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Customer Reviews: 34
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K. Wilson "Tapehead and Avid Reader" RSS Feed (Chicago, USA)

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Star-ving:  Season 1
Star-ving: Season 1
DVD ~ David Faustino

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Episode 2 I was hooked..., October 20, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Star-ving: Season 1 (DVD)
When I first saw this series on the web it hooked me with its fast-paced, politically incorrect hilarity. David Faustino and Corin Nemec's clever satire of their lives post teen-stardom is probably the funniest series I've seen since Chapelle's Show went off the air. I've already bought multiple copies of the DVD for myself and friends and plan to buy even more as X-mas gifts this year.

Dave and Corin are joined by a motley crew of guest stars including Dave's Married With Children cast members, Gilbert Gottfried, Coolio, Ed Asner, Alan Thicke and Jeremy Miller of Growing Pains as well as Kato Kaelin ("America's Houseguest") in my favorite episode (Literally... Starving).

There are twelve 8-10 minute episodes in the series with about half being "pee your pants" funny start-to-finish. The outtakes from the Just One Drink episode alone made the DVD worth buying.

Fair warning, Star-ving is awesomely crude is guaranteed to offend the churchy, conservative, or racially-sensitive. No topic is sacred as Star-ving pokes fun at Osama Bin Laden, the mentally challenged, hillbilly meth labs and nazi porn movies.

The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn Girl
DVD ~ Natalie Portman
Price: $9.37
212 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let's Play Telephone with Tudor History, September 2, 2008
This review is from: The Other Boleyn Girl (DVD)
Do you remember that "telephone" game? The child at the beginning of the circle whispers a word to the kid next to them and it passes down the line becoming more distorted as it goes along. By the time it makes it back to the beginning it usually has no resemblance to what it was supposed to be.

This is a pretty good metaphor for "The Other Boleyn Girl." The dramatic license in Phillipa Gregory's book caused controversy but ultimately resulted in an entertaining story.

In contrast, the film plays somewhat like a game of telephone that started with a Cliff Notes version of Gregory's novel. As the film progress, the storyline spirals farther and farther outside the realm of credibility.

The life and times of Henry VIII were tumultuous, dramatic, and populated by interesting characters. It should have been an easy task to write a reasonably entertaining script about this era. Unfortunately, a fifth grader's plagarized essay on this period would a lot easier to get through than this extremely boring and disappointing film adaptation.

I can't fault Eric Bana's performance. He made a great Henry VIII despite limited screen time. Other cast members made valiant efforts to squeeze something out of the terrible script they were saddled with. Sadly, the beautiful costumes and scenery might have been an asset to this film if I could have stayed awake to appreciate them better.

Avoid this turkey.

Jericho: Season 2
Jericho: Season 2
DVD ~ Skeet Ulrich
Price: $19.37
24 used & new from $9.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few comments specifically about the DVD, June 19, 2008
This review is from: Jericho: Season 2 (DVD)
For the same reasons many other reviewers have listed I enjoyed Jericho immensely and jumped on the list to pre-order the second season DVD. Rather than reiterate everything that made the show great, I've just written a few comments about the DVD itself:

A major highlight of the DVD is the "Rebuilding Jericho" documentary, which explains the odyssey the producers, writers, cast and crew went through to make Season Two a reality. I think other fans will appreciate learning more about the storyline season two was supposed to have originally and why changes had to be made.

The second "must see" is the original version of the finale edisode which was never aired on television. I much prefer this version and although I won't spoil it for you... let's just say that it hints at how some storylines would continue if there had been a third season.

I also felt the commentaries for each episode were superior to those you find on most DVDs. It becomes clear that everyone involved in this show felt a real connection to Jericho and pride in being a part of the production. This shows in the insightful commentaries that accompany each episode.

The DVD also contains some deleted scenes and a shorter documentary "Nut Job" about the sucessful fan campaign that led CBS to bring Jericho back mid-season.

Clean & Clear Soft In-shower Facial Moisturizer, 5-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 2)
Clean & Clear Soft In-shower Facial Moisturizer, 5-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 2)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Results When You're Short on Time - Best beauty find so far this year, June 3, 2008
Everyone appreciates the results of a good facial but who has the time? This product offers an affordable alternative to a trip to the spa or a messy at-home facial.

You apply it to your face during a hot shower, wait at least a minute (works best if you give the steam from the shower a few minutes to activate the product). Then you massage it into your skin like a regular exfoliant and rinse.

The benefits are immediate. It is a gentle but effective exfoliant that tightens the skin like a mineral mask. It leaves your skin with a soft, invigorated feeling. Apply a good moisturizer afterwards and the results really are similar to a facial treatment.

I would recommend this as a great product for people short on time in the mornings or a good "all-in-one" travel product.

The results were much better than I expected for a $7 a bottle item.

Remanufactured Jura-Capresso 13187 Impressa E8 Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center, Black
Remanufactured Jura-Capresso 13187 Impressa E8 Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center, Black

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Lovers: This is an excellent machine!, March 4, 2008
This compact attractive machine is an excellent choice for use at home or perhaps a small office environment. The E8 makes creating expresso drinks easy and mess-free. It provides full control over the size and strength of each cup or shot you make.

Pros of this machine:

- The machine and milk steamer both heat up quickly.

- The water and bean containers are large enough that they do not require constant filling.

- The machine is automatic. Press a button or two and the machine grinds beans, produces coffee, then discards used beans and self-cleans.

- There is an available addon which converts the E8 to a super-automatic. This attachment will store milk in a refrigerated container and then auto-froth milk for cappucinos etc.

- The machine can use both whole beans or pre-ground coffee.

- The cleaning cycles are easy to perform and overall the machine is not difficult to maintain.

- Most importantly, this machine makes an excellent cup of coffee or expresso drink. Other reviewers said "good as Starbucks," I say "better than Starbucks" if you use the right coffee beans.

NOTE: The milk steaming wand that comes standard with this machine is all most people would need. It works well for creating a couple of lattes or cappucinos. The Dual Frother Plus might be worth buying if you do a lot of entertaining and need to make a lot of drinks in a hurry.

Cons of this machine:

- After making coffee the machine disposes of used coffee grounds in small internal container. This container fills up fast and needs to be emptied often.

- The Clearyl water filters can be hard to find (but they are optional and only need to be changed every few months).

- Each time the machine cleans itself, water pours from the spouts and collects in a shallow tray. The tray fills up quickly and becomes a gross mess of coffee residue, water and even mold (if you don't clean it often enough). I recommend that you keep a plastic cup near the machine and use it capture the water as it comes out. If you prevent the water from collecting in the tray it makes keeping the machine clean much easier.

In summary, I have never once regretted buying this machine. I have had one for almost two years with no significant problems. My machine paid for itself in less that a year in what I saved not going to Starbucks and other cafes.

Talk Is Cheap 1
Talk Is Cheap 1
18 used & new from $4.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Rollins' Best Spoken Word Albums, February 19, 2008
This review is from: Talk Is Cheap 1 (Audio CD)
Talk is Cheap, Volume One contains highlights from two shows recorded at The Enmore theatre in Sydney, Australia during Henry Rollins' 2001 spoken word tour.

For those not familar, Henry has been hitting the road sharing stories of his travels, experiences, and existential anxieties for 20+ years. His spoken word performances are a combination of hilarious self-deprecation and razor sharp political and social commentary.

While his spoken word shows don't fit the mold of "stand up comedy", this CD includes some of Henry's most humorous material in recent memory. He holds forth on a wide range of topics from approaching middle age to George W. Bush, the late Steve Irwin, sympathy for Jesus' neverending workload and the mysterious lure of Home Depot for middle-aged men.

A must-have for Rollins fans or anybody that enjoys intelligent, irreverant humor.

Everlast Freestanding Heavy Bag (Red/Black)
Everlast Freestanding Heavy Bag (Red/Black)

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Alternative if Space is Limited, September 1, 2007
Very compact solution if you don't have the space for a traditional hanging heavy bag. With 200 pounds of sand in the base the bag doesn't migrate much during a workout but is manageable enough to be shoved into a corner if needed. If you place it on an exercise mat (as opposed to carpet) it slides around less.

I would recommend this for average strength people under 5' 10" or so, not super-strong guys over 6 feet. If you try to adjust the height too high, it gets wobbly. The base and column are made of plastic, and while it is sufficiently strong for light workouts it is no substitute for a heavy-duty hanging bag if you are a serious boxer. I recommend it to anyone as a perfect supplemental piece for practicing kicks, though.

Several people said they assembled it in 15 minutes... a 6 year old could put it together etc. Assembly will take more than 15 minutes. Figure on 30-45 minutes at least.

Some Tips:

Do not fill with water. Water is not heavy enough and will get moldy. Buy 3-4 50lb bags of sand. Place the unopened bags of sand into the base before attaching the top with the screws. This way if you need to move to a new house or apartment, you can remove them easily and not have to try and move a 200+ lb object.

Have a second person help you put the actual bag together. It is difficult for one person to stuff the padding etc. inside the plastic sleeve of the bag by themselves.

Ulli Lommel's Black Dahlia
Ulli Lommel's Black Dahlia

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid This Turd At All Costs!, December 24, 2006
This review is from: Ulli Lommel's Black Dahlia (DVD)
I ordered this DVD mistakenly, confusing it with Brian De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" which was also released in 2006.

I suffered through about 30 minutes of this near unwatchable film in the hopes it was a slow starter. It would be no exaggeration to say that in comparison to this picture a movie like "Ishtar" looks like a cinematic masterpiece.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2013 6:51 PM PDT

Insomnia (The Criterion Collection)
Insomnia (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Stellan Skarsgård
13 used & new from $9.46

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker and More Intelligent Version, August 2, 2006
Within the first thirty seconds of watching Insomnia you get the impression that it is one of those Criterion releases which is worth the higher DVD price. Opening with a grainy montage reminiscent of Seven, Norwegian Erik Skjoldbjaerg's impressive directorial debut is a darker and more intelligent film that the later remake starring Al Pacino of which Americans are familiar.

The original Insomnia stars Stellan Skarsgard as Jonas Engstrom, a disgraced but talented Swedish detective. After being caught in an "intimate conversation" with a witness, he seeks a transfer to Norway as a means to escape the scandal threatening his career. Along with his partner, he is sent to investigate the murder of a 17-year-old girl in Tromso, a small Norwegian town above the arctic circle.

One of the greatest distinctions between the two film versions is the depiction of the central character. The original film isn't scared to show us a darker side of the detective. Unlike the later toned down depiction, he's far less likeable, and at times cruel and self-serving. Ultimately, this dark anti-hero proves to be a more convincing vessel for the film's theme of disintegration.

Engstrom is suffering from a severe bout of insomnia, caused by the unrelenting 24 hour sunshine in Tromso. The film's near monotone visuals reflect his distorted perspectives as sleep deprivation takes its toll. After accidentally shooting his partner, he panics, making a series of disturbing decisions calculated to deflect suspicion from himself. He hopes to blame his partner's death on the killer they were pursuing when the accident occurred.

Unfortunately, the killer has witnessed the shooting and knows the truth. Using this information to his advantage, he forces Engstrom to embark on a sinister game of cat and mouse. As Engstrom is drawn further into a web of deception, he begins to morally decay before our eyes. Tortured by his inability to sleep and guilty conscience, each moral compromise Engstrom makes further blurs the line between the himself and the murderer he is hunting.

Insomnia's strength lies in Skarsgard's low key portrayal of the detective. He was in his mid forties when he played Engstrom, yet looks much younger. His attractive, quiet demeanor masks his inner turmoil perfectly.

Not surprisingly, it was Skarsgard's powerful back-to-back performances in Lars Von Trier's Breaking the Waves and Skjoldbjaerg's Insomnia that opened the doors to a series of roles in Hollywood films. While once virtually unknown outside Scandinavia, he has since become an Internationally acclaimed actor.

The Criterion release boasts a beautiful 16x9 anamorphic transfer with good sound quality. Its lack of commentary is disappointing but it still remains a must have DVD to those that appreciate European film noir.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2014 11:23 PM PDT

Vita-K Solution At Home Microdermabrasion Kit
Vita-K Solution At Home Microdermabrasion Kit

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat this price - It Works!, June 16, 2006
I chose Vita K's microdermabrasion system because I had been happy with the results I got from their "At Home Chemical Peel" product.

The kit contains the microdermabrasion unit, two sponges, one jar of resurfacing cream, and one bottle of smoothing serum. The unit is powered by two AA batteries which are not included.

After a few treatments I'm seeing significant improvement in the appearance of my acne scars and overall skin texture. Most pitted scars are much shallower and some have practically disappeared. Many are now invisible when I apply a light sponge of foundation.

I have experienced no redness or irritation from using this system whereas most exfoliants usually tend to irritate my skin.

There are two drawbacks to using this kit:

1. The sponges tend to lose their "stickyness" after a few uses.

2. While the kit is sold in nearly every major drugstore, refill kits for sponges, resurfacing cream, and smoothing serum are harder to find.

Overall, this is a great kit for the price.

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