for another cash grab.

Way to shoot yourself in the foot, George!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2011 5:38 AM PDT


Essential Listening 1
Essential Listening 1
Price: $11.88
45 used & new from $4.36

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of their best, but you'll want more..., June 29, 2010
This review is from: Essential Listening 1 (Audio CD)
The Hellecasters (John Jorgenson, Jerry Donahue and Will Ray) are one of my all-time favorite bands. I first heard them on the theme to the Disney cartoon "The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show" and was blown away! I was just getting into my "own" music then, separate from the classic rock and Motown my mother always had on the radio (which is great too, of course) and they were some of my early instrumental guitar "heroes."

I decided to completely jump into their music, buying their 3 major releases simultaneously, sight unheard, so to speak. I was not disappointed. Top notch everything from beginning to end. And it all has a great sense of fun about it, which I also appreciate. From there, I've bought many of their individual efforts and love them all.

This collection attempts to put together a sort of "best of" album, and it somewhat succeeds, but unfortunately only has one track from their first album. (no idea why) It does, however, have two previously unreleased tracks ("Little Miss Strange" and "Bucket of Fish") and one that was only available before on the Guitars That Rule the World, Vol. 2 album ("Disnintonation", which is a great way to start the album). Those are great treats for any fan. But really, there are a lot of AMAZING songs missing from here, including their version of "The Orange Blossom Special", one of the best versions ever recorded.

So, in short, lots of good tunes, but you'll want more. A lot of their best wrok is not represented here. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Still, I can't give it any lower than 4/5.


No Title Available

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two words: Awesome!, December 9, 2008
As a Buckethead fan, I have been seeing this strap in use for many years. He pulls on them like crazy and they are tough as nails. You get the feeling that, like his wardrobe, he has been using the exact same strap for years, as they are so durable. The elasticity is still there and it looks like he is very comfortable wearing it, with the way the weight is distributed and the way it sits on the shoulder as opposed to standard straps. I am so surprised that more famous guitarists don't use it. Perhaps it's a word of mouth thing, and if so, that's kinda hard for Buckethead to do...

At any rate, this is an excellent and truly unique product! Do yourself a favor and find out for yourself why the mighty Buckethead loves these straps so much.

P.S. I would also imagine one could launch some pretty amazing water bombs with this strap.


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Offered by Ship and Save
Price: $28.27
303 used & new from $0.01

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Skateboarding is a beautiful thing!", November 5, 2001
Not only is that quote by Selema Masekela true of the sport, it is also true of this game. The graphics are very detailed and jaw-dropping at points. Wait till you see the airport level...wow!
I just got through playing the game for several hours and am thoroughly impressed! Adding to the level of detail and realism are new animations, including some wicked looking falls, which can make you wince and even laugh. There is also a big increase in interaction with the more background elements. Certain levels' goals call for the player to directly get involved with people who are standing around watching you. When you get to the point where you have to free Chuck from his painful predicament, you'll laugh out loud. Then, when you meet up with him later, you'll laugh even harder. There is also quite a bit of talking by the background characters, both to themselves and directly to the player. Even some of the messages upon bailing are funny!
As far as the skaters themselves, everyone from Pro Skater 2 is present, with the exception of Bob Burnquist, who has been replaced with Bam Margera. Every character has tons of tricks, which can be hand-picked by the player if he/she so desires. Another thing that will help players is the ability to increase or decrease certain stats at will. This can be very helpful if certain objectives require a higher level of a certain skill.
Gigantic combos, bigger than ever before, are now possible. The addition of the revert can allow a player to continue a string of tricks once they've landed after going up a ramp. The revert can then be turned into a manual, which can be used to reach a rail, gap, etc...thus creating very long strings of tricks. Those who are fleet of thumb will be impressed at the scores they can rack up in a very short amount of time.
With the ease of combining tricks, you can even take a guy like Rodney Mullen, who combines old-school freestyle with new school street skating, and semi-successfully re-create some of the runs you see him do in such videos as Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song, Parts I & II. I was quickly doing truckstands to caspers/anti-caspers to rail flips, etc...with my eyes bugging out of my head all the while. It looks so real!
Basically, this is a perfect game. The best skateboarding game ever created. Even if you can't stand the sport of skateboarding itself, I can't see how any video game player would not have fun with this game, especially since it is so easy to get into, with excellent controls and even a tutorial, with voiceovers by tony himself. Even though this game will be released on other systems, they would have to do something incredibly drastic to improve on this version. It is an absolute masterpiece. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE!


Crushing Days: Tribute to Joe Satriani
Crushing Days: Tribute to Joe Satriani
8 used & new from $10.37

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satch fans, rejoice!!!, December 3, 2000
Finally, a tribute album to one of the most amazingly gifted guitarists of all time- the incomparable Joe Satriani!
I've actually had this album for a while now (since November 4th) and I've listened to it many times. For some reason, it was released earlier in Canada and boy was I surprised to see it! That surprise quickly turned into joy, as this is a truly excellent album. It puts a lot of other "tribute" albums to shame.
Here is a brief overview of the songs:
1. "Crushing Day" by Slav Simanic. I like it, but it is pretty much the same as Joe's version. Not that that is bad or anything. I happen to think "Crushing Day" is one of the most perfect songs he's ever done!
2. "Big Bad Moon" by Joe Bochar a.k.a. Joboj. Very cool rendition of a classic. Joboj actually does the lyrics on his guitar, which results in a very robotic sound. Nice job!
3. "Ice Nine" by Rob Balducci. Another very nice one. Good arrangement, awesome feel and some very impressive runs. Plus, the outro is the beginning of "The Forgotten (Part 2)," one of the most amazing songs ever written. How cool is that?!!
4. "Satch Boogie" by Kelly Jones. Wow! Now this is a tribute! VERY different from the original, which is the way a tribute should be, in my humble opinion. This version has a more funky, laid-back feel and is very impressive in its' own right. Very cool arrangement, too.
5. "Summer Song" by Carl Roa. Another VERY different version, even more so than "Satch Boogie." This is a very cool jazz-type jam track that would be totally out of place for the video to this song (on the awesome "Satch Tapes" video, which you should buy immediately if you haven't done so). I love this version in every respect. It is very well played and shows a lot of respect for the original. Joe would be proud!
6. "Crush of Love" by Dave Martone. This is one that I play a lot! It starts out with a very heavy, clean fuzz (which sounds amazing played on a powerful stereo, especially with a subwoofer) and then goes into a really cool, softer groove, then back to the heavy stuff, etc...As much as I love the original, this is just as good, if not better in its' own right. At first, you'll hear the heavy distortion and think 'huh?' but soon, you'll realize that this version is masterfully done. Everything about this one is excellent!
7. "New Day" by Terry Syrek. I must admit, I was a little surprised to see this song on the album, as it's not one of Joe's more well-known ones, but I like what Mr. Syrek has done with it. He gave it a cool tribal-type beat and plays it funky!
8. "Driving at Night" by Michael Chlasciak. BLEH! This is by far the worst song on the entire album. The original had a really cool ambient sort of feel to it that is hard to describe, and actually reminded me of being in a car in the middle of the night. This version is pretty much just noise. Chlasciak went nuts with the drum machine, cranking it up to a million beats per second and using heavy, grinding distortion for the guitars. He totally ruined the feel of the original. Imagine Pantera doing a love song. I don't think so.
9. "Why?" by Steve Mannocchi. This song has a great new arrangement that gives it a truly unique feel in comparison to the original. Another one that is slightly funky. Very well done.
10. "Always With You, Always With Me" by Ron Thal. This may just be the most inspired, radically different song on the whole album. It has a choir (from a keyboard, but very well done), flutes and some very impressive guitar work and humming by the author in tune to the music. At first, I thought 'what IS this?!,' but once I got into it, I realized that this is exactly the way to perform a tribute. Lots of time and effort surely went into this one. Ron Thal is a genius!
11. "Hordes of Locusts" by Steve Booke. This is similar to "Crushing Day" in that it is not too much different from the original, but it is very good nonetheless. The best version of this song is the live version on "Dreaming #11." That has got to be one of the best performances Joe has ever done!
Well, let's see...10 hits and 1 miss. I'd say that is a big success. This is, overall, an incredible album. No fan of Joe Satriani should be without it. Joe would be very proud, I'm sure. If you are already a Satch fan or just a guitar music fan in general, do yourself a big favor and BUY THIS NOW!


Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker [VHS]
Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker [VHS]
VHS
Offered by Michigan Emporium
Price: $6.74
41 used & new from $0.25

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Batman movie. Period., December 2, 2000
Living in Canada, I guess I have a couple of advantages. Good healthcare system (most of the time) and an early release of "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker."
Most of the previous reviews are written by people who haven't seen the movie and are concerned about editing that would water it down. Well, having watched it, it is pretty much the most violent Batman animated feature yet, much more so than "Mask of the Phantasm" and even more intense. I'd be very interested to see the forthcoming American release to see what changes, if any, have been made. I think it is perfect just as it is.
This is not really a movie that just anyone can get into. It is very beneficial to know the backgrounds of the characters and how they relate to one another. Without giving anything away, there are MAJOR plot twists involving the past as well as the present. In fact, they could have called this film "Batman Beyond: Revelations." The voice acting, as usual, is amazing! The emotions are very well conveyed and give the film a great sense of urgency.
The movie starts off a little bit slowly, but once it hits its' stride, it grabs you by the neck and doesn't let go! There are many exciting, tense scenes. I think it is the intensity more than the violence that would cause Warner Bros. to censor this masterpiece. There is one scene in particular that may have been a little too much in their eyes, but in all fairness, they've let Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and company get away with a lot over the years. This particular scene is pretty shocking and leads to an even bigger shock. I know that is vague, but I'm going to be nice and not spoil anything. When you see it, you'll know what I mean. Some 'what really happened?' and off-screen stuff.
Having greatly enjoyed the previous two Batman animated movies, "Mask of the Phantasm" and "Sub-Zero" (I am a big fan of Mr. Freeze!), I can honestly say that this is the best Batman movie yet. Different feel, but more to make you oooh!, aaah! and scratch your head over. Excellent animation, superb voice acting, amazing writing with plot twists galore and the usual assortment of futuristic tunes put this one over the top.
I just can't say enough about this film. They've taken the series to another level. For fans of the show, this is an incredible treat. For fans of the previous series, this is a double treat! Pre-order your copies now at Amazon.com! You can't consider yourself a fan if you don't own this work of art!


OK Computer
OK Computer
Price: $7.00
253 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars No surprises, this is pure excellence!, November 3, 2000
This review is from: OK Computer (Audio CD)
What an album! Some may dismiss radiohead as just another loud alternative band, but this is truly a thoughtful, mature album. Every song is enjoyable and special in its' own way. "Lucky" is my favorite song on this album and is one of the best they've ever done. "No Surprises," "Paranoid Android" and "Karma Police" are other standouts and, like the Foo Fighters, radiohead also has several excellent videos from this album, including the ones for these four songs. One publication voted this as the best album of all time, which the band and myself included, thought was stupid. I think it was just a poularity contest at the time. However, this is ONE of the best albums of all time and I HIGHLY recommend it. It is the bands' masterpiece!


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Offered by bregames
Price: $26.92
90 used & new from $0.99

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the original, which was nearly perfect!, October 4, 2000
Wow! If you've played the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, no doubt you were amazed. Well this one improves on the original ten-fold.
First of all, there are three new characters, including two of the godfathers of skate; Rodney Mullen and Steve Caballero (who's base stats are amazing to start with!). Also present is Eric Koston, who was recently voted best all-around skater. If you saw him in this year's X-Games, you'll know why.
Secondly, you now have the ability to create your own skateparks! There are a good number of pieces to choose from and the way things can be linked together is very nice. There are also a ton of pre-made parks in the editor that will give you ideas. Many of these are excellent in their own right and they can also be manipulated.
Thirdly, there are a TON of new tricks. All of the ones from the previous game are here, but each player can have two sets of tricks, which can be accessed by double-tapping the grab and flip buttons. This adds an incredible amount of versatility to runs and can help you to have more original lines, which is really important in contest events. Also, the inclusion of manuals is very cool. This means that instead of just normally approaching an object to trick off of, you can manual to it and this gives you constant points. Imagine some of the combos that could be achieved! It takes some getting used to, especially since it means you move more slowly and you have to manually keep your boarder's balance (no pun intended).
Fourthly, the new parks are very cool. Marseilles is the one that was included in the demo for the game, so many of you know how cool that park is already. Venice beach is nice, too. It has a lot of vert areas and even some vagrants to ollie over, I kid you not! People might miss some of the original parks, but with the park editor, you might be able to make a reasonable facsimile.
Fifthly, there is a create-a-skater mode. While it doesn't add too much to the game, it is still nice to see a skater with your name.
On top of all these factors, they've changed the level objectives quite a bit. Now instead of collecting tapes to progress, you must complete certain objectives for money. The money you earn can be used towards buying new boards, buying new tricks (including grabs, flips and specials) and boosting your created-player's stats. Also, as usual, the music in the game is fresh and should appeal to fans of several different styles. The multiplayer modes are standard, but just as awesome as before.
Well, I could say more, but what is there to say that hasn't already been said? Activision and Neversoft have really outdone themselves and continue to show a great deal of respect for the consumers. This is an incredible game in every aspect and should be in the home of every video game fan on the planet! HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE!


World Series Baseball 2K1
World Series Baseball 2K1
Offered by Game Kong
Price: $4.56
171 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a nightmare!, September 6, 2000
Remember the OLD World Series Baseball games for Genesis and Saturn? They were great, with a ton of features not found in other baseball games. Plus, they were tons of fun to play. Well, unfortunately, they both put World Series Baseball 2K1 to shame.
Don't get me wrong. As nice-looking as those old games were, 2K1 looks much nicer, with nice, smooth animations and very well rendered ballparks. In fact, the game starts off with a bang with a great intro featuring some of the more exiting plays from the game and almost photo-realistic graphics at times. However, as any gamer knows, fun in videogaming does not rely on graphics. Think about Pac-Man. The graphics are very primitive compared to the new state-of-the-art stuff, but it is still a very popular game because it is so addictive and tons of fun.
Sega has played a cruel joke on us with 2K1. Of course they'll hype it as being a great game, but it is very, very far from being great. In fact, it is not even very good. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Auto-fielding. Excuse me, I think the players would like to control what happens in the field! Especially when you see some of the stiff and/or jerky plays they make. Plus, once the fielder has the ball, it's your job to throw the ball to the infield and you can only use the analog stick. That means if your thumb slips, you might throw to the wrong base. Aaarrgghh!!
2. No batting control. You just swing. Period. No switching between contact or power hitting, just swing. Tap the R trigger and the rest is up to the computer.
3. No color commentary. This makes for a very quiet game. The crowds are half-dead, too. Even the music is quiet and annoying.
4. Iffy pitching control. The pitching control is decent, but is below-average compared to most other baseball games.
5. None of the "little things." No wind. No homerun derby of any sort. No funny or interesting commentary. No motivating music to pump you up to play. No getting to make the exciting plays yourself. No fun.
I really have to wonder about Sega. People have been waiting for quite a while for this game and you'd think they'd have put their hearts and souls into it. That didn't happen. Instead, they released a game that would show a lot of promise if it were HALF done. I mean, compare this with NFL 2K or NBA 2K. Not only do they look great, but they are also FUN! And that's what it's all about! This is a rental at best. Give me the original World Series game on Genesis anyday over this...thing!


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