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Dr J (United States)

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Zorro - La Prima Serie Completa (6 Dvd)
Zorro - La Prima Serie Completa (6 Dvd)
Dvd ~ guy williams
Offered by d-uk
Price: £17.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Show!, 12 Jan 2011
Disney really hit the mark when they produced this show in the late 50's. It has everything you want in an action show: great action, adventure, pretty girls, a little comedy, and, of course, a sword (or whip) fight in every episode. Good and right always win the day! The plots are thin, but that doesn't matter. The production and sheer fun of the show make up for it. Some of the episodes stand alone, others are in serial format, usually in groups of 3.

There are several things that make this show really stand out. First, Guy Williams is fabulous. To me, he will always be the consummate Zorro. He was an accomplished fencer before the show began, and it shows. The sword fights in this series are absolutely first-rate--Williams had to hold back a little when he was fighting with the bad guys. Second, Williams had the second most famous grin in Hollywood (after Burt Lancaster, of course!). He just seemed to be enjoying everything he did on the show. Third, the Keystone Cop-like antics of Sgt. Garcia and his lancers give the show an added boost--comedy relief.

Disney has now colorised the series. I don't mind watching shows in BW and am usually bothered by colorisation. But Disney did a great job and I hardly noticed it had been colorised. An added bonus is that the viewer gets to see the many colorful outfits that Diego, the Dons, and ladies wear. I had never realised they were so colorful and impressive.

All in all, it's just a lot of good, clean fun. Fit for the whole family.
Get it, you'll be glad you did. It will bring back a lot of good memories and the kids will enjoy it as well. There's enough action to keep today's kids interested.

Global Treasures Hadrian'S Wall England [DVD] [NTSC]
Global Treasures Hadrian'S Wall England [DVD] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Global Television
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough!, 12 Jan 2011
This DVD has great videos of various stretches of Hadrian's Wall; well done and pleasant to look at. It also has very, very good, introductory material. This could have been a great video on the Wall. However, at only 10 minutes, one wonders why the producers even bothered. Perhaps it was meant to be shown in a visitors' center. It might have been OK for that. But for a home video, there simply is not enough material to make it worth the while. And, at over £10, the value just isn't there. Look into the various other videos on Hadrian's Wall.

Price: £14.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great foot stompin' rock & roll!,, 12 Jan 2011
This review is from: Reunited (Audio CD)
Fun, just absolute fun! is the best way to describe this album. Cliff and The Shadows have gotten back together to celebrate 50 years of association. And they are in top form.

Cliff Richard is the most successful single artist in British pop music history. Since 1958, when he first hit the charts, he's had 14 chart toppers (both solo and with the Shads) and over 125 top 40 hits, going right up to this year. The Shadows (started out as the Drifters, but changed their name so as not to be confused with the American group of the same name) were Cliff's backing band, but also had many hits on their own, topping the charts 5 times in addition to the ones they had with Cliff. These were the biggest British acts in Britain before the Beatles, although they still had considerable success after the Merseybeat invasion. These guys, together and separately, are huge names in Britain and very important for the history of rock and roll there.

Returning to the album: what do we find here? Well, Cliff and the Shads redo many of their early hits from the late 50s and early 60s and add 3 other covers with a modern feel. If you like music from that period, you'll love this. The songs are great--it's a mystery why these guys never made it in the US. You probably know 'Singing the Blues,' but this version is much heavier than Guy Mitchell's. It's fun, just downright fun! When you listen to this album, you'll be singing along and stompin' your feet. This is what rock n roll should be. Can guys in their late 60s still rock and roll? YES--These guys were the pioneers and they still have it!!

PS The special edition includes an extra CD with three more songs. It's worth the extra few pounds.

War That Made America [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
War That Made America [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Larry Nehring
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £12.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine set on the French and Indian War, 12 Jan 2011
This long-awaited DVD on the French and Indian War is very good in some respects, but there are some serious setbacks. I don't think it delivers or lives up to what I expected. It's the first mini-series on the entire French and Indian War. There are other videos/DVDs on parts of the war (see my reviews of _When the Forest Ran Red_ and _George Washington's First War_), but this is the first that attacks the whole war. However, I never felt like the series was tied together very well. It just seemed that I was watching four separate DVDs that were somehow related. I never got a sense of the entire war. In all, I felt like I was watching the above-mentioned DVDs again. Second, it's interesting to watch, as there are very well-done reenactments. It's almost like watching a movie. However, many of the scenes are quite intense and violent. Some scenes (there is even a disclaimer at the beginning of each DVD) are not appropriate for young children. Yes, war is violent, but some of the scenes seemed to be included for shock value.

As far as the content goes, I have many issues. Grant's raid on Fort Duquesne is not mentioned. The fall of Frontenac and Louisbourg are given only cursory treatment, which is surprising after the very detailed treatments of Braddock's defeat, Washington's early battles, and the fall of Fort William Henry. The massacre after William Henry gets a lot of time and the DVD tries to downplay the whole incident by stating that not many people were actually killed with respect to the number reportedly killed. I'm not sure why so much time is devoted to this (certainly because of the Last of the Mohicans movies). But it's really not an important episode to the entire war--it should be a footnote.

The role and portrayal of the Indians is almost unbelievable. It starts off with the 'happy Indian' idea, "Dozens of Indian nations coexist in Eastern North America." There is no mention of the discord among the various tribes. Many tribes suffered greatly at the hands of the Iroquois and wanted to throw off their yoke of oppression. Tribes sometimes aligned themselves with one side based on whom their enemies sided with. Another claim is almost stupid, "Captives often had less to fear than they thought." One captive is shown running a gauntlet; but the gauntlet is shown as being a very kind thing. Would that the hazing I got in highschool would have been so tame! The claim is made that the Indians sided with the French because the French were less likely to take the land from them (It's the old "French traders vs. English settlers" idea). This claim is later contradicted, "Without gifts, the Indians will abandon the French." This statement really makes the Indians look like mercenaries who sell their souls for a few trinkets. Unlikely. The Indians were not so stupid--they jumped ship because the English started winning and they wanted to be on the winning side. The final claim about the Indians is just too much, "The support of the Indian nations is necessary for ultimate victory." This is simply not true. In the early stages of the war, every betting man would have put his money on the French. The English were so inept it stupifies the imagination. However, by 1759, the English had shipped the largest army North America had ever seen and turned this into a European-style war. The 'little war' with small bands guided by Indian scouts and allies was a thing of the past. The frontier was simply a sideshow for the big battles of the North. Quebec, the real nail in the coffin for the French, was a classic European-style battle. The Indians by this time had become nearly irrelevant (consider their treatment by the English after the war which led to Pontiac's Rebellion). The West was nearly forgotten by this time. Unfortunately, the set gives much more time to the early West and treats the later battles in the North only as a nuisance that must be given some coverage.

My final criticism: this set really is the story of George Washington, not about the war itself. It seems like a retelling of the other two DVDs I mentioned--that's not bad, but not much is new.

Well, is there anything that really stands out in this set? Yes, the section on the after war years leading up to the Revolution is fantastic. I can't say enough good about it. It really underscores the differences in goals between the British and Americans. The Americans wanted land and the British, well, I don't think they really knew what they wanted. The Break seems almost inevitalbe. This part is very well done.

Is this set worth watching? Yes, but just keep in mind that it's a bit unbalanced and has some problems.

Decisive Battles of the Ancient World (3-Disc Set) [DVD]
Decisive Battles of the Ancient World (3-Disc Set) [DVD]
Offered by The Canny Store
Price: £9.73

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good DVD set on ancient battles, 12 Jan 2011
When I saw this set advertised, I was very excited to get it. But when I read that the battles were presented using computer simulations, I was very sceptical. It just sounded so cheesy. Well, I bought the series and viewed with an open mind. I was pleasantly surprised. The simulations will fool no one, but they're good enough for their purpose--to show the ENTIRE battlefield, which in some cases will cover several miles, and not just a couple guys in hand-to-hand combat. You just can't get several thousand Greek and Roman, etc. reenactors together for this type of documentary. This format is a very good way of doing it.
What about the material itself? All is very good. The information is presented in a lively manner and is satisfying for the viewer. I learned a lot and have watched several episodes more than once. All in all, this is a good set and has set a trend for documentaries of the future. Get this if you are interested in the ancient world, warfare, or history in general. You won't be disappointed.

Form Line of Battle
Form Line of Battle
by Alexander Kent
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.31

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 9 Jan 2009
This review is from: Form Line of Battle (Paperback)
This book is simply a great read. Our hero fights on land and sea; there is plenty of action and adventure. The descriptions of the battles are captivating and the story never drags.
In this story, we see burden of command weighing heavily on Bolitho. He's not a hero in the traditional sense. He gets things done, but he is no super-hero. He must, MUST, perform regardless how tired or fatigued he is, the incompetence and rivalries of his subordinates, and a host of other problems. Given that, Bolitho is not only a believable figure, he's one that the reader can relate to.
If you like action and adventure and a story that moves right along, then this is the book (and series) for you. I highly recommend it.

Biography: Brigham Young - Architect of Faith [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Biography: Brigham Young - Architect of Faith [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Brigham Young
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £11.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brigham Young biography--dull, 18 Oct 2008
Brigham Young 50 minutes.

This video is a volume in the Biography series. Given that, it is simply an exposé of Brigham Young's life and is neither sympathetic nor unsympathetic. The usual and expected stuff is there: his early life and conversion to Mormonism, the trek to Utah, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and, of course, polygamy.

This video is lacking in several ways. I never get the sense of the greatness of the man. After all, he took over a church whose leader had just been murdered and whose members were being driven west. The facts are impressive: Brigham Young led an early party of 400 wagons with 1200 people to Utah, 16 days after his 1000 mile trek to Utah, he returned to Winter Quarters to organize another group; and so on. In all, he supervised the immigration of 120,000 people to Utah, 80,000 from Europe; he founded 350 Mormon settlements, ranging throughout the West. The towns were laid out in stupendous fashion. The Mormons were simply some of the most successful settlers in the West and that is due in large part to the vision, hard work, and leadership of Brigham Young. With a less able leader at the helm, the Mormon experiment in the West would have failed and they would have been a sad footnote in our history books. He was a great, truly great, leader of the first order. However, I never get the sense of the greatness of the man. The presentation just seems tired and formulaic. Even the host has a ho-hum attitude. The Biography formula has worn thin. Perhaps I was jaded by my recent viewing of the excellent and in-depth video on Joseph Smith. At least, the producers could have interviewed several Mormon leaders. Then we could have felt something for the man. As it is, he comes across as a dull figure, and it shouldn't be that way.

The Ultimate Collection - Hymns
The Ultimate Collection - Hymns
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music!, 18 Oct 2008
For several years I had been looking for a rousing version of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." While I had found it on other CDs, I was never happy with the version. But here I found exactly what I was looking for--a rousing, powerful version with lots of instrumentation. It's fabulous.
What about the rest of the songs? There is a wide variety of hymns here, from the old standards to less familiar (at least to me). However, all are done in a tasteful, pleasant, and moving manner. This set easily stands up against the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (that is not intended as a slam on the MTC!!!) These CDs get lots of airplay, especially at Easter, at our house. If you are interested in hymns, this set if for you. With 38 songs, you'll get your money's worth, as well. You will not be disappointed.

Ramage & the Rebels: The Lord Ramage Novels
Ramage & the Rebels: The Lord Ramage Novels
by Dudley Pope
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine book in series, 18 Oct 2008
The action starts with Ramage and crew coming across a ship whose crew and passengers have been murdered. Naturally, Ramage and the boys must find the culprits. Well, nothing happens with respect to this plot for a LONG time--it's almost forgotten. As a matter of fact, nothing really happens and the book drags for a while. At the end, the action and suspense pick up again, making this a fun book to read. But to get to the good stuff, the reader's got to pay his dues.

Mchale's Navy: Season Two [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Mchale's Navy: Season Two [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Ernest Borgnine
Price: £20.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 18 Oct 2008
In the second season, the producers of this show figured out where success for the show was to be found--and it shows in the opening credits: Captain Binghamton (Joe Flynn) and Ensign Parker (Tim Conway) are featured right after McHale. Even though McHale is supposedly the star character, it's really Parker who carries this show. Binghamton is only slightly less important. The interplay between these two makes for a very funny show. I've almost busted a gut several times watching these two idiots! The others of McHale's group are now assigned a pecking order, with Gruber, who probaby could have carried the show by himself, becoming the lead navy-man. Happy (Gavin MacLeod) is mercifully relegated to low man on the totem pole (doesn't he leave the show in a year or two?). This is good, clean family fun and it's a riot. Get it and enjoy.
BTW, I have had no problems with the production value. Sound and picture have been great. Can hardly wait for season three.

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