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The Others [Blu-ray]
The Others [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Nicole Kidman
Price: $6.00
42 used & new from $3.67

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Original and Utterly Magnificent Ghost Story., May 11, 2012
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This review is from: The Others [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
If any film comes close to topping The Innocents with Deborah Kerr, as the ultimate haunted house film, it is this mastery film with its fascinating and original "take" on the haunted house genre. Nicole Kidman gives a genius performance as the woman at the center of the mystery here, and her two children, a boy and a girl, are perfectly cast. The other cast members are remarkable; and every single person in this film looks extraordinary, and their behavior is carefully choreographed to be tantalizing and ultimately frightening. The old house itself is magnificent, both inside and out. But the true genius of the film is the original twists and revelations it brings to the genre. The ending is profoundly satisfying, making sense of the many chilling scenes throughout. And make no mistake, there are chilling scenes here of such subtle horror that they take your breath away. If you have not seen this, I would say most definitely see it. it is my opinion that this film did not get the accolades it should have gotten when it was released. But surely its fame is growing among those of us out here who treasure this kind of beautiful work in the genre. This has to be on its way to classic status.

The Innocents
The Innocents
DVD ~ Deborah Kerr
Price: $9.31
46 used & new from $3.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Masterpiece; the ultimate haunted house film and more., May 11, 2012
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This review is from: The Innocents (DVD)
I studied Henry James' "Turn of the Screw" in college, and I saw this superb and unforgettable film when it was made, and have watched it many times since. It is brilliantly faithful to James' novella. It has never been topped at the ultimate haunted house film in which the horror is beautifully sustained with masterly cinematography and flawless responses on the part of the governess who sees the ghosts and is terrified for the fate of the two children in her charge. It just doesn't get much better than this. The old dark house is engulfing and beautiful; its spaces are perfect backdrops for its four lonely and vulnerable occupants; the grounds are as haunted and forlorn as the structure itself. And two of the scariest ghost scenes take place outdoors in broad daylight. What drives the film of course is the governness, and her extraordinary bravery (if that is what it is) as she confront the horrors she is seeing and their threat to the boy and girl in her charge. Is she mad? Or are there two powerful spirits seeking to commune with each other through the hapless children? ---- James himself would never reveal whether this was a story about psychological breakdown or an actual haunting. One dead give away, that it is about madness, for me, is that there is no good reason for the ghosts --- if they are ghosts --- to be revealing themselves to the governess. But then again, perhaps they cannot help it or have an agenda involving her that I have not understood. ----- But for me, this film and the novella itself work best as classic ghost material. ---- There is not only terror here --- which is so common today in such movies --- but true horror. And I recommend this to anyone who wants to be royally entertained by all the classic elements we expect from English ghost stories. Deborah Kerr gave a magnificent performance in this; the supporting cast is perfect; and the children exceptional. This will be around as long as movies are around. It is indeed a masterpiece.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2015 11:00 AM PST

Marvin's Room
Marvin's Room
DVD ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by Serenity-Now
Price: $18.94
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Film about the Power to Love, May 11, 2012
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This review is from: Marvin's Room (DVD)
It's difficult to believe this film was made in 1996 as it seems absolutely contemporary and, I suppose, timeless. --- The cast is exceptional, the script flawless and the pacing something of a miracle. Essentially it is about death and illness being an integral and inescapable part of life, and what love can achieve for us when we approach tragedy and loss with love. Meryl Streep is a marvel at the unloving sister who has chosen selfishness rather than love; and Leonardo de Caprio gives his usual top quality performance as a child who has learned to trust no one. Diane Keaton, for my money, does the heavy lifting as the one who knows how to love, but is fully human at the same time, vulnerable to fear, vulnerable to panic, vulnerable to emotional and physical exhaustion. ---- The humor in the film works wonderfully, and I wonder if the film wouldn't have been unbearable without the humor, because it so accurately depicts the horrific burdens life can put upon us, and the crippling effects that illness can have on anyone of us at any time. Ultimately the film uplifts, reassures and essentially shows the wisdom of love and that altruism isn't just a virtue that some enjoy when they can afford to enjoy it, but rather a very valuable coping mechanism for everyone. Life is better, this film says, for those who know how to love, and for that reason it is a practical virtue as well as a beautiful one. The film looks beautiful, the camera never being cynical about the small house in which the drama takes place, but revealing instead the coziness of the dwelling and the vibrant personalities in it. Highly recommended.

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment
Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment
by Janet Heimlich
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.52
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent: recommended., April 7, 2012
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This book is well researched and well written, and frankly I wish there were more like it on this topic. There is a lot of talk today from the Religious Right about "protecting the unborn" but there is not enough talk about protecting the children we already have from abuse. --- This book alerts one to the various ways in which children can be abused and are being abused under the umbrella of religion, and I think it's important for Americans to be informed on this matter. Our children are our future. And our children are our moral responsibility.

Hope Endures: Leaving Mother Teresa, Losing Faith, and Searching for Meaning
Hope Endures: Leaving Mother Teresa, Losing Faith, and Searching for Meaning
by Colette Livermore
Edition: Hardcover
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humble, Restrained, and Honest; an excellent book., January 23, 2012
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I find this a very compelling book. From the beginning Colette Livermore's tone is humble, charitable and honest. She gives us an invaluable story here, and she writes beautifully. I hope we get more books like this from members of Sister Teresa's order. And well written stories of the personal spiritual quest, whether from nuns or lay persons, Protestants or Catholics, atheists or agnostics, often teach us a great deal. This book is about some extremely large and crucial questions. Those questions have to do with Christianity, what it is, what it attempts, and what it achieves in the world today. I like the simplicity of the writing here, the clarity, and the sincerity. --- I was very moved by Ms. Livermore's conclusions. I recommend the book. It's quite an achievement.

The First Edition of the New Testament
The First Edition of the New Testament
by David Trobisch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $84.00
40 used & new from $24.98

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended; very persuasive; worth study., September 3, 2011
When I was new to Amazon several years ago, I reviewed this book (below) anonymously. Well, I no longer have the means to edit that review, but I can copy the contents here: This is a startling book, and well worth a detailed read. If Trobisch is right in his conclusions about an early edition of the New and Old Testament, we have much to investigate in this new light. I was persuaded by his carefully reasoned and extremely well documented arguments. And I find the material intensely exciting. What more can Trobisch point out to us, using only the text of scripture itself as he has done here? I can't wait to see response from the academic community to this excellent and compelling work. Anne Rice, New Orleans, La.
Let me add now, years later, that this book had an incredible impact on me. I tend to think that Trobisch's idea: that the
New Testament as we have it was an "edition", carefully edited and compiled and distributed with the thought of uniting
the early Christians makes an enormous amount of sense. His scholarship is simply excellent. He's using internal evidence and
external evidence. He's consulted the manuscript evidence; he's knowledgeable about the nomina sacra and other stylistic elements,
and his thoughts on N.T. identifies its own authors are very thought provoking.
I'm mightily impressed with this book. I'm surprised that it did not get a great deal more attention in biblical studies.
Maybe it will yet be re-discovered. Or maybe it's better known than I think. Anyway, I think it's a power book with powerful insights.
It might be unsettling to some to have to see the N.T. in this light; but this author has laid out the reasons for his conclusions here
in persuasive and responsible terms.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2011 11:29 AM PST

The Evolution of God (Back Bay Readers' Pick)
The Evolution of God (Back Bay Readers' Pick)
by Robert Wright
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $4.32

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading this with gratitude and great interest., August 31, 2011
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This author was recommended to me by some one in one of the Amazon Christianity Discussion threads in which I participate. And I am so thankful for that recommendation. I'm in the midst of reading this book and looking over and reading the author's other two books. I'm amazed at how eloquent, accessible and insightful this author is. And he puts forth his priceless observations in a gentle manner, which really shouldn't offend religious sensibilities at all. Just about anyone might benefit enormously from reading this book. It seems to me that it is vitally important for people to study and come to understand something of the evolution of religion, something of the evolution of religious and theological ideas. No matter what you believe or don't believe, it can help to know something of how religious history developed. --- Right now, religion is a divisive issue in American politics. We need to be informed about it, at the very least. And of course for many of us religion involves a lifelong personal quest. This book has so much to offer to readers of all backgrounds.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2011 1:15 PM PST

Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs
Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs
by Carl Lindahl
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.92
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Encyclopedia of Foklore., August 20, 2011
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This is an exceptionally well written and well constructed book. The articles are substantive and beautifully written, yet extremely concise. In fact it is a marvel that so much helpful information is provided with such conciseness. All material is thoroughly researched with helpful references in the text to primary source material from the Middle Ages or earlier. Though very readable and in fact downright entertaining, this provides quick but deep reference for any student of folklore, and is of invaluable help, surely, for novelists interesting in writing folklorish novels about angels, devils, wild men, elves, fairies, witches and the like. ---- The book is quite comprehensive. The article on Angels is excellent; so is the article on the Wild Man;and the articles on the Wild Woman, and on Fairies. I've read enough to trust the entire book. This would make an excellent gift for a high school or college student, or any writer of fantasy fiction, or any student of literature --- and it will remain on my shelf right next to Sir James Frazier's The Golden Bough. At a time when I am selling or giving away thousands of books from my old libraries, I actually just ordered the hardcover version of this text to keep here permanently in my overcrowded little study. The paperback edition is quite attractive, with its tasteful cover, and double column pages. Just excellent. Really excellent. Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2012 10:10 PM PDT

The Company of Wolves
The Company of Wolves
DVD ~ Sarah Patterson
Price: $19.38
32 used & new from $13.44

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb fantasy; beautiful; haunting; unforgettable., June 10, 2011
This review is from: The Company of Wolves (DVD)
This is a masterpiece from Neil Jordan --- a disturbing and mesmerizing film filled with originality and sensuality and beauty. I hope it enjoys a rediscovery during this frenzied period of vampire -- werewolf popularity. It deserves it. Werewolf films have for decades dealt with the emerging sexuality of adolescents --- Teen Wolf, Ginger Snaps, etc. But this film outdoes them all with its magnificent imagery and delicate performances. There are moments in this film that will haunt you forever --- like the conversation between the (Little Red Riding Hood)girl and the Huntsman in the Grandmother's cottage, in which the Huntsman's facial expressions and elegant gentlemanly speech are every bit as terrifying as any special effects could ever be. The film is always psychologically engaging as well as downright scary. It's suspenseful, filled with delicious menace, and at the same time enchanting. Highly recommended. It's in a class with films like Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast. It goes deep to the very core of what the werewolf myth has always been about. I long to see a blu ray in the future.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2012 4:16 PM PDT

A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
by Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Prose; delightful read., April 21, 2011
My copy of this book, purchased through Amazon is a beautiful old hardcover by David McKay, Publisher; Philadelphia. it contains a preface to the Second Edition. This is a little volume I'll cherish for years to come. The prose is very simply delightful. It's clean and eloquent and effortlessly descriptive. I'm seeing the Nile and the desert through Ms. Edwards' eyes. Highly recommended for anyone who savors, as I do, these nineteenth century travel books. The engravings are quite beautiful. I dip into this all the time, and leave the world behind. Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2011 8:53 PM PDT

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