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J. C. Anderson RSS Feed (Seattle, WA.)

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Live Free or Die Hard
Live Free or Die Hard
Price: $2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but . . ., May 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After watching this, I checked the critical reviews online to see if anyone shared my opinion. I couldn't put it better than the reviewer from the New York Daily News:
"The action in this fast-paced, hysterically overproduced and surprisingly entertaining film is as realistic as a Road Runner cartoon."
I mean, I can suspend disbelief and enjoy a good popcorn movie, but this one pushed the limits.

The Natural: Director's Cut
The Natural: Director's Cut
DVD ~ Robert Redford
Price: $9.99
78 used & new from $2.95

57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, inferior "Director's Cut", January 12, 2008
This review is from: The Natural: Director's Cut (DVD)
When I was first made aware of this new "Director's Cut" of The Natural, I wanted to rent it before deciding whether to buy it or not. Unable to find it for rent, I bought it. Having watched it twice (alternately with the original theatrical version DVD), I will probably toss it.

Director's Cut? Even the director, Barry Levinson, concedes in the introduction to this new version that it is not meant to replace or be better than the original theatrical version. It's merely an intriguing chance to see the movie edited to match his original vision more closely (made impossible in 1984 by post production time constraints). He makes no judgment that his original vision was better. For me, this cut is quite inferior.

Not only were 15 minutes of footage added, but 9 minutes were deleted. In the original version, the opening act (before Roy returns to the game after 16 years) ran 20 minutes. In the new version, despite a lot of added material, it runs 17 minutes. The relaxed, natural pace of the original sequence is now full of somewhat abrupt, quick edits. Gone also are some beautiful shots, such as the young Roy and Iris running towards each other at night across the horizon of a field. Gone are moments of character development, such as The Whammer's wisecrack on the train, "Oh, first Pete and now Repeat?"

And much later in the film, one added scene derails a major theme. Iris is a positive influence, and Roy excels in the game under that influence. Memo is a negative influence, and under her spell Roy fails. Yet in this new verson of the film, Roy returns to New York after several highly successful games (under Iris' influence) on the road, and then a scene has been added where Memo welcomes him home in a hotel lobby and gets cozy with him in a phone booth. In the following scenes, Roy continues his successful run! It makes no sense. In the original version, his success ended as soon as he reunited with Memo at the welcome home party. In fact, the addition of the phone booth scene results in her welcoming him home twice, which is somewhat odd.

On the positive side, the new 5.1 sound is very nice most of the time, but sound effects that were subtle in the original film have been amped up at times to the point of being distracting. Originally, the two gunshots sounded appropriate to the rooms in which they happened. They now sound like recordings of shots in an echo chamber, edited into the film. Still, I have to say I loved the enhanced sounds of thunder throughout the movie.

The second disc of Special Features has some interesting stuff on it. So I'll keep the Special Features disc, put it with my DVD of the original theatrical version, and toss the so-called Director's Cut disc. But I will miss those great thunder sounds.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2010 6:31 AM PST

10 used & new from $49.94

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original soundtrack altered, June 8, 2006
This review is from: Pufnstuf (Audio CD)
I was happy to recently discover that the soundtrack of the 1970 film "Pufnstuf" had been released on CD. I was a huge fan of the show as a kid, and this was the first soundtrack LP I ever bought. Purchasing the CD allowed me to relive a bit of my childhood, without the pops and clicks from the scratches on my old vinyl album.

But I'm a bit puzzled by the fact that this CD release has altered tracks. Most of the tracks include passages where a bar or two of the music has been looped, adding a few seconds of repeated music for no apparent reason. The result is jarring for anyone that is already familiar with the music, and seems quite unnecessary. I've written to El Records to ask why this was done. Legal reasons?

Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith
Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith
by Tom Bisset
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.35
104 used & new from $0.01

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was a relief, October 9, 1999
Second only to talking to Christians who've gone the same route as my son and yet returned to their faith, this book provided more comfort with every chapter than I found anywhere else. The final chapters are especially encouraging. In researching the book the author found, contrary to his expectations, that the vast majority (85%) of young men and women that leave their faith return to it. I'm eager to read Bisset's second book, "Good News About Prodigals".

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