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Profile for Michael Gordon > Reviews


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Michael Gordon "Michael Gordon" RSS Feed (Los Angeles, Ca)

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Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia
DVD ~ Anthony Quayle
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $8.15
78 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The movie is long but well worth your time., June 25, 2005
This review is from: Lawrence of Arabia (DVD)
Lawrence of Arabia is an incredibly rich and challenging movie to watch and devour. It has breathtaking cinematography, convincing actors, as well as a well-developed theme in story. Filmed in some of the most exotic Middle East locations (the locations appear almost as though no one travels through them), the film is about Lawrence's effort to help the Arabs (many of whom are played by non-Arabs) obtain self-determination from the Turks.

Although the movie is quite long -- four hours (I was unable to watch the entire movie in one sitting), it is certainly well worth watching. You will feel as though you have gone through history, visited these incredible sites (without having to go through the pain of visiting them), and have come back with a lot of insights into human nature. This is a high quality film.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four-Disc Special Extended Edition)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four-Disc Special Extended Edition)
DVD ~ Elijah Wood
25 used & new from $3.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Good job., June 22, 2005
I am not typically a fan of the fantasy genre. I would never expect that I would have seen this movie. However, after watching Peter Jackson's film of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" -- I was instantly impressed. The casting, special effects, story line, and moral story behind the film is absolutely stunning. I like the imagery behind the "ring" -- particularly, what it represents. The Ring, in my view, represents power, especially what people will do to retain power that they have received (whether they received it lawfully or unlawfully). There are a lot of fantasy movies out there (at least, from what I've heard), but none of them go to the great depths to bring out an interesting and informative story as this. It is no wonder this is an Academy Award film. Good job.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 3
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 3
DVD ~ William Petersen
Price: $12.01
119 used & new from $3.07

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a fantastic show. There's really nothing like it., June 21, 2005
The Third Season of CSI continues the quality marked by the first and second season. As many have mentioned, the third season continues its in depth focus on crime scene forensics--including acquisition and anlaysis of evidence--and also focuses on the personal characteristics of the CSIs. The third season focuses on Ward comes to grips with a former ex-gang member he went to school with; Grissom meets Lady Heather again, deals with losing hearing; Sarah learns that guys use her; ... This is a fantastic show. There's really nothing like it.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 2
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 2
DVD ~ William Petersen
Price: $9.19
141 used & new from $1.58

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CSI is a great show. Will it eliminate OJ juries?, June 21, 2005
In the criminal justice system, the prosecution has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution is merely an attorney with the skills needed to provide the facts and the law relating to the events alleged. It is the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI), working for the local police department, that are in charge of finding the scientific data needed to prove its case. I usually do not like crime shows. They're usually badly done...have poor plots and uninteresting characters. In CSI, the emphasis on speaking with the defendant(s) is downplayed. Typically, the CSIs speak with the defendants in order to gain some knowledge on where additional evidence can be found. The defendants are almost always respected and told that they do not have to answer if they do not wish to do so, but that the evidence will do so anyway. I think of of the benefits of this show being on the air is that it may lessen the chance that we'll end up with a dumb OJ jury that is unable to comprehend DNA analysis.

God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom'
God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom'
by William F. Buckley Jr.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.80
128 used & new from $0.01

17 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books that I have read criticizing t, June 21, 2005
It was an honor to read God and Man at Yale, by William Buckley, Jr. In his book, Mr. Buckley writes (in his incredible prose that is unmatched by any other political pundit around) that the 1950s Yale has reached a turning point: it can continue to move towards secularism and socialism, and ultimately work against the public good, or it can choose to proselytize the virtues of individualism and spiritualism (the Christian sort, according to Buckley).

Buckley argues that Yale should stand for something. Skepticism is not a worthy virtue if it does not arrive at a conclusion. Skepticism should be in furtherance of conviction, Buckley argues, rather than skepticism for skepticism sakes. This is a departure from the Socratic method, where the entire purpose is proving how little we know, never arriving at a point or conclusion.

Buckley is perhaps the modern architect of a conversation revolution that has been growing over the last forty years. Some of the theoretical prescriptions that Buckley has outlined have not been proven to be successful over time. Buckley urges Yale alumni to withhold providing support to the university so long as it continues to advance secularism and collectivism. This may well have modified the behavior of the administration at the edges, but it certainly has not changed the foundation of the modern university, let alone Yale. Yale is now at the epicenter of liberalism, spewing as much liberalism as a modern Berkeley classroom. It is arguable that most Yale alumni do not care about the values that Buckley had preached, and if this is so, Buckley is still vindicated since he argued that Yale alumni should simply investigate to determine if the university is furthering values that run counter to their own.

It does make sense, though, that a university should not be a hot bed of crazy ideas simply to allow students the chance to make the right decisions as to what is the public good. Some causes are, simply put, not part of the public good - such as Nazis and socialism. Under Buckley's system, which I would support, the alumni of Yale (and most other universities) should withhold contributing to the university unless they fire communist and socialistic professors, especially those teaching classes such as Marxism, which gives students an unrealistically positive impression of Marx, as well as economics, where modern economic principles are likely to be slammed in favor of socialistic economic principles. This is one of the best books that I have read criticizing the malaise in academia.

DVD ~ Jack Nicholson
137 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film. Jack Nicholson - perfect casting., June 10, 2005
This review is from: Chinatown (DVD)
"Chinatown", staring Jack Nicholson, is the quinessential Los Angeles detective story. Over the years some more recent films, such as LA Confidential and Mulholland Falls, sought to redevelop the same themes. Both, in my view, failed to live up to the high standards established in Chinatown. Chinatown begins with an interesting plot : the woman who had arrived in his private detective office turned out to be someone other than the person he thought. The original woman had wanted to spy on her husband to see if he was cheating. The actual woman had never met the character played by Jack Nicholson. From this twist early in the movie, all other events follow: Nicholson uncovers a plot by the Department of Water and Power to divert water stream flows to an area in the Valley, whose developer is intending to reap extra profits from purchasing the land, quite cheaply, and being able to sell at a profit once knowledge of the irrigation supply that will be provided to the Valley will be made public.

Swingers (Miramax Collector's Series)
Swingers (Miramax Collector's Series)
DVD ~ Jon Favreau
Offered by francies fantastic films
Price: $6.95
235 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good philosophical theme, June 4, 2005
I've heard a lot of the dialogue in this movie from law school students in my class, and I never understood the origin until now. Quotes such as "Vegas, baby, Vegas." I had no idea where such comments arose. Apparently this is an often quoted movie, although you won't find me quoting it. Yes, the movie is of high quality, that is, if you are able to look deep enough into why it was made, and discover the various themes imbedded throughout the story.

The main theme is that people have expectations regarding certain events or people in their life. Typically, the expectation is larger than life and can consume much of our thinking. This happens quite often when the theme involves love: who is rational when in love? Very few. The mind becomes enamored with positive thoughts of the person, and these thoughts will sometimes interfere with other plans that one should be embarking upon. This movie truly centers on that theme, and is one reason why I rate it a 4.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 1
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 1
DVD ~ George Eads
Price: $12.83
179 used & new from $0.70

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gil Grissom is an excellent character, making the show work., June 2, 2005
I started watching the CSI Season I videos with a great deal of skepticism. I never liked "crime" shows: I don't watch law and order, NYPD Blue, ER, or any of the other versions. When I started watching these episodes, I became hooked very rapidly. As many other individuals have mentioned, it's definitely the characters. I became quickly engrossed in the principal character Gil Grissom, who reminds me of myself.

I'm a law student who is willing to take a very dispassionate view of the events in the world. So does Grissom. Grissom is an expert in insects who uses his knowledge and skills for the benefit of discovering the killers or suspects in a crime scene. Many people would be reasonably envious of how dedicated Grissom is towards his job. One thing that is quite different about the character Grissom is that he is an objective scientist; it is not his job to try to make someone guilty if the evidence does not point in that direction. Instead, Mr. Grissom is even willing to look through the evidence to clear someone's name. This is an excellent show for those who wish to learn more about how crime scene investigators do their job.

Assault on Precinct 13 (Widescreen Edition)
Assault on Precinct 13 (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Ethan Hawke
Offered by Expedited Warehouse
Price: $8.47
266 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's an okay movie., May 30, 2005
Assault on Precinct 13 is about a Mafia lord who has had extensive contacts with the police in the department relating to his crime spree. The police want to kill him before he is able to talk about all of the police officers who have been in on the deal. The movie revolves around a thrilling crime scene where police officers--who act like mobsters--seek to enter a police department that is not guarded extensively. Those inside are willing to do everything it takes to guard the place, but there is a problem: I won't reveal it, but it is an incredible ending.

Team America: World Police - (Unrated Widescreen Special Collector's Edition)
Team America: World Police - (Unrated Widescreen Special Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Trey Parker
Price: $19.99
165 used & new from $0.01

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an instant classic., May 21, 2005
This is an extremely clever and politically incorrect movie. Team America is a uniquely conservative movie: it showcases Team America (which is a metaphor for the U.S. Military), along with the lead character, who acts as a spy (CIA?) in the Muslim world, attempting to discover the latest information on what the terrorists are planning. Hollywood celebrities at lampooned, with Matt Damon being portrayed as a retarded man.

The general gyst of the story is that Kim Jung Ill, the leader of North Korea, is supplying terrorists with the products they need to carry out their attacks. Hollywood celebrities--who actually support the enemy--take Jung Ill's side and take every effort to help him against Team America. (So this movie really is realistic. After all, we all know that Hollywood celebrities hate America). Team America ultimately wins.

The story is incredibly funny: it makes fun of Muslims, the French, terrorists, foreign leaders, the screen actors guild, actors, ...

I hope there will be another one like it. But it's not likely. This is an instant classic.

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