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Sexy Cheeks
Sexy Cheeks
by Gordon Denman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $59.95
2 used & new from $59.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Ladies have curves, January 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sexy Cheeks (Hardcover)
And beautiful ladies ladies have beautiful curves. Among all her curves, the hip might be deepest, and fullest, and most womanly, and most powerful, and most evocative. Her birth canal, and all the wonderful things that implies, pass between those hips. Not to mention her cheeks' proximity to her outer labia, cousins in shape if not size or function.

So, the parts that I like best in this collection explore that fullness and how it relates to the rest of her person. And the crevice behind on a woman relates to the crevice in front, in ways. This explores them, and the opening that each offers, and the way that some large and cylindrical toy might turn each exit into an entrance. That, for me is where exploration of elegant curves becomes vulgar.

I love the cheeky pictures this offers. I really enjoy the way her labia (both) might show from behind, and all memories those images bring back. And I feel honored to be some part of my lover's self-stimulation, when I take the role of friend helping beloved friend. Most of these images, though, don't offer the happiness that a model could project if she truly felt.

Beautiful, as I use the word, but not lovable or even pretty.

-- wiredweird


Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth
Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth
DVD ~ David Lee Smith
Price: $5.99
45 used & new from $1.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quiet and ambiguous, January 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'll give a movie three impossible things to get going: this used only one. The central character has been alive since the last ice age. He's learned to move when people get suspicious, change his name and living again and again, and be the man that his current society can accept. Then, in a year not far from our own, it's time to move again - he's old but not aging. That's a problem. In ancient days, a worse problem, but problem enough even now. He's about to leave, and has a going-away party. It's the kind where his car is packed and all he has to do is say goodbye.

But he doesn't. For the first, maybe second time in his myriad years, he tells his story. Whether he expects to be believed, or wants to or can be - these remain open questions, and different visitors at the 'party' explore the different directions one might follow upon hearing it. That ambiguity is what pulls us along. Is he, or isn't he, or thinks he is, or - well, what?

That is both the appeal and the ennui of this movie. He has no proof of his claim, they have no proof it's false. As incredulity builds against friendships, and against faith, and even against civil authority, John's position becomes more confusing - except, not to him. One way or the others, he knows, and has no proof, and no way to prove.

It's a thoughtful movie, touching on belief, and memory, and faith, and more.That's this movie's huge strength, and also its failing. On the plus side - why do we know what we know? And what are the ways? On the minus, thought makes for poor drama, bordering on somniferous. This might make a fair TV serial episode, but not drama.

It's good for a quiet night by myself, but not more than one. I saw it in theaters, I saw it on DVD, and twice is enough.

-- wiredweird


The Peanuts Movie [Blu-ray]
The Peanuts Movie [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Noah Schnapp
Price: $16.96
63 used & new from $6.51

4 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, January 20, 2016
One of the great charms of the classic Peanuts TV specials was the simple style of the artwork - flat colors, simple line drawings, such a consistent look that I stopped really seeing it after a while and just got into the story. This time, they got textured hair on most characters -but not on Charlie himself. Yes, that's that curly forelock drawn as a pen-squiggle, but bald as a bowling ball beyond that. Set among other characters with more realistic hair, I wondered whether poor Mr. Brown had been through chemotherapy. Likewise Snoopy's textured skin with pen-squiggle facial features - just not a match. The black lines crawling around his textured face seemed to have independent lives of their own, barely related (if at all) to the poor pup.

Then, as others have noted, Charlie Brown came across more as a pitiable schnook than as the latent hero, and - well lots more, but let's skip the unpleasantness. The classic TV specials are as good as they ever were, but, to my eye, this tries a new direction and ends up a bit lost.

-- wiredweird
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2016 9:58 PM PST


Anomalisa
Anomalisa
DVD
Price: $12.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, January 19, 2016
This review is from: Anomalisa (Amazon Video)
This is some of the best stop animation ever. The puppets are beautifully put together, and their gestures and motion are wonderfully natural. There's one self-conscious moment - yes these really are puppets - but that's more acknowledgement than self-parody. Five stars, maybe six, for the everything that makes this animation work.

Then there's the plot - somewhat dark, even a bit disturbing. The lead character, a motivational speaker, enters the crisis point of a mid-life crisis, without realizing that's what's happening. In his own fragile state, he seduces a woman even more emotionally fragile than he is. She exits the brief affair reasonably happy, despite his thoroughly questionable behavior towards her.

And yes, there's the sex scene. Different viewers will respond differently to it - despite its realism in many ways, I found that the dolls dampened any eroticism I might have seen, like two manikins posed intimately together. In any case, this is definitely not one for the kiddies.

And, even though the animation bordered on magical, the emotional burden is not one I really enjoyed seeing.

-- wiredweird, reviewing the release to theaters


Birds of the Master (Valerian)
Birds of the Master (Valerian)
by Pierre Christin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.95
54 used & new from $5.02

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not memorable, January 17, 2016
This 1973 comic has aged pretty well - perhaps only the style of art is a tad dated. Like the other volumes, this one presents a self-contained story, from crash landing to triumphal exit (almost), a certain amount of swashbuckling, a few giggles, and a bit of heroism in freeing the planet from its mysterious Master.

A good read, if brief, in an enjoyable series. I can't call it a landmark in comic art or storytelling, but it's fun.

-- wireweird


8-inch Chef's Knife. (Includes "Free" Victorinox 47302/47303 Bladesafe. "Free" Icel Care Instructions.)
8-inch Chef's Knife. (Includes "Free" Victorinox 47302/47303 Bladesafe. "Free" Icel Care Instructions.)
Offered by READY SET BUY
Price: $24.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good, January 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had (still have) a Henckels knife about the same size. But, there's a crack in the blade on that one, maybe a third of the way back from the tip and half-way from edge to spine. It's just a matter of time til that fails, and my wife is nervous that she'll get hurt when it does. Thus, a new knife. This doesn't have all the fancy bits that the Henckels does, but it's affordable, feels pretty good, and comes with a wicked factory edge - plus the scabbard, another nice safety feature for fingers and blade alike.

I haven't had it long enough to see how it takes and holds an edge on my stone, but I'm happy so far. And nary a crack in sight.

-- wiredweird


12 Replacement EZ Cap Swing Tops
12 Replacement EZ Cap Swing Tops
Price: $8.95
7 used & new from $5.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't always lose swing caps, but when I do ..., January 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Perfectly adequate on the one [non-beer] bottle I used it for. If anything, a bit tight - it takes some effort to swing the closing handle all the way shut, enough to cause my wife some trouble. If/when I try more of them, I'll update this report.

-- wiredweird


Lord of the World
Lord of the World
by Robert Hugh Benson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.41
36 used & new from $8.73

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 110 years old, and new again, January 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lord of the World (Paperback)
This book carries more mixed messages than any other I can recall. Nominally, the world has been united under one benevolent rule - the East, Europe, and America (as if the southern hemisphere had simply dropped off into space). Esperanto becomes the world language, and most of the Western world has no further need for religion. Of course, since this comes from a rigidly Catholic standpoint, that news is simply awful. It's world peace, but for all the wrong, secular reasons. It was supposed to be a Catholic world peace!

So begins the weirdness. A few religious loyalists hold out, of course - the case study being an old, infirm, and possibly senile woman. Even among the modern irreligious crowd, there's some huge need for the pomp and ceremony, so the New Order creates a new Humanist church with all the bells, smells, songs, rituals, and ranks of colorful costumes. (Not surprisingly, they take on out-of-work former priests to handle stage-craft and management of the display. Same work, new employer.) And, even among the most ardent of humanists, there's some instinct of worship. Again, the case study is another woman, painted as weak, dependent on Her Man, and suicidally despondent when the new gods don't live up to her emotional needs. (The Weaker Vessel, doncha know.) Despite desperately good intentions, Benson somehow paints an unimpressive image of the faithful.
The new order has plenty of its own problems, which seem only to worsen with time. The biggest problem, of course, seems to be the War On Religion - then, as now, more in the mind of the religious than in actual fact, at least at first. (Note: wandering away from the faith is not an attack, something as incomprehensible to the hardcore religious then as now.) So the church creates an order of the faithful whose only goal is the crown of martyrdom. Then they act all surprised when the militant faithful launch acts of violence and the would-be victims jointly counter-attack and bomb the Church's apparent command structure to rubble. Does any of this sound familiar?

No one comes off looking especially good in this story, with the god-crowd no better than the others except in their own minds. (Again, something that sounds familiar.) Perhaps this book was meant as a defense of religion in an increasingly secular and irreligious world. I find it instructive only as an example of how a bone-deep religious mind-set can so completely misunderstand a fully secular society. They can approach it only by declaring it a different religion, as if a stamp collector declared not collecting stamps to be a new hobby, and declaring it their enemy. Although this offers a close look at one of the US's deepest current cultural problems, it offers no resolution. If anything, it seems to argue against the value of even trying for rapprochement.

-- wiredweird


The Stolen Airship
The Stolen Airship
DVD ~ Emil Horváth
Offered by Video Dimensions
Price: $16.95
2 used & new from $14.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, maybe a little campy, January 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Stolen Airship (DVD)
The plot works well enough: sort of a pastiche of pirate, spy, castaway stories and more, with slightly goofy airships of many designs. Some with engines, or oar-like wings, or bicycle propulsion, and a similar look in the aging Captain Nemo's Nautilus - of the era for steam-punk, but not nearly as serious.

But really, it's the whole look that makes this special. Backgrounds evoke Edward Gorey's from the PBS "Mystery" show. Animation might have been learned from (or taught to) Terry Gilliam, and general buffoonery oozes from the people most desperate to be taken seriously. And stripes - anything anywhere, clothing, walls, backgrounds, anything - is covered in stripes. It's almost Zeman's trademark, but I find it a bit hard to look at after a while. And the color, or lack: the old-timey look is bolstered by the sepia tones, overlaid with gradient filters. You really see what Sky Captain was trying to emulate.

If it's a rainy Saturday (like mine today) and you've already been through your Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, give this a shot. The acting might look more modern, but the visual style won't be far off. Enjoy!

-- wiredweird


Dreams of a Young Girl
Dreams of a Young Girl
by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $14.78

4.0 out of 5 stars The Hamilton look, January 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dreams of a Young Girl (Paperback)
Soft figures, soft focus, soft clothing, ready to fall away at any moment, or doing so, or done so. Young, slim, Anglo models - maybe younger-looking than you'd expect - singly or in intimate pairs. Sweet and romantic, but with an edge of blossoming womanhood, and maybe a darker edge just below that. Pleasant and suggestive, a look that never tires, but a narrow look at a complex age.

-- wiredweird


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