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Kona (Emerald City)

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Bigger Than Life [1956] [DVD]
Bigger Than Life [1956] [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Mason
Price: 8.04

5.0 out of 5 stars The horror of drug abuse, 6 May 2012
Ed Avery (James Mason) is a typical (though idealized) 1950s husband and father who is facing serious health problem. To save his life, he begins taking the controversial new drug Cortisone which soon brings about a major - and quite shocking - personality transformation.

James Mason is superb in this role. At first, he's charming and lovable, but gradually morphs into a horrifying monster. He had me utterly convinced he was really vile and very dangerous. Barbara Rush gives a good performance as the steadfast housewife and mother who loves him, no matter how grotesque he becomes. Walter Matthau is likable in a supporting role as Ed's co-worker. The movie was directed by Nicholas Ray ("Rebel Without a Cause") and had some surprisingly blunt and realistic dialogue for 1956.

This story is even more relevant today with so much drug abuse and dependence. Mason's transformation from `Father Knows Best' to `Mr. Hyde' is utterly believable and frightening. Good movie.

Frommer's Las Vegas 2012 (Frommer's Colour Complete)
Frommer's Las Vegas 2012 (Frommer's Colour Complete)
by Rick Garman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and interesting, 2 May 2012
Whether you're a first time traveller to Las Vegas or a regular guest, there is much to learn and enjoy with this guidebook. It describes in detail all the hotels, restaurants, shows, clubs, and shops on the Strip as well as more family-oriented activities outside the city limits. I like that the writers do more than just describe attractions, they review them and offer personal (and often witty) opinions as to what's good and what's not and whether the asking price is worth it.

The book has many colour photos and maps. Everything you could possibly need to know about Vegas is here, presented in an entertaining and helpful style. If it's in Vegas, it's in this book. It's fun to read and all the information is current as of 2012. Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2012 12:51 AM BST

Frommer's Great Britain Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Full Size)
Frommer's Great Britain Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Full Size)
by Donald Olson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful; the stuff dreams are made of, 2 May 2012
I love this book. With colour photos, maps, and helpful descriptions of what to do, where to eat and stay, and how to get there, this guidebook is a pleasure to read. It gives suggestions for countless trips of one day to two weeks, detailing everything there is to see and do, how much time is required at each stop, and how to get to the next destination.

The book can be a bit confusing, since one attraction may be listed in many places under different side trips, but reading the entire book page by page is a joy, at once both exhilarating and exhausting, as you daydream of seeing all the beauty, charm, and history Great Britain has to offer. Highly recommended.

Marty [DVD]
Marty [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ernest Borgnine
Price: 6.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm a professor of pain...", 26 April 2012
This review is from: Marty [DVD] (DVD)
Marty (Ernest Borgnine) is a fat, middle-aged butcher with a heart full of pain. He's been looking for a girl every Saturday night of his life and always gets his heart broken Still, Marty agrees to go to a dance hall when his pal assures him there'll be 'a loada tomatas' there.

I love this movie. It really is as good as the hype. It's a national treasure, in that it captured the lives of common folk in 1950s New York and it's very interesting to see how society has changed since then. What isn't gone is the universal agony of loneliness and Ernest Borgnine portrays this beautifully. He's loveable, profound, and makes acting look effortless; I'm glad he won the Oscar for his performance. All of the supporting cast are outstanding, especially the two ladies who play Marty's mother and aunt.

The story covers just one weekend in Marty's life and it moves quickly, with not a scene or line of dialogue that isn't perfect. Bring your hankie; this is a wonderful movie.

The Descendants (DVD + Digital Copy)
The Descendants (DVD + Digital Copy)
Dvd ~ George Clooney
Price: 6.25

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somber look at a dysfunctional family, 22 April 2012
When Matt King's (George Clooney) wife goes into a coma, he realizes how distant he was from her and from his two daughters. Then he learns his wife was cheating on him.

George Clooney plays against type as a clueless father and husband with baggy eyes and a beaten-down face. He slouches through the story and generally looks pretty ordinary. He's good in the role, but not good enough to save the movie. My first problem with it is the constant profanity used by the two young daughters; it's off-putting, to say the least. Second, the story is a real downer, dealing with death, infidelity, and family struggles. Third, it's relentlessly tedious, so monotonously depressing that it gets old fast. And lastly, I didn't like or care about any of the characters.

The Hawaiian scenery is beautiful and the story represents unvarnished reality, but it's just not my idea of entertainment.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2012 12:14 AM BST

The Iron Lady [DVD]
The Iron Lady [DVD]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Price: 3.00

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Streep is great, 12 April 2012
This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
Meryl Streep stars in this bio pic of Margaret Thatcher as the elderly lady, suffering from dementia, remembers key moments of her past. We see young Margaret, a grocer's daughter, in her first political campaign, when she meets her beloved husband (later played by Jim Broadbent), and her eleven years as Prime Minister with its struggles and triumphs; but mostly, we see her deteriorating health and increasing frailty.

I was absolutely stunned by Streep's impersonation of Thatcher; aided by incredibly believable make-up, she looks and sounds just like her and gives a thrilling performance. It is an example of the finest acting and I'm glad she was rewarded with an Oscar, but I wish the role had been played by a British actress instead. Jim Broadbent, as Denis Thatcher, plays his usual, jovial character and, while very likable, reminded me of silly Horace Slughorn from `Harry Potter.'

The script was underwhelming in scenes depicting Thatcher's public life, but it was excellent in the very moving scenes of her current life as a delicate, rather pathetic, old lady. All in all, I enjoyed it but think it could have been better.

Frenzy [DVD]
Frenzy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Finch
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Hitchcock's best, 1 April 2012
This review is from: Frenzy [DVD] (DVD)
A serial murderer nicknamed the `necktie killer' is terrorizing women in London, and Richard Blaney (Jon Finch), seen at the wrong place at the wrong time, becomes the chief suspect. How to prove his innocence?

Alfred Hitchcock's next-to-last film has a very English feel to it with an all-British cast and gritty London locations. Void of scares but with grotesque and disturbing moments, the plot never arouses real `frenzy' (especially among the audience); still, it is an entertaining, if low-budget, film.

Scenes of cruelty are balanced with light-hearted marital humor, courtesy of Alec McCowan who plays the inspector on the case. Jon Finch is good as the innocent man, although he lacks a certain charisma as does Barry Foster as a fruit seller. Anna Massey gives a good performance as Richard's girlfriend, but, like the others, she seemed rather ordinary.

The soundtrack is unremarkable and the most dramatic scenes lack music entirely. The movie held my interest and the 'Making Of' Extra is excellent but, all in all, it was good rather than great.

MADAME X - Lana Turner, John Forsythe 1966 CLASSIC - NEW
MADAME X - Lana Turner, John Forsythe 1966 CLASSIC - NEW
Dvd ~ Lana Turner
Offered by RX dvds **worldwide delivery available**
Price: 19.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mother's sacrifice, 29 Mar 2012
Lana Turner stars as Holly Parker, a shop clerk who marries a wealthy man (John Forsythe) with political goals. She loves him, but his long absences drive her into the arms of a slimy playboy (Ricardo Montalban) and her mother-in-law knows all about it.

This was the third Ross Hunter-Lana Turner movie and like the others, it features a glamorous woman in a designer wardrobe who lives in a palatial estate, has her heart broken, it's all delivered with much sudsy melodrama. This film has even more to offer: The star allows herself to appear old and pathetically, even grotesquely ugly and gives a genuinely heart-tugging performance. Don't watch the trailer first, as it spoils the whole story and it's a really good script with lots of dramatic twists and turns and an ending that left me sobbing.

Lana Turner is good in the role of outsider-turned-socialite and Forsythe and Montalban are, too. Keir Dullea is well-cast as an attorney and Burgess Meredith excels as a loathsome criminal. The story is poignant and should ring true to all parents and children. Recommended.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2012 12:01 AM BST

Frommer's California Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Full Size)
Frommer's California Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Full Size)
by Mark Hiss
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Road trip heaven!, 27 Mar 2012
I live in California and am always up for a getaway. This excellent guidebook describes short trips through all of California's unique and fascinating areas from busy cities to outdoor playgrounds such as Yosemite and Big Sur. The writers are witty as well as informative and give brief descriptions of cities, attractions, hotels, and restaurants and their prices.

Once I opened the book, I couldn't put it down; I found myself smiling and each page made me want to pack my bags. There are bright color photos on every page and many helpful maps. If you'd like to tiptoe in the tide pools of Malibu, watch thousands of elephant seals sunbathe on a light house beach, shop like a celebrity in Beverly Hills, or see all 21 missions from San Diego to Sonoma, this is the book for you.

I don't think I could ever tire of reading it or absorb all the information, tips, and historical tidbits. The book is reasonably priced and highly recommended.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2012 12:12 AM BST

Big Cube [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Big Cube [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Lana Turner
Offered by simplyplay
Price: 16.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How embarrassing for Lana, 22 Mar 2012
Adriana Roman (Lana Turner), a successful actress, retires from the stage to marry a wealthy man (Dan O'Herlihy) but there's an inheritance involved and his jealous daughter and her greedy boyfriend (George Chakiris) decide to get rid of Adriana.

The title refers to sugar cubes with LSD, and this terrible, awful, no-good, very bad movie was an attempt to be cool and with-it in a psychedelic, free-love a-go-go, happening sort of way, but it fails miserably. It's not even fun in a camp way; it's just bad. What was Lana Turner thinking when she signed on for this disaster? The script is a joke, the direction is amateurish, and she's terrible in it, as are all the other actors. The poor thing is dressed in silly clothes with an even sillier collection of hairpieces piled high on her head. It's horrible to think of how far she had fallen from her glory days to this rubbish. The American step-daughter is played by someone with a very thick Nordic accent who simply can't act. George Chakiris looks good but sleepwalks through the inane dialogue.

The whole 'ultra cool drug-scene' is phony and the mind-altering special effects are junior high stuff. Not fun, not recommended, just sad.

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