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Mad Men: Season 5
Mad Men: Season 5
DVD ~ Jon Hamm
Price: $9.99
76 used & new from $3.70

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I love the Mad Men DVDs, May 8, 2012
This review is from: Mad Men: Season 5 (DVD)
1) The show itself is possibly the best drama in the history of TV (the Wire is still #1 for me). A perfect marriage of great writing and perfect acting without overacting.

2) The show's creators, actors, and writers all participate in the DVD commentaries. There is at least one DVD commentary PER EPISODE and the average is approaching two per. With that level of dedication to producing commentaries just so the fans of the show have an actual incentive to buy the DVDs, it's a wonder that other shows are not following this example. Breaking Bad has done this in a different way through a one hour podcast that follows each episode.

3) It allows the fan to judge the season as an actual season rather than as a standalone episode per week. Spend the 11 hours in a marathon enjoying the season and you'll see new things.

So for those who bailed out after Episode 2 of Season 5, either a) you were never fans of the show in the first place and you are just trolling or b) you for some reason lack the patience to judge the show as a season which if you got the Season 5 DVD would allow you to do with ease.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 13, 2012 2:42 PM PDT


New! BackSpa - "BIG MOUTH" Back Hair Shaver (No Shaving Cream Required).........See Our Youtube Video!
New! BackSpa - "BIG MOUTH" Back Hair Shaver (No Shaving Cream Required).........See Our Youtube Video!

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars for the Product but Customer Service bumps to 5, May 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Give credit to the company - it made a product that does what it says it is going to do and quite well.

I was not expecting much when I ordered this product. At the time of first use, I had an everblack forest on my back and I saw what looked like a simple piece of plastic with a razor. I thought this is most likely going to do a mediocre job.

Boy was I pleasantly surprised. This product actually works and quite well. The video may be simplistic but the procedure itself is simple thus I feel that the video describes all you need to do.

The easiest way to use this product - use it like you would a back-scratcher with the blade pointing down. Using this procedure, I was able to shave off the bulk of the hair with only some "stubble" remaining.

Simple test for me to see if it worked - try to grab a clump of backhair after shaving. I was not able to on most areas after a single pass and on all areas after focusing on them with the BackSpa. To date, using this as a daily maintenance tool, I still have not been able to grab a clump of hair off of my back and shoulders. Amazing!

Pluses: No razors, no bleeding, no razor burning, no chemical burning. This tool really does simplify what used to take a long time with hair removal chemical products. And you can easily integrate it into your daily shower routine.

Minuses: The razor can accumulate stuck hair (I used a used toothbrush to clean out the excess) and I keep worrying that the handle will snap even though the handle has not.

Added-plus: the President of BackSpa was able to address any customer concerns through email and handled the customer relationship quite well. Really, most new companies should study what BackSpa is doing with respect to customer service.

Kudos to the inventors and the company.


Everlast Heavy Bag Stand
Everlast Heavy Bag Stand
40 used & new from $78.23

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great but not tall enough, January 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Everlast Heavy Bag Stand (Sports)
Some experts recommend that the bag's middle (sweet spot) should be around fist level.

It's my fault for purchasing a stand where the bag top comes to my neck (I'm 5'10). I eventually needed to construct a secure apparatus upon which the bag stand sits to get the bag to an appropriate height. So please be warned, if you are around 5'8 and above and you want the bag to be at an appropriate height, then it must rest on some 1'-2' high platform. This is assuming that the combined height can still fit in the room (luckily my garage can accommodate it).

Pros: Easy to construct and move. Seriously, not difficult at all.

Con: Too short to be truly effective (punching the top of the bag isn't rewarding).
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2016 11:13 AM PST


Law & Order: The Complete Series
Law & Order: The Complete Series
DVD ~ George Dzundza

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the show, hate the price, October 25, 2011
Yes I don't own the complete series. But yes, I would once the sellers drops it to a reasonable price. Somewhere in the $200-250 range sounds appropriate for me and trust me, Amazon will have it there within 6-12 months of this release.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2012 8:47 AM PDT


The Soviet Story - 15 Languages (PAL only)
The Soviet Story - 15 Languages (PAL only)
DVD ~ Edvins Snore
4 used & new from $16.99

11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why 4 stars?, March 20, 2010
This documentary does demonstrate the many evil deeds enacted by Stalin (and could've added more) and I'm glad there is a documentary that demonstrates some level of "parity" between the more "obvious" evil Adolf Hitler and the less "obvious" evil Josef Stalin. It also does a great job at exposing the way-too-comfortable relationship between the Nazis and the Soviets during 1939-41. And it definitely demonstrated that there was anti-Semitism in both the Nazi and Soviet camps.

All that being stated, I have 3 problems with this documentary.

1) In terms of just providing balance, it would've been worth noting the heroism of the Red Army between 1941-45 in stopping Nazi aggression and providing a solid Eastern Front (at the cost of over 14 million soldiers) that helped the Allies as a whole defeat Nazi Germany. Even the most right-wing person could recognize that the Allies' task of defeating Hitler would've been much harder, if not impossible, without the tremendous help from the Soviets. Yes, the Red Army committed atrocities too (as did the other Allies to a much smaller extent) but it was part of the necessary war to defeat Hitler.

2) The idea of the Nazis being just "junior Communists" is just ludicrous. Yes, both believed in totalitarian systems. Yes both believed in murder and repression in order to maintain rule. However, the Nazis were "Socialist" in name only (and that was to acquire votes in German elections prior to 1933). Hitler despised Bolshevism (and what he called Judeo Bolshevism). Hitler's idol was Frederick the Great (hint, not a Socialist) and Hitler wanted a return to a "Prussian" empire. He considered as friends Mussolini and Franco and backed Franco and his Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. The Soviets supported the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. If the Nazis and Soviets were so "chummy", then how come Hitler decided to launch Operation Barbarossa in the first place (the documentary completely neglects this)? Why did Stalin respond with such ferocity (the documentary completely neglects this too)?

3) Marx/Engles may have called for mass executions and Lenin did order executions be carried, but neither one is on the scale or ideology of Stalin. Stalin was his own creature and not a blind follower of Marxist-Leninist ideology. In fact, while Stalin claimed to support the beliefs of the Marxist-Leninists, he had no problem ordering the executions of many of them including Trotsky, who denounced him, and Kirov, who supported him but was too much of a threat. Stalin has more in common with Ivan the Terrible than he does with Lenin. It's quite telling that all the original Party members ended up dead under Stalin's rule (with Trotsky, I believe, being the last holdout). The documentary paints the picture that it was the teachings of Marx-Engles and Lenin that drove Stalin to cause the deaths of over 20 million Russians which denies Stalin's own psychological makeup as the true cause of this scale of death. It's quite telling that when Khrushchev took power after Stalin's death, he set out to de-Stalinize the Soviet Union but kept Marx and Lenin in, implying just how rogue Stalin was.

This documentary would've been more credible if it just focused on Stalin, his atrocities, and the troubling thought that there are people in Russia (including its leaders) today who are willing to ignore these atrocities altogether and focus on how "great" Stalin was. "Blood on the Snow" is a much better documentary for this. Linking all these deaths to the Communist Manifesto is just intellectually dishonest.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2010 2:44 PM PDT


The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.00
342 used & new from $0.01

16 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haven't read the book but, March 15, 2010
the spoiled brat idiot reviewers who gave it 1-star because it's not on Kindle made me mad. I saw Lewis' 60 minutes interview and I have a basic understanding of what this book is about to the point of reading it. This book can't be 1-star bad.

Yes, I submit that this review is NOT HELPFUL and have no problem with it being called as such. However, before you do, I do intend to purchase the book and to post a better review than this.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 22, 2010 4:34 PM PDT


The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
by Bill Simmons
Edition: Hardcover
142 used & new from $2.28

20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best book over 700 pages I've ever read., November 4, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Before I begin the review, I'd like to point out the valid and invalid criticisms of the book with my responses to them:

Valid criticisms:

1) "It's a little too long" (arguably yes, I myself probably could have enjoyed the book just as much if it were 50-100 pages less. I do question though if having less pages would've left out an important area of debate and even after I read this book, I felt there were more topics and issues that could've been presented.)

2) "It is vulgar at times and has too much profanity" (Very valid, this is NOT a book for little kids, this is definitely a book for ADULTS. If anything, adults should read it and boil off the profanity and just give the main points of the book to the kids that want to learn about the NBA. SPOILER: It is important for kids to know why Dennis Johnson was one of the most important players in NBA history; it is perhaps not important for kids to know how large his "equipment" was).

3) "It is borderline racist" (this one is rather suspect because Simmons, to the best of my knowledge, is not a racist and is actually quite brave to tackle race in his basketball book. No serious book about the history of professional basketball can avoid racial questions and when Simmons is being serious, he does a superb job of tackling race and racism in professional basketball. That being stated, it is not out of the question that some readers with antennae turned to high would be offended, especially when Simmons is trying to be funny. However, I suggest you read what he writes about Oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor before judging him.)

SPOILER:

Bill is quite "racist" against one race, the Martians. He just assumes that the Earthlings would roll over a Martian Dream Team.

4) "It is too much in the Simmons wheelhouse" (Valid too, I have been a fan of the Simmons columns and podcasts and therefore I get a lot of the humor and his style. However, perhaps someone born after 1992 or before 1958 won't get a lot of the humor and therefore feel lost as Simmons rattles off pop-culture references and jokes that resonate with people that grew up around his time. Also, people not familiar with his columns may also feel lost. Some might consider this book, because of Simmons' comedic perspective, a book with a specific audience. However, if you can get past the pop-culture references, you may still find that this basketball book is one that you can appreciate even if you don't get all the jokes.).

5) "I don't like the NBA and/or I know nothing about the NBA" (Sorry to hear that. This is not an NBA book for novices in terms of the debates it wants to start and in terms of the questions it asks. Simmons' passion for the sport might alienate the person that is new to the NBA or just hates it. I've been a NBA fan for over 25 years and even I got an education from reading Simmons so imagine what the newbie/hater would have to face.)

Invalid criticisms:

1) "It is way too long!" (What are you 8? In this case, read response to valid criticism #2. Simmons is attempting to discuss the entire history of the NBA and quite frankly, with all the issues involved over the past 60+ years I'm surprised that the book isn't longer. Also, it is not a united 700 pages, rather one could easily read any of the book's 13 chapters as standalone ones. BTW, if you can't read more than 100 pages, then you might want to give up on reading altogether, unless you are the aforementioned 8 year old or lower in which case this book is not for you anyway).

2) "It has a lot of footnotes" (Normally I would respond, but I think giving you a pacifier would be better. If you like, don't read the footnotes. You'll get a different interpretation of the book from the rest of us and you may complain about that too but then again, you're the baby whining about the footnotes in the first place).

3) "I hate Bill Simmons" (You most likely won't like the book then. But I have to question the sanity of someone who hates Bill Simmons, then reads a 700+ page book by the same Bill Simmons, then comes on to Amazon to badmouth Simmons and the book [oh wait, this person did not read the book?])

4) "Bill Simmons is a Boston-homer so most, if not all, of his conclusions are slanted that way" (You can't be more wrong about the book, yes Simmons is a Boston-homer but the majority of his analyses are reasonable given the thesis of the book. Fans of other teams, knowing Simmons' Boston-homer demeanor, should be pleasantly surprised by many of the analyses and conclusions he makes)

5) "Bill Simmons pathologically hates Kobe/Kareem/Vince Carter therefore a lot of this book will be anti-those guys" (see response to invalid criticism #4).

Now my review:

"The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons is to me the right combination of comedy book, sports chronicle and master's thesis (if they have those for NBA analyses). It is because of this that even though the book is over 700 pages long, it is not boring because while reading it, it at times can make you laugh, make you think, make you feel, or some combination of the three.

The basic premise of "The Book of Basketball" is that one should not judge players solely on the stats. One needs to go beyond the stats into who these players actually are/were and what their peers thought of them in order to determine their overall value to the history of the sport. It is quite an ambitious undertaking and one that requires a thorough examination of the sport and all its leagues and eras. Simmons utilizes all of his firsthand knowledge of watching games, tapes of old games, interviews he did himself, and a collection of great basketball books and condenses them into a book that explores every era, every league and every relevant player and issue.

Simmons brilliantly opens the book with a chronicle of a conversation he had with Isiah Thomas (a guy Simmons attacked in many-a-column) and closes it with a chronicle of a conversation he had with Bill Walton. These two bookending chronicles set up the rest of the book and how one should value players and teams. What Isiah calls "The Secret" and what Walton calls "The Choice" is that intangible quality that makes an NBA player and a team successful. Armed with the concept of "The Secret" (or "The Choice"), Simmons examines and sometimes reexamines those players and teams that grasped this concept and those that didn't and used this as a variable to determine the greatness of that player or that team. Simmons reexamines the "Russell versus Wilt" debate and creates the "Hall of Fame Pyramid" where players are placed on different tiers depending on where their play ranks in the overall importance of the history of the league.

In addition, Simmons poses the great "What Ifs?" of NBA history (which, as a fan of Cowley's "What If?" books for history was a welcome surprise for yours truly), looks at the greatest single-season teams from a different viewpoint and looks at specific individual player seasons that you would want in the NBA "Wine Cellar". Without creating separate chapters, Simmons also examines the spread of cocaine in the NBA during the late 70s to late 80s, the personality traits/flaws of certain players and the role that race and racism played in the history of the NBA.

The best thing about this book is that it is as Malcolm Gladwell wrote in the foreward: "This book is supposed to start arguments" and after reading it, this book can and should generate a few healthy NBA debates. In addition, he gets guest input from "luminaries" like William Goldman (a 40+ yr Knicks season ticket holder/very successful screenwriter) and Chuck Klosterman (a confirmed sports atheist/writer).

Simmons also injects a lot of comedy (I mean a lot). For those unfamiliar with Simmons' columns and podcasts, Simmons combines analyses and personal stories in this book with many humorous pop-culture references to Hoosiers, Teen Wolf (in a very surprising way), Scarface, the Wire, Mad Men, Shawshank Redemption, the Godfather and many well known and lesser known ones (the references to porn are why this book is not for kids).

So who is this book for primarily? 1) any serious (adult) fan of the NBA and/or 2) any fan of Simmons' columns/podcasts. If you don't like this book, it is probably because you don't fit in either camp.

All I can state after that is thank you Bill Simmons for writing this book. It is well overdue.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 7, 2009 7:24 AM PST


Emeril by All-Clad E96440 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan Fry Pan Cookware, 10-Inch, Black
Emeril by All-Clad E96440 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan Fry Pan Cookware, 10-Inch, Black
Offered by DesignapplianceII
Price: $39.79
4 used & new from $39.79

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful pan, September 10, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I concur with the preceding reviews about the grilling ability, the weight, the ability to transfer heat and the seasoning.

I've read in a few places that you should not use soap on this pan. What I do to clean it is I soak it in hot water for 5-10 min to break up the grease, then I use a toothbrush (not the same one I use to brush my own teeth mind you) to get the stuff that really sticks, then I use a paper towel to get this residual gunk, then finally, I pour oil in the pan and use the toothbrush to guide the oil all over the surface of the pan. Works great.


Family Guy, Volume Seven
Family Guy, Volume Seven
DVD ~ Seth MacFarlane
Price: $11.20
68 used & new from $0.24

6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "One-Star Trolls" convinced me, I'm buying, June 12, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Family Guy, Volume Seven (DVD)
If a product that no one has seen yet can generate this many unfounded one star reviews, it is definitely worth a watch. The actual product can't be that much different than the other Family Guy DVD sets.

Seriously, if a show that these trolls claim to either used to like or never liked can generate this much vitriol, then this show should get five stars just for that. Definitely don't see this much passion for "Dharma and Greg"!

IMO, this product deserves five stars just for "I Dream of Jesus". Plus the FG people have wised up and recognized that no one wants to pay over $30 for a DVD set and have priced it more reasonably.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2009 10:46 AM PDT


The Sopranos: The Complete Series Gift Set
The Sopranos: The Complete Series Gift Set
DVD ~ James Gandolfini
Offered by Jumpin Joes
Price: $399.69
10 used & new from $95.00

6 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, a great value, July 25, 2008
HBO tends to rip off customers with DVDs but for 86 episodes (even though only about 60-65 are actually worth watching), paying $280 isn't bad. I feel about this set the way I feel about the Godfather Trilogy being rereleased: I love the first 2/3 and I like the newer DVD extras so I guess I can deal with that abomination known as GF 3 (in the Sopranos case, Season 6 and 6.2 and isolated throwaway episodes in other seasons). The Sopranos also demonstrates that any good TV drama should wrap it up in about five seasons. I truly think that had the writers tightened up Season 4 more, the series could've ended in five seasons as being the greatest show of all-time. But because of Season 6 and 6.2 (which had isolated genius but nothing to the level of the first five), my opinion of the show is jaded.

However, if you don't have any of the seasons (or even if you do) I still recommend you buy it for the Blu-Ray quality and the new Sopranos extras.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2009 11:03 AM PST


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