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Neal J. Wertanen RSS Feed (Flanders, NJ)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Price: $26.38
35 used & new from $11.26

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading and incomplete, January 5, 2011
While most Buffy fans will jump at the chance to get the Season 8 comic book as a motion comic blu ray and DVD, definetly look into it a bit closer before you do. Firstly, its NOT the entire Season 8 comic book series, which ran 40 issues. This is essentially Part 1 of the season, only the first 19 issues. Second, the characters are NOT voiced by any of the actors from the Television show, which while not surprising, is still monumentally disappointing. The actors hired for the voicework often don't come close to the character they are voicing, especially Andrew and Willow. Also, in typical motion comic fashion, frames from the comic are often repeated several times to "piece together" a scene, which can be annoying, especially since its done so often. Lastly, the "Season Play" (or "Play All") function still stops inbetween chapters, forcing you to view the beginning and end credits to every single episode as you go. What is nice is that it at least remembers where you were, an all too uncommon feature on most Blu-Rays, so when you restart the disc, it will ask if you want to resume or not. The music is from the show, mostly, but they heavily use the segments of music they chose, so it gets repetitive. All in all, it was quite disappointing, especially for the price ($25+) is way too much for 1/2 a "season" of a comic book with some music put to it, in my opinion.

But you get what you're paying for, just be aware of what that is.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2011 6:27 PM PST

Brett Favre: A Packer Fan's Tribute
Brett Favre: A Packer Fan's Tribute
by Tom Kertscher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.68
72 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Buy for Packers fans, April 18, 2008
A good book for all Green Bay Packers fans, especially fans of Favre and those still mourning his retirement. Great pics and great overview of his career, which brings back many fond memories of #4.

House of M
House of M
by Brian Michael Bendis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.49
89 used & new from $12.22

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A promising return to more classic-type Marvel stories, March 12, 2006
This review is from: House of M (Paperback)
After years of mediocre to bad to (frankly) horrible stories and crossovers within the company, Marvel has recently started to turn things around. Ironically a big reason for the turn around is avoiding the major crossover that "House of M" is and was. However, "M" is one of those stories that seemed to be coming for awhile and was executed very well.

After the Scarlett Witch went insane and killed Avenger teammates Hawkeye, Vision and Ant-man, Professor X and Captain America call together all the X-Men an Avengers to discuss how to deal with her and its determined she is a threat and must be killed. A threat her brother Quicksilver hears and then sprints off to warn her about, and to plead with there father, Magento, to prevent. Magneto refuses, and the super-teams arrive on Genosha when all the sudden a bright light envelopes everything and the heroes all wake up in a new altered reality where Mutants live in peace with the humans and the world is more or less a good place for all the heroes, each seemingly having exactly what they always wanted.

Wolverine seems to be the lone hero to realize something is wrong and he slowly gathers up the rest of the heroes, and reveals the truth to them. (special note: it is awful and heartbreaking when peter parker/spider-man realizes the truth) The heroes gather and a final battle ensues, and in the end everything is set right...well not quite.

The results of "M" are truely epic, and unless Marvel follows the mistakes of its past, and undoes every major decision they ever make, the effects will be felt in the Marvel universe for a long long time. "M" is a return to the great storytelling the company had going for it in the '70s and '80s, and is a welcome addition to the small group of classic stories that must be talked about with things like "The Dark Phoenix Saga".

Elizabethtown (Widescreen Edition)
Elizabethtown (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Orlando Bloom
Offered by FASTSHIP50100
Price: $7.11
400 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Cameron Crowe film., February 13, 2006
Its refreshing when there are the few filmmakers in hollywood, whom when a new film of theres arrives, you know that it'll probably be good, no matter who stars in it or what the plot is. The short list that comes to mind is Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson and yes...Cameron Crowe (among others).

His movies are always about something, I mean really about something, and "Elizabethtown" is no different. Its a movie that feels like a journey of the mind, heart and soul, and at the end of it you feel like you've learned something and that you're better off for having spent a few hours watching the film. Needless to say this is a rarity now adays.

I won't go into what the film meant to me, or what I think the meaning of it all is, I think the beauty of great film, such as Crowes films, is that it can mean different things to different people. I will say that it is a great film, and that for anyone who enjoys his other work, especially "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous", will really enjoy this movie.

Waiting... (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Waiting... (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Ryan Reynolds
Price: $6.79
230 used & new from $0.01

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless comedy., February 8, 2006
This movie is priceless, if you've ever worked in a restaurant this movie will be hauntingly familar to you. I worked as a server for about a year and change, and this is exactly what my life was like in that time period (minus the show your johnson game). I've never laughed as hard as I did watching this movie. It captures exactly how annoying and mean customers can be, and how naive they are to think you won't mess with them back. I mean obviously you can't yell at them or anything, so of course you mess with the food! And this movie shows this perfectly (and admitedly much more drasticly than real life). But as Ryan Reynolds character says (and its true) "Don't Mess with the people who handle your food." Its just not smart. So funny.

Words honestly can't even begin to describe just how realistic and funny this flick is. I would say that, for me anyways, it now joins "Clerks" and "Office Space" in what from this day forward will be known as "The I Hate My Job" trilogy, and as the 3 best comedies ever!

Red Eye (Widescreen Edition)
Red Eye (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Rachel McAdams
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $8.96
563 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two great Young Actors make this an exciting (and short) ride., January 16, 2006
This review is from: Red Eye (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Red Eye is a film that features two great young actors in Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, The Notebook, Wedding Chasers) and Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins) and as a result the movie is very suspenseful and very good and exciting to watch. I say this because the movie is about 90% dialogue between the two of them, especially in the first half-hour or so, and to not have such good actors at the helm could've spelled disaster for this film. It is surprisingly short (about 1 hour and 20 minutes or so), and on top of that moves along very quickly. The script is very good, and you enjoy yourself watching this movie. I'd recommend to anyone who likes suspense/thriller movies.

Transporter 2
Transporter 2
DVD ~ Jason Statham
Price: $7.76
361 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Turn your brain off, pop some corn and Have alot of FUN!, January 12, 2006
This review is from: Transporter 2 (DVD)
This movie is one of the best "popcorn movies" I've seen in awhile. It tries to be nothing less than that. It takes the bare-minimum of time required to set up a plot and then kicks it into overdrive. It's not as smart as the original in that way, which blended a halfway decent story and the kick-ass action scenes. No, the sequel doesn't try to wow anyones intellect, but is alot of fun to watch.

It does have more than its share of "you have got to be kidding me!" moments (the car-bomb comes to mind right away), but thats why its best to just turn off that part of your brain and watch the fights, car chases and explosions that make this movie entertaining. The trigger happy blonde assistant to the villian is also entertaining (in more ways than one) and shares a few great scenes with our transporting hero.

The Cave (Widescreen Edition)
The Cave (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Piper Perabo
Offered by cpdvdstore
Price: $5.55
203 used & new from $0.01

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blatant Rip-off and not worth your time or money., January 7, 2006
The Cave may have been a decent popcorn flick if it wasn't a blatant rip-off of "Pitch Black", to the degree that it has one of the same actors in it. Instead of some unknown planet that gets real dark, and creepy crawlers come out, you're underground in a cave and in underground river-systems. Its a really bad movie on its own as it is, but even more so when you realize that it is a rip-off. One or two neat scenes (Piper Perabu's cliff-side sprint and jump is admitedly cool) are not enough to make it worth watching. To make matters worse, it appears to end by setting up a potential sequel. God help us.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Unrated Special Edition)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Unrated Special Edition)
DVD ~ Laura Linney
Price: $6.20
436 used & new from $0.01

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, despite a misleading ad campaign., December 24, 2005
Watching the trailers and TV spots for the film you can't help thinking this looks like a great horror movie. However if you watch this as a horror movie you will be very very disappointed. The movie is however an excellent drama, well played out with moments that are more on the horror/suspense side of things.

The movie focuses not on the "excorcism of emily rose" (which is a little confusing since thats the movie's title), but rather the trail that came afterward in the real life events of 1976 the movie is based on. Tom Wilkenson does a masterful job in playing Father Moore, The Rose family parrish priest who tends to emily after modern medicine fails her, and eventually attempts and fails at an excorcism on Emily. Not long after the failed excorcism does Emily die, and Father Moore is sentenced with murder threw neglegence.

Assigned to defend Father Moore is a up and coming agnostic attorney played by the always excellent Laura Linney. Basically within twenty minutes or so the movie begins to play out the trail and the strange events around the trail, as Emily's story is told in a series of flashbacks as witnesses take the stand. Jennifer Carpenter portrays Emily and does so quite poignantly, bringing a quiet strength to the character.

It is a slow-burner at times, but it is well worth a look. Just make sure you're aware of what it is you're watching before you begin or you'll be sorely disappointed. I was thankfully warned of this as I was renting it.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Epic retelling of an american classic., December 14, 2005
A very faithful remake, this new Kong has only a few subtle differences in the main story as its '33 counterpart. Mainly that Jackson takes alot more time to tell everything, and set everything up. It does take awhile to get to skull island and to the title character, but the film ends up being alot better as a result.

Jackson opens the movie in "Hooverville" in Central Park during the depression and gives us small glimpses at what life was like during that time. We meet Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts in an outstanding, oscar-worthy performace)performing stage comedy before her theater is closed down, and all her close friends disband, leaving her alone and unemployed. We meet Carl Denham (Jack Black in a mad-scientist type role) as he is about to lose funding for his latest feature film, and his deliberate conning of everyone around him (including Ann, and screenwriter Jack Drischol, played by oscar winner Adrien Brody) to get off to sea and basically steal an opportunity to strike it rich. He has this look in his eye during the whole movie that suggests he's a little psychotic.

They finally arrive at Skull Island in what seems to be fate (I'll let you see what I mean), and they barely survive a first encounter with the natives on the island, who are portrayed alot more hostile and violent in this version than in the previous 2 versions...but I think it works alot better. The natives kidnap Ann, and tie her up and put her out for Kong to get. And then the big man arrives.

The look of this entire scene will stay with you for along time. Its dark, and red and orange and just very creepy and unsettling. Kong arrives, and you really only get blurred glimpses at him until he gets into the jungle, and when you do finally see him your absolutely convinced he's real, and not a CGI creation by Weta digital. The amount of detail on him is amazing, especially in his facial expressions. He IS a real ape, and a real flesh and blood character!!!

I mean you look at him and he has personality, a soul... a CGI character who obviously has a soul!!! He is great. He has a lazy eye, scars, and a re-healed, slightly crooked jaw. I mean he has traits! He's somewhat childlike when he plays with Ann. He throws tantrums, he laughs for the wrong reasons, he has expression and wonder about him. He's curious about her, and you can tell he's really trying to connect with her after awhile, but its hard. And not just because he's and ape, but because he is so utterly, miserably alone.

And all this is good, because the movie hinges on this relationship between Kong and Ann, and both Kong and Naomi Watts are amazing in this capacity. Its mostly unspoken, all the acting going on (with both of them) in the eyes and expressions, and it is magic. It is amazing, and very very touching and poignant. You understand why Kong would fall for Ann, because Jackson films her so beautifully, and because Naomi Watts is an amazing actress who had better at least get nominated for this performance. It is something special.

Moving along now, Skull Island brings a faster paced movie for along time with Dinosaurs and creepy crawlers everywhere. Nothing can prepare you for how amazing and thrilling watching Kong fight off 3...yes 3 T-Rex's to protect Ann. It is incredible, and beyond words to try and explain. Then comes the moment where Denham realizes all he can do to try and save the mission and his reputation and to not go to jail is to capture kong.

It is a really sad and emotional scene. Jack "saves" Ann from Kong and he pursues them to the natives village where Denham has a trap waiting. Ann begins to realize what they're going to do and your heart starts racing. You care alot more about Kong than Denham or any of the other people, except Ann, and your heart just brakes in two watching them attack Kong when all he wants is to get to Ann, who he thinks is in danger. She cries and pleads with them to stop and leave him alone, but the giant ape falls and his eyes meet Ann's and she looks away in pain and shame.

Course all of this is nothing compared to the finale, which is so much more emotional and sad and well done in Jacksons version. Kong runs amok in NYC trying to find Ann, who finds him first and he runs into Central Park holding her in his paw. He slips on the ice, and begins playing with Ann, spinning around in a beautiful, touching, and heartbreaking scene. Its so adorable, the connection these two have, and you believe every second of it. Its beautiful, but also heartwrenching because we know whats about to happen, we know the fate of our beloved ape-friend. And although we're happy at this quiet moment of happiness that Kong enjoys just before the climb, it makes watching it even worse.

The moment is disrupted suddenly by a tank blast onto the ice where Kong and Ann are, and Kong scrambles to get away and to protect Ann, and he leaps onto the rooftops and towards the empire state building and his doom. Personally my eyes never dried up during the last 10-13 minutes, because its so sad how they treat him. He gets to the top of the Empire State Building and looks over the early dawn sunrise.

The clouds tell you what is coming, the sadness, the tragedy. Kong touches his chest as he looks out, and mouths silently something, but Ann realizes he's immitating what she herself did on Skull Island earlier. She had looked out over a sunset, and touched her own chest and said "beautiful". No sooner does Ann tearfully smile and say to kong "yes...beautiful" then the sound and then the images of the Bi-planes arrive and Kong begins growling. Ann realizes what is happening, and so do we. Its fate, its unavoidable. Kong lowers Ann to a safe spot and gets to the very top so they don't shoot at her. Ann climbs up and futily tries to stop them, but its too late and humans are too hateful of what they don't understand. Kong begins to slip, and grabs Ann one last time and the sad, lonely eyes of the mighy King meets Anns eyes for the final time. He puts her down and his eyes go blank and he falls.

Denham closes the picture the same as the '33 version; "It wasn't the planes who killed was beauty."

This movie is epic in everyway. Its amazing, thrilling, well acted, and very emotional. It shows the best and worst of humanity, and its told to us by a 25 foot tall ape named Kong. Its a movie that shouldn't be missed, and that will become and remain a classic for a long, long time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2014 12:10 PM PDT

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