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Profile for Patrick L. Randall > Reviews


Patrick L. Randall's Profile

Customer Reviews: 513
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Reviews Written by
Patrick L. Randall RSS Feed (Silver Spring, MD)

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Not a Bad Thing [Clean]
Not a Bad Thing [Clean]
Price: $1.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars JT is becoming an AM 'Soft Rock' artist... and that's Not a Good Thing, June 8, 2014
I understand that there was about 7 years between studio albums for Justin Timberlake. His inventive "Futuresex/Lovesounds" definitely helped raise the bar with sexy, energetic dance tunes. It also demonstrated a significant maturation from his debut album "Justified".

I don't know whether it is the long studio layoff, or the fact that he is blissfully married, but JT's raw musical edge has evaporated. The "20/20 Experience" is full of treacly, sappy loves that carry none of the energy of his earlier work. "Not a Bad Thing" is the latest example. Is has soft melodies, enervating music and underwhelming lyrics. This type of soft rock styling might be acceptable from someone like John Mayer. Unfortunately, we expect more from JT, and he does not deliver here.

The World Wars [DVD + Digital]
The World Wars [DVD + Digital]
DVD ~ Don Meehan
Price: $9.60
39 used & new from $6.99

17 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial, error-ridden and bloated, June 8, 2014
I'm actually pretty disappointed in the mini-series. It's very superficial, as if it was lifted from Wikipedia. There are small inaccuracies, such as showing General MacArthur wearing his 5-star insignia during a 1930's meeting with FDR, when such a rank was even created until 1944. There are omissions, such as ignoring the fact that Patton was wounded on the battlefield during WWI, leaving him with a feeling that he really didn't contribute to the war effort (despite the success he had) and leaving him chomping at the bit to get another major conflict to prove himself in (read his biography by Carlo D'Este and you'll see that)....and glaring inaccuracies, such as suggesting that the Bolshevik partnership of Lenin and Stalin overthrew the Czar (This is inaccurate for two reasons... Stalin's own propaganda suggested he played much more of a key role in support Lenin than he actually did. Lenin, in fact, did not trust Stalin... but was willing to use him..... the other inaccuracy is that the Bolsheviks did not storm anything and oust the Czar... there were protests from all over Russia, leading to Czar Nicholas' ministers and military advisers recommended he abdicate... which he did, in favor of provisional government that the Bolsheviks actually DID overthrow 8 months later)...

with the way the series was promoted, I expected something much more detailed and involved. Needless to say, I'm disappointed
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2014 5:53 PM PDT

Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Valkyrie
Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Valkyrie
by Randall Hansen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.40
64 used & new from $3.84

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, slow chronicle, June 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am an aficionado of history, especially where it pertains to World War II. One subset of World War II stories that is particularly interesting is that of the internal German resistance to Hitler and the Nazi Party. The most obvious of these is the tale of Valkyrie, where dozens of German officers came very close to assassinating Hitler and taking over the government and ending the war nearly a year earlier. There are several tales of resistance to be told and would make fascinating reading. Unfortunately "Disobeying Hitler", which is about telling such tales, ends up not being a fascinating book.

There are certain rhetorical problems with the narrative of this book, such as a contradictorily stating that the Minister of Armaments, Albert Speer, did not play as big a role in subverting Hitler's 'scorched earth' directive as Speer claimed he did, only to then describe the various actions Speer to subvert Hitler's 'scorched earth' directive. The biggest problem, however, is that the book's overall narrative just isn't very interesting. When you find yourself unwilling read more than 3 to 4 pages at a time, without exerting some effort, it means the book does not grab the reader's attention. It's unfortunate, but it happens. This book is just such an example.

1,001 CCNA Routing and Switching Practice Questions For Dummies (+ Free Online Practice)
1,001 CCNA Routing and Switching Practice Questions For Dummies (+ Free Online Practice)
by Glen E. Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: $30.32
55 used & new from $10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Should be a good book when I'm ready for it., May 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I made a bit of an error when I ordered this book. I thought the 1001 Practice Questions were part of a larger study guide, not the entire book, itself. That error is on my part. From what I was able to determine about it, for a practice exam guide, it looks solid. The large number of questions will help drill the test-taking concepts into the reader's head. Each section also has a synopsis of what to look for what traps the exam may lay out for you. When I'm ready for this point, I think this will be a good book to use.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2014 5:14 AM PDT

Speed Stick Gear Antiperspirant, Fresh Force, 2.7 Ounce
Speed Stick Gear Antiperspirant, Fresh Force, 2.7 Ounce
Price: $3.44
28 used & new from $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stronger protection than your typical Speed Stick, May 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have a big supply of regular Speed Stick deodorant as a result of being suckered by a big sale at the grocery store. It is a serviceable anti-perspirant, but it doesn't always make it through the whole day, even under normal conditions.

I decided to try the Speed Stick "Gear" deodorant since it was available through Vine. I'm quite satisfied with "Gear". It has demonstrated a much strong protection level. So far, it has been able to go strong throughout the entire day, even when minor levels of athletic activity are involved.

I would recommend this brand

Problem [feat. Iggy Azalea]
Problem [feat. Iggy Azalea]

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunate that Iggy Azalea is in this, May 20, 2014
I initially wanted give this 1 star because of awful 'flavor of the moment', Iggy Azalea, being in this song. However, that would not be a fair evaluation of Ariana Grande's continuing stellar vocal performances (this song included), nor would it acknowledge the fact that Iggy plays a very minor role in song.

"Problem"'s soaring, sexy vocals from Grande and the great contribution of the horns on the track certainly make most of the song decent. Unfortunately, after the second chorus, we are subjected to Iggy's inane, obnoxious raps (if it was good rapping, I would not have a problem, but this is awful).

If Iggy were not a part of this song (and it would be very easy to release a copy without her that does not weaken the overall song), then this would be 4-star track

She Looks So Perfect EP [US Tour Edition]
She Looks So Perfect EP [US Tour Edition]
Offered by Customer Direct
Price: $3.99
67 used & new from $0.01

1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Generic, May 16, 2014
What does 5 Seconds of Summer have in common with bands like The Click 5, We the Kings and The Academy Is? Their hit "She Looks So Perfect" is as completely and utterly generic and forgetful those other bands' one-hit wonderful songs. The song is light, fluffy confectionary that was assembled in some pop record executive's music factory, given to a boy band to sing and goes about its job of earning lots of money from digital downloads of geeked-out teen girls. After the label has its money, if cannot cook the same recipe with this band again, they will be dropped and forgotten. 5 Seconds of Summer will have to produce something a lot more memorable than this song if they want to avoid that fate.

Price: $1.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Good flashback to when JT was at his peak, May 16, 2014
This review is from: Sing (MP3 Music)
I know this track is sung by Ed Sheeran, but it took several listens (and a Shazam entry) before I realized it was him, and not Justin Timberlake, performing this tune. "Sing" hearkens back to Justin Timberlake from the "Futuresex/LoveSound" era, which is a very positive comparison. After having listened to Sheeran's songs like "A Team" and "Lego House", it was hard to believe he was capable of creating an energetic, neo-funk song like "Sing" (It also reveals how disappointing it is that Timberlake has gone the direction of Sheeran's earlier tracks with his overly sappy album, "The 20/20 Experience").

One part of the song that I particularly like is in the chorus, right after Sheeran shouts the song's title. There is an extended "ohohohohoho" portion that reminds me of the 'Hammertime' chorus in "U Can't Touch This". It would be good to hear Sheeran continue down this path.

Fancy [feat. Charli XCX] [Explicit]
Fancy [feat. Charli XCX] [Explicit]
Price: $1.29

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, May 11, 2014
Iggy Azalea is the latest novelty act that the music industry hype machine is working overtime to promote. She has chosen the most obnoxious, and talent-absent form of hip hop to copy (which is basically simplified beats and grade-school quality lyrics that are only just slightly better than the 'snap' phenomenon from last decade) and is really hard to listen to. Her first mainstream song 'Work' is awful. This collaboration with Charli XCX (whose only notable work is the generic "I Love It" with Icona Pop), titled "Fancy", is similarly unlistenable. The only reason her collaboration with Ariana Grande ("Problem") isn't a total waste of time is because she contributes little to the song and lets Ariana do most of the heavy lifting.

The reason I contend that Iggy benefits from the hype machine is that she should have dropped off the map after the minor success of 'Work'. She's nearly identical to another underwhelming lady who tried her hand at hip-hop, Kreayshawn, who had a minor, 'blink and you'll miss it' hit (I use that term broadly) with her song "Gucci Gucci" a few years back. "Work" as about as bad as "Gucci Gucci". However, Kreayshawn was backed by rapper Gucci Mane, a 'has been' who gone from having some talent to being largely viewed as comic relief in the hip hop industry. Iggy Azalea, on the other hand, is backed by T.I., who is one of the most powerful movers and shakers in the business today. T.I. has the hype machine skill to convince people Iggy is the next great thing, even though she's no different than the now-forgotten Kreayshawn.

(Oh, and I know some of you will crucify me for this opinion, as someone who 'doesn't know a damn thing about hip hop'...[and, I may get accused of worse things]..... But, I will just respond that it doesn't matter what genre of music I listen to (pop, rock, soft-rock, country, electronic, hip-hop), if I hear an artist that sounds like garbage, I'm going to say so)
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2014 8:47 AM PDT

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
by Box Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.49
89 used & new from $4.21

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More of a companion piece than an actual biography, May 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What I know about wrestling legend, Andre the Giant, comes from his public image and his role in "The Princess Bride". I certainly knew about his genetic disorder that, first, debilitated him and, eventually, killed him. The rest of his life story, I knew only pieces of. The format of a graphic novel may not have been the best choice for a biography. While the anecdotal tales about Andre's life appear to be represented fairly accurately, it took additional outside research to confirm these stories. Within this medium, context is lacking, which hurts the overall narrative.

There are two alternatives. One would be make this a more detailed, fleshed-out graphic novel. That would add the necessary layering to Andre's story. The other alternative would be to package this graphic novel as a companion piece with a full written biography of Andre's life.

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