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Garrow's Law Season 1
Garrow's Law Season 1
DVD
Price: $18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly done historical series spotlighting a legendary British lawyer ---- wonderfully entertaining and inspiring., August 16, 2015
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Superbly done historic series about the great British lawyer, William Garrow, at the Old Bailey, and his role in the developing of criminal trial law. Just loved it. As so often with these British series, the actors and actresses were perfect, and I fell in love with Alun Armstrong as John Southouse before the third season finished. Also fell in love with Michael Culkin as Judge Buller. Rupert Graves made for a pathetically human yet somehow charming villain. Lyndsey Marshal gave a very credible performance as an intelligent woman wrestling with matters of honesty, honor and the love of her child. Aiden McArdle was just marvelous as the prosecuting attorney so often pitted against Garrow. And Andrew Buchan was very sympathetic and convincing as the lead. The writing was superb. I only discovered this series a week or two ago, and I am so sad that it was not continued. If only it could be revived... I thought it captured the spirit and ambience of the 18th century (and potentially the early 19th century) beautifully. Highly recommended, not only for those who adore British historical drama but for all those with a special interest in the law. ---- It inspired me to order a biography of William Garrow immediately.


Contact
Contact
DVD
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and intriguing film; as relevant today as when it was made., August 16, 2015
This review is from: Contact (Amazon Instant Video)
Excellent film. Holds up really well. ---- Just re-watched this tonight on Amazon Instant, for the first time since I first saw it around 1997 when it first came out. ---- Frankly, I think it is an intriguing film for many reasons. One, it gives a fairly realistic picture of how the world might respond to evidence of life trying to communicate with us from outer space. And two, though the technology is dated --- old computers, computer monitors, that sort of thing --- the plot is still entirely plausible for today's audience. Of course it is very well written, directed, superbly cast, and beautifully photographed, too. ---- This time around, I was much more sympathetic to the way the film ended, and much more intrigued by the "contact" that did apparently happen, and much more satisfied by the time the final credits rolled. Recommended. Entertaining and just as relevant today as when it was made.


A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
DVD
Price: $2.99

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful yet bleak; dazzling yet dark: a great creative achievement., July 23, 2015
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This is a dark, brilliant and in many ways beautiful film. I found it frankly very frightening and horrifying a lot of the time, and the ending left me deeply sad and deeply anxious. Some might call this a horror movie. It's beautifully made, beautifully photographed, beautifully directed, acted, etc. But I can't recommend this with my whole heart to anyone and everyone. And I would be very cautious about ever exposing a child to this film. This is a true work of art that many will not find at all entertaining. And some, like me, will find nightmarish. It reminded me of "Blade Runner," but I found "Blade Runner" a much more affirmative film. This presents a bleak vision of the future, but a profound vision of human nature, exploring the great human need for and the capacity to love. It struck me as far too stark and uncompromising to ever be sentimental. Whatever my reservations about the violent, horrifying elements,and the terrifying overview of this film, I certainly see this as a magnificent creative achievement.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2015 1:42 PM PDT


Go Set a Watchman: A Novel
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel
by Harper Lee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.07
206 used & new from $11.70

172 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jean Louise Finch is the adult heroine of this novel --- a complex and powerful character., July 19, 2015
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The novel is quite an achievement and the adult Jean Louise dominates the pages with heroic stamina as she confronts the complexities of southern culture in the 1950's. I liked her. I liked the novel. I loved her stories of coming of age in a marvelous society of individuals and scholars and people of principle, including the woman of color who brought her up, Calpurnia. I myself think the Atticus of "Watchman" is a fine achievement. ---- And I heard nothing from his lips that he might not have said in "Mockingbird" had some one asked him. To assume that the hero of "Mockingbird" would have believed in de-segregation is a mighty stretch, indeed, and frankly I think a rather unnecessary one is make. --- And the Atticus of "Watchman" does not go unchallenged by his courageous daughter when he voices his views on race and race conflict of the 1950's. ---- Of course we find those views distasteful and dangerous, and rightly so. But then so does Jean Louise and she is the heart of the novel. --- This isn't a sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" and should not be read as if it were. It is a novel that died apparently so that "Mockingbird" could be born. And the literary mystery for me here is why a vital adult heroine like Jean Louise had to die in the process.. (Note: the character does not literally die in any narrative here. She is replaced by a small child Jean Louise in the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." ) We may never know the answer to the questions "Who killed the adult Jean Louise Finch, and why," but I'm glad that she has been exhumed --- because her story is very worth reading. (I find it discouraging that there is so much talk in the mainstream press about the character of Atticus --- is he a bigot or isn't he ----- and so little about the the powerful heroine of "Watchman." ) ----- Thanks to the publishers of "Go Set a Watchman" for bringing this novel to us. And thank you, Ms. Lee, for writing it and for allowing its publication.
Comment Comments (26) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2015 10:42 AM PDT


Seventy-five years of service
Seventy-five years of service
by B. J. Krieger
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from $96.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Memoir of the Redemptorist Catholic Church Parish in New Orleans --- written by a priest., July 6, 2015
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This is a tender touching story of the Redemptorist Catholic Church Parish in New Orleans where I grew up --- written by a Redemptorist Priest. Might be of interest to those researching the Irish in New Orleans, or the history of the churches of New Orleans. The Redemptorist Parish includes two magnificent 19th century churches, one still in operation, the other now a community center. I hope this is reprinted some day so that it is available to a new generation of New Orleans history buffs.


Ripper Street, Season 3 [HD]
Ripper Street, Season 3 [HD]
DVD
Price: $19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the finest television drama I've ever seen., July 6, 2015
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Powerful performances, beautifully written dialogue delivered beautifully. This season is as fine as the earlier two. I cannot recommend this too highly. Marvelous television. Matthew MacFadyen makes history. The entire cast is great. Production values are dazzling. What fascinates more than anything are the profound moral questions and moral confrontations. I rank it up there with "Wolf Hall," "The Borgias"(Neil Jordan), and "Deadwood."


A New History of Life: The Radical New Discoveries about the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth
A New History of Life: The Radical New Discoveries about the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth
by Joe Kirschvink
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.84
62 used & new from $16.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and enjoyable: a massive amount of material opened up for the popular reader, July 6, 2015
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I find this book very enjoyable to read. The writing is clear and accessible, and perfect for some one like me who understands so little scientific language. A massive amount of material is offered here with plenty of context. Really fun. I recommend it to those who are scientifically challenged in particular. Don't know how it would measure up for serious science students. I think it is for the popular audience.


Bonobo:  The Forgotten Ape
Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape
by Frans De Waal
Edition: Paperback
Price: $41.95
61 used & new from $6.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Fine photographs; fine text. Fascinating topic., June 2, 2015
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Excellent. Fine text and fine photographs. The differences between bonobos and common chimpanzees are astonishing. This is a good solid book on the topic, and it's attractive enough to be given as a gift to friends. Recommended.


South Moon Under
South Moon Under
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.76
12 used & new from $28.76

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rawlings' first novel: profound, beautiful right to the last word., May 18, 2015
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This review is from: South Moon Under (Hardcover)
I just finished this book. It is powerful, deeply moving, beautifully written. It immersed me completely in the world of Rawlings' characters, the simple farmers, trappers, hunters and bootleggers who lived in the Florida scrub early in the Twentieth Century, struggling against the wild to provide for themselves and their children. I did not find it as mystical or wise as "The Sojourner" or "The Yearling," perhaps because both those novels had more compelling heroes. But this story --- written before those later novels --- provides a great masterly overview of a family through three generations, and I came to care as much about these people I had about Jody of "The Yearling" or Ase, the quiet philosophical hero of "The Sojourner." There is something noble and grand about this novel. It suggests a truly great ambition on the part of the author, not simply to chronicle the harsh and beautiful world of particular people, but to extract from the tale the most profound lessons that the earth has to teach. And "South Moon Under" can be seen as a step on the way to the deeper concerns of Rawlings' later books. There is great care here, great restraint, as always, with Rawlings --- who lets her characters talk in their compelling and often savagely poetic vernacular. And the physical descriptions of the people, the trees, the animals, the river, the fires that burn the scrub, and the rains that descend on it --- are priceless. I really loved this book. It filled me to the brim with fresh images, fresh considerations, and fresh ideas. It left me with a feeling of sadness, but a kind of muted joy as well.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2015 11:00 AM PDT


The Sojourner
The Sojourner
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.95
9 used & new from $7.61

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful novel I've ever read. Perfect., May 7, 2015
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This review is from: The Sojourner (Paperback)
This is the most beautiful novel I've ever read. I cried when I finished it. It is surely one of the more nearly perfect novels I've ever read, word for word. The pace of it and the structure are perfect. The hero is irresistible. The language is poetry. ---- It is the story of a man who feels unloved, and who loves with all his heart the good earth of the farm on which he was born and the wife he marries, and a few beloved souls with whom he makes a profound connection over the course of a lifetime. The spiritual scope of the novel is magnificent. ----- A huge amount of time is taken up describing life on a farm in the northern part of the country in the early years of the Twentieth Century, and for many this might not prove interesting, but for me it was positively enthralling. To see apple and peach orchards, livestock, barns, woodlands, wheat fields, the glory of spring and the harsh cold menace of winter through the eyes of a sensitive man who loves all living things with his whole soul was breathtaking. ----- I had the feeling more than once of how much common knowledge of farming and farm animals has been lost in this country in perhaps less than three generations, and how invaluable a document this might be in terms of practical things that for millennia had been part of the lives of most of the human species. But it is the wisdom and compassion of the author that makes this a great work, and the great spiritual hunger with which Rawlings endows her humble hero. --- I love this book so much I wish I could tell the whole world about it. I really do wish that. Simply beautiful. ---- I'm going on now to read "The Yearling" but it impossible at this moment for me to imagine anything surpassing this book. To read that it was not all that successful when it was first published puzzles me and hurts me. I guess I have to find out why or how. But I'd rather just buy copies of this novel and give them to friends. I purchased my used hardcover on Amazon and it was a fine old hard copy, quite clean and intact. I will always cherish it. Now to order paperback copies for those to whom I want to give a precious gift, with rare pleasure. -----
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2015 4:34 PM PDT


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