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bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas)
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The Book Thief [DVD]
The Book Thief [DVD]
Dvd ~ Geoffrey Rush
Price: £6.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I see their ugliness and their beauty...", 31 July 2014
This review is from: The Book Thief [DVD] (DVD)
"I see their ugliness and their beauty and wonder how the same thing can be both?" - Narrator / Death (Roger Allam)

The story takes place in the time surrounding the Second World War. Young Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is removed from her commie mother and placed in a foster home. Her new foster mother appears to be cold and ruthless. Liesel must grow up and adapt to the changing social atmosphere. During this time she acquires the nasty habit of reading. However reading a secondary to what social skills she will learn, that is if she survives the war; these skills will carry her for the rest of her life.

If you are looking for something unique you will be disappointed. However for those who like challenging Junge/ Mädchen facing trials and tribulations during times of adversity than this movie is for you. The story is not unique with the exception of the subplot where it gets its title. What really makes the movie are the acting, the scenery, and even the background music, by John Williams, which acts as a character itself.

I have to admit that I have not read the book yet; therefore I can tell you whether the book by Marcus Zusak is better or not, that this movie holds its own independently.

For me the book burning scene made me feel a tad like films where they kick the family dog. It is well worth the time to view.

"I am haunted by humans." - Narrator / Death

B000P46QTA
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2014 6:05 PM BST


Terry Jones' Barbarians (Region 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import]
Terry Jones' Barbarians (Region 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Terry Jones

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series often challenges the popular views of history, 25 Mar 2014
This series "Terry Jones' Barbarians" by the author of the book of the same name is mentioned in a course of the Blumberg Western Cannon. So I had to watch the series. I am now in the process of reading the book.

I would like to see this presentation be part of the mainstream courses.

There are two disks
Disk 1:
Episode "The Primitive Celts"
1. Celtic Barbarians
2. Caesar's Gallic Wars

Episode "The Savage Goths"
1. Arminius
2. Dacian Wars
3. Alaric I's sack of Rome

Disk2:

Episode "The Brainy Barbarians"
1. Antikythera Mechanism
2. Archimedes and Syracuse
3. Parthians
4. Sassanids

Episode "The End of the World"
1. Attila the Hun
2. Vandal leader Geiseric
3. Sack of Rome (455 AD)


Haunter [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Haunter [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Stephen McHattie
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £21.07

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is reminiscent of “The Others” (2001), 22 Mar 2014
The Pale Man (Stephen McHattie) is just trying to have some fun. After all it is his house. His hobby is dissipating families. He has quit a collection. But what is this? One of his dispatchees Lisa (Abigail Breslin of “Ender's Game” 2013 fame) is not cooperating ant threatened to upset the applecart; she is warning his next victim and assisting the others to revolt. Can The Pale Man use all his skills to thwart this revolting situation by threatening and cajoling her into compliance with house rules?

Many people think that this is a unique tale. Yet is has been told several times. The one that comes to mind is the movie “The Others” (2001) with a touch of "Groundhog Day” (1993). However the combination of events and the execution is well done.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2014 10:57 AM BST


Roswell - Season 1-3 [DVD] [2000]
Roswell - Season 1-3 [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Shiri Appleby
Price: £19.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on “Roswell High” young adult book series, 18 Mar 2014
What if an interstellar ship crashes releasing alien-human hybrid orphans adopted as human? What problems will they face while growing up? What will become of those people that discover the secret? What would you do in the situations?

There are a few episodes that experiment with same actors playing different characters, and many of the other experiments we see with series today.

This was a lot of fun to watch as a 2684 minute marathon form start to stop. After the last episode, that wrapped the story up better than most series, you keep waiting for the movies franchise to take over. Waiting, waiting waiting …

I am going about this backwards and now plan to read the series.

Loose Ends (Roswell (Pocket Books))
No Good Deed (Roswell)
Little Green Men (Roswell (Pocket Books))
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2014 10:56 AM BST


Television and the Meaning of 'Live': An Enquiry into the Human Situation
Television and the Meaning of 'Live': An Enquiry into the Human Situation
by Paddy Scannell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.61

5.0 out of 5 stars If It Looks Like a Duck and It Quacks Like a Duck..., 10 Mar 2014
I was going to write a detailed description and reason to read this book. Then I realized that Paddy Scannell earlier wrote a highly technical text book on communications. It explained the ins and outs and how-to's focusing on TV and radio. That book was ""Media and Communication" (Jun 30, 2007).

Now he is attempting in this book to show that live TV and radio is an intricate part of life and not an abstract study. However in the process of doing so he cites a bevy of philosophers, phonologist, and the like. He left out Alfred Korzybski.

Following the foot notes and references can be a course unto its self as the insight that is presented in this book. There are monochrome pictures to support many of the Case studies.

Media and Communication


The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey)
The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey)
by Jill Paton Walsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The continuing mysteries of Lord Peter Wimsey Detective series, 10 Mar 2014
Gerald Wimsey the duke of Denver now dead and not other pretender to the title left Lord Peter to become the Duke of Denver.

Meanwhile at Oxford University College of St. Severin, named after Boethius, the Warden is missing. So it is up to the "Visitor" to help with certain decisions including the disposition of a unique manuscript.

So "Your Grace" Wimsey finds out that now he is the Visitor. First Peter needed to find out what a visitor is.

We have several overlapping mysteries as the missing Warden, why everyone is so heated up over the disposition of the manuscript and there are a few other dispatched people tossed in.

The story gets convoluted by the overlying plots; but not ridiculously unreasonable as if you are astute all the clues are there.

Aside from the plots Jill Paton Walsh includes all the sentimental Oxford history of Peter and Harriet and matches if not exceed Dorothy L. Sayers' originals.

I read the hard copy which is best for keeping in the library for future reading. Even though it is also available in the kindle as Text-to-Speech, I cannot wait for a whisper-sync version.


Fun Size [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Fun Size [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Jackson Nicoll
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £6.07

3.0 out of 5 stars Shades of "Sixteen Candles", 9 Mar 2014
There have been lots of these coming-of-age movies. Each one differs a little bit by the era in which it is produced. This one rated PG-13 has the feel of an after school special. Everyone has an image of their ideal life; however it takes at night of Halloween hijinks for them to realize what they really want.

The film has many cute scenes. There is also potty humor. Innuendos and big chickens that explains where car hybrids come from. They threw in an asthmatic cat is a good addition to the mix.

I've seen better versions of this genre. However this is well done. Yet there is nothing exceptional. So get out your popcorn. Have a little fun. Then forget it.


ANTHEM as it was originally published
ANTHEM as it was originally published
by Ayn Rand
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We hold these truths to be self evident..., 8 Mar 2014
Equality 7-2521 who speaks of himself in the first person plural makes a few discoveries that lead him to rethink the nature and purpose of man.

I will not go through this short story blow by blow, as the fun in this book is to discover what Equality 7-2521 discovers. Would you draw the same conclusion or follow the same course? You will find yourself kibitzing and cringing.

"You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny." (Brihadaranyaka IV.4.5)

For the person that is new to Ayn Rand this is as good place to start, as any and it will be an eye opener. If you have the time to read "Atlas Shrugged" the concepts, thoughts, and speeches are more complete.

Pro or con, you cannot afford to pass this book. You may be surprised to find that you are surrounded by Objectivists.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2014 9:26 AM BST


Anthem (Dover Thrift Editions)
Anthem (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Ayn Rand
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars We hold these truths to be self evident..., 8 Mar 2014
Equality 7-2521 who speaks of himself in the first person plural makes a few discoveries that lead him to rethink the nature and purpose of man.

I will not go through this short story blow by blow, as the fun in this book is to discover what Equality 7-2521 discovers. Would you draw the same conclusion or follow the same course? You will find yourself kibitzing and cringing.

"You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny." (Brihadaranyaka IV.4.5)

For the person that is new to Ayn Rand this is as good place to start, as any and it will be an eye opener. If you have the time to read "Atlas Shrugged" the concepts, thoughts, and speeches are more complete.

Pro or con, you cannot afford to pass this book. You may be surprised to find that you are surrounded by Objectivists.


Terry Jones: Medieval Lives [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Terry Jones: Medieval Lives [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Terry Jones
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £20.92

5.0 out of 5 stars I learned about fleabane, 8 Mar 2014
Peasant's revolt 1381 is also called Wat Tyler's Rebellion turns out to be more complex than first thought. An excellent view of medieval lives presented by Terry Jones is not a bunch of sound bites and redundant information from obscure experts. They get right down to the bone. The 1349 Black Death plague is also spotted.

Then there is the monk. We learn the truth about monkhood. Most of the monks look like Terry Jones. We see that prayers became a commodity. We learn about bare bottom piety. There is a competition to have the best relics. There was the 1327 rebellion against a monastery; it was a preliminary to 1381.

Now consider the Damsel. Also looks like Terry Jones. The archetype of the passive female. Nicola de la Haye pushing 70; she was aided by William Marshal. We get the real story with the use of puppets to keep this PG13. We have stories of women abducting men. We follow women's fashion. 1429 Joan of Arc story is told; her real crime was that she wore men's clothing.

Would you believe the Minstrel? In 1066 At the Battle of Hastings, Taillefer recited the Chanson de Roland to the Norman troops while juggling with his sword. They tell of troubadours that tell stories in the vernacular. He mentions Geoffrey Chaucer who mysteriously disappears; dispatching is suspected.

A knight to remember. William Marshal returns as the subject in an interesting story of his life and how he became a knight. We see them train horses to kick shields. We learn about the order of the garter founded in 1348.

Shall we consider the philosopher? A medieval scientist and possibly doctor. We get a look at a field where they grew all the herbs needed for medicine. We get pictures of experiments with newer medicines. We even found anesthetics. We find Washington Irving is responsible for making us think that they thought the world is flat. Nobody never thought the world is flat. We also get to see an astronomical clock. All to display our ignorance of our own past.

Stand and deliver. Not midwives but the outlaw. Terry asks "Did outlaws never where trousers?" We learn about "The Folvilles" (John De Folville 1312 - 1363 and his sons.) Among other gangs. 1150 trial by jury, but not as we know it. We get to see unique ways of execution and/or mutilation. We learn that outlaws are part of the heart of what makes England.

Midlevel kings divided into the good, the bad, and the ugly. We cover three Richards. We get a spot of Richard the third form Shakespeare. He tells of the King of England that on one has ever heard of.


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