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Wolf Hall - Season One
Wolf Hall - Season One
DVD
Price: $10.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, innovative in its subtlety and understatement; profound., April 20, 2015
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This is simply brilliant television with dazzling understated and subtle performances and skillful muted direction and exquisite cinematography ------- all of which adds up to pure delight. Costumes, settings, all the small details --- sheer perfection. I have never seen Henry VIII material done in this way. Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell is riveting. What he achieves without saying a word is incredible. What he achieves when he speaks in magnificent. This is one of the finest performances I've ever seen on television. Though it is much smaller (so far) in scope, I rank this series with Neil Jordan's "The Borgias." A shining example of the new golden age of television. ---- Frankly, I was reluctant to begin watching this. I thought, "Can I really go Henry and Anne yet again?" But I was instantly captivated --- because this is fresh, innovative, and profound. Highly recommended.


Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
by Tracy Borman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.26
62 used & new from $15.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent; beautifully written; accessible., April 20, 2015
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The recent television mini series "Wolf Hall," based on the novels of Hilary Mantel, has sent me looking for a good solid biography of Thomas Cromwell. This book fills the bill. It's beautifully written, very accessible and very enjoyable, and extremely well documented. Just what I wanted. I have long believed biography is one of the most rewarding ways to study history, especially when the biographer gives ample context, immersing the reader in the period, as the story of the subject unfolds. Borman is excellent! I'll be reading more of her work.


Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel
Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, readable informative biography of a beloved actress., April 18, 2015
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This book does the job. Having just watched "Gone With the Wind" again after re-reading the book word for word, I wanted to know about Hattie McDaniel, who she was, what it was like for her to be the first African-American to receive an Oscar for best supporting actress, and how this impacted her life. The book told me pretty much all I wanted to know. It's simply and directly written, enjoyable and well documented. Recommended for those who want to know the story, as I did. I wasn't surprised at all to discover how much the world loved Hattie McDaniel. When I was a little girl growing up in New Orleans, in the days before television, I well remember the evening radio show, "Beulah" and the way the announcer always said the name of its star: Hattie McDaniel. ----- The whole family loved this nightly entertainment. ----- Later on when I saw the film, "Gone With the Wind," I didn't connect the lovable Mammy to that old radio show, but I found Mammy one of the strongest forces in the film, her performance profoundly impressive by any standard. But it came as no surprise to me, as I read Jackson's book that McDaniel and other black actors who played servants had been criticized for it during their careers. And this book seems to me to present this controversy with objectivity. I think it is difficult for people today to realize the prejudice these black actors confronted, and how limited were their opportunities. Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) could not even attend the Atlanta premiere of "Gone with the Wind" due to segregation. The life and achievements of Hattie McDaniel are part of the history of Black America, and the history of Hollywood.


Betty Smith: Life of the Author of a Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith: Life of the Author of a Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Valerie Raleigh Yow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.46
42 used & new from $25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography of a Great American Novelist., April 4, 2015
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Very well written, readable and enjoyable biography of American novelist Betty Smith. This told me just about everything I wanted to know about the author of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." I find the biographies of authors to be invaluable. I'd recommend this to any aspiring author, and of course to any fan of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" who wants some context for the genesis of the novel, or any person who is simply interested in the story of the woman behind an American classic.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from $8.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American classic; beautifully written; irresistibly readable., April 4, 2015
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I honestly don't know where to begin. This is a truly great novel. Years ago, I read this book but I did not, at the time, fully appreciate the consistently high quality of the prose, and the depth of the writer's insights into human nature and the world she describes in such detail for us. A few weeks ago I sat down and read it word for word from beginning to end and I was enormously moved by and impressed with it. The writing is rich, precise, brilliantly restrained and immensely satisfying. Francie is a true heroine, struggling to fulfill her dreams as a sensitive and creative young person in a harsh and often brutal environment. Her imagination and intelligence are beautifully revealed in pages filled with brilliant and wise observation, and simple incidents that can move you to tears. In many respects it's a heartbreaking novel, filled with suffering, and often deeply sad; but it's always enormously inspiring and somehow always entertaining. That some critics when it was published dismissed it as "sentimental" is hard to believe. It is anything but sentimental. ---- It is realism at its finest. Highly recommended. Truly an American classic.


Maleficent (Plus Bonus Features)
Maleficent (Plus Bonus Features)
DVD
Price: $14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Brilliant and Dazzling Film., April 4, 2015
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Don't miss this film. Why I didn't see it earlier, I don't know. Why did I have such low expectations? --- Tonight I watched it on Amazon Instant and I found it shockingly brilliant and imaginative and surprising from start to finish. A superb script by Linda Woolverton, and a magnificent performance from Angelina Jolie lie at the heart of it. It's also visually stunning. An unforgettable film. Destined to be a classic.


Anthology [2 CD]
Anthology [2 CD]
Price: $19.44
61 used & new from $3.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific collection of a unique and legendary rock and roll and country singer., March 24, 2015
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This review is from: Anthology [2 CD] (Audio CD)
Terrific collection! Where was I when Brenda Lee first sang these marvelous songs? I don't know. But I'm enjoying them now, one after another. And for anyone who loves this kind of rock and roll and country music, this particular collection is terrific. I know of no other voice quite like that of Brenda Lee, and I guess the defining word would be "power." Her voice is just huge! Enjoy.


Grantchester
Grantchester
DVD
Price: $9.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New, fresh and enjoyable British Crime series., March 5, 2015
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I found this to be another very interesting and enjoyable British crime solver series, and I'm looking forward to the second season. The casting is terrific all around, and the hero is all the more fascinating for his his weaknesses and his faults. I guess one could say he's the Anglican "Father Brown," but really he is much more than that, and ultimately his own new and compelling brand. I find the writing excellent. The whole thing feels fresh. Recommending for pure enjoyment.


Father Brown, Season 1 [HD]
Father Brown, Season 1 [HD]
DVD
Price: $27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable series., March 5, 2015
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Quite an enjoyable series. Sometimes I find it a bit too playful, and the regular supporting cast a bit too comical, but I remained riveted to the episodes regardless, and found the Mark Williams version of Father Brown very appealing. Looking forward to seeing the remaining seasons. This is not quite the Father Brown I remember from Chesterton's stories, but this stands on its own as very well crafted fun. It's prompted me to read the stories again. The only thing I truly did not like at all is Father Brown's relationship with the local police inspector which struck me as tiresome and cliched. But this is easily overlooked. There's so much else that is satisfying.


Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
DVD ~ Vivien Leigh
Price: $13.10
39 used & new from $3.80

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite and Heartbreaking; lovely adaptation of the great novel., March 5, 2015
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This review is from: Anna Karenina (DVD)
This is an exquisitely photographed and beautifully acted film that is amazingly faithful to the novel. The story of Kitty and Levin is much neglected, but that seems to be the case with many adaptations of "Anna Karenina." I thought Leigh's performance was tender, restrained and heartbreakingly lovely. She comes across as gorgeous, magnetic, and unconsciously seductive and makes Vronsky's infatuation with Anna wholly believable. All the casting was superb. I first saw this film on late night television decades ago in the very early seventies, and it was what prompted me to read the entire novel cover to cover, introducing me to one of the greatest fiction accomplishments in literary history. Now, having watched the film again, I find it in many ways as compelling as I did years ago. Some might say it is dated, even a bit creaky; but I was again deeply moved by it, and marveled at its fidelity to the personality of Tolstoy's characters and his major themes. Highly recommended. I also note that you can see a digitally remastered version of this on Amazon Instant Video. I think that's marvelous. My review is for the DVD.
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