Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Like Movies, Buy Ths Book, July 3, 2002
This review is from: Videohound's Golden Movie Retriever (Paperback)
Unlike the reading of a novel, a book like the VIDEOHOUND'S GOLDEN MOVIE RETRIEVER can be used as opposed to be read for years. Unless you don't mind plunking down $23 every year for the most up to date copy, one will do quite nicely for years. In judging the usefulness of such a text, it is a good idea to know why you wished to buy it in the first place. Most people who like videos are like me--more or less. They want to know about a movie they have not seen as a preliminary to renting or buying it or perhaps they wish to read about the cast and crew of a favorite film as an enhancement to the pleasure of seeing it for the upteenth time. Whatever the motivation, this book gives the reader in one volume all he needs to know about movies on video. The bulk of this book is an alphabetical listing of most but not all movies--domestic, foreign, and made for tv--that have routinely appeared either on television or in your video store. Following the name of the film in boldface, the reviewing editor assigns bones from one to four. Then comes year released and its MPAA rating. The meat of the review is the description itself, which ranges from a simple and brief plot description without fanfare or sarcasm to an extended analysis of the interaction among the strands of the plot, characterization, dialogue, script, symbolism, personal anecdotes about cast and crew, and witty remarks that reflect the reviewer's biases. Then follows technical information such as color versus black/white, songs,length in minutes, cast, director, and awards won. There are more than 1,000 pages of reviews with an average of 20-25 reviews per page, so you do the math. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of foreign films included. For those who like to read English subtitles, one can find many French, German, Chinese examples. However, there was a decided lack of examples of Hispanic, Indian, Arab or other ethnic films not included in the Big Three. Included after the reviews are sections not all of which I found particularly helpful. The Alternate Title List, Category List, Writer Index, Composer Index, and Cinematographer Index could have been dispensed with. The useful section list includes the Category Index, Series List, Awards Index, Cast Index, and Director Index.
The VIDEOHOUND is a weighty text as it should be. It covers eminently well, in a witty and informative way, about an area of culture that many of us have chosen to love. The book, then, is really a treasure trove of memories buried and novel experiences waiting to be tasted.
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