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F. Sweet (Midwestern USA)

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Offered by RMIT
Price: £15.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NEARLY TWO YEAR-OLD LOVES IT, 22 July 2010
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought this stuffed Mickey for a little Bosnian boy who had become fixated on Mickey Mouse ever since he turned 18 months.

When he opened the package letting out this stuffed Mickey he couldn't believe his eyes. Ever since then he plays and sleeps with Mickey which is a huge success at least with a toddler.

A Book of Five Rings
A Book of Five Rings
by Musashi Miyamoto
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Hardcover)
Based on my readings, Musashi's motive in writing his Book of Five Rings had been to correct misrepresentations of his views on swordsmanship by his contemporaries. Having become a legend in his own time, Musashi's reputation was being exploited by ambitious rivals claiming to have adopted the master's martial techniques and philosophies. Thus Book of Five Rings was intended by its author to establish his point of view for correcting misconceptions.

Those in America who've been advocating since 1974 to study Book of Five Rings to gain some business advantage over Japanese businessmen are barking up the wrong tree. Musashi's writings are poetic and thought provoking. Indeed, one can even learn something new and ancient about strategy from the master. It is, however, doubtful that Musashi's words can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. So then those in the 1970s who had originally marketed the book as "the alternative to the Harvard MBA" were barking up the wrong tree.

In addition to the charming and useful writings, the original (1974 English translation) Book of Five Rings includes photos of the master swordsman's quite beautiful art work, now residing in Japan in a museum dedicated to Musashi works.

Magellan RoadMate 1215 Satellite Navigation - Western Europe
Magellan RoadMate 1215 Satellite Navigation - Western Europe

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PRICE/VALUE CANNOT BE BEAT: TIME & PETROL SAVER, 12 Nov. 2008
Having used this GPS for over three weeks, one of those weeks in the highway chaos and wilderness of several large cities, I concluded that for the price, this GPS is nearly miraculous.

It must have saved enough petrol for me to pay for this thing! Every time I made an error on unfamiliar city streets (and there were LOTS of those), this GPS provided immediate corrections, found alternate routes, and safely spared me from losing time and fuel.

Don't leave home without it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 6, 2009 8:34 AM GMT

Fargo (Special Edition) [1996] [DVD]
Fargo (Special Edition) [1996] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Frances McDormand
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.75

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting FARGO in the New Millennium, 22 Sept. 2008
The other night, I saw a new film starring Frances McDormand. Her pesence on the silver screen led me to free associate to her Academy Award winning role as the seven month pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson, obliged to investigate a triple homocide in the nearby small town of Brainerd in snow blanketed Minnesota.

By now everyone is familiar with the magic put on the screen by the Coen Brothers. However, 10 years after having first (and last) seen FARGO it was still utterly entertaining and freshly surprising for me. The blindingly white landscape could now be even more appreciated for the creative way in which the Coens had decided to have the film shot. For me, now, in addition to revisiting the now well known story line it was like visiting a fine art museum to savor the subtle blending of colors and shapes by one of the old masters.

The rest of the cast assembled by the Coens for FARGO have gone on to distinguished acting careers -- nearly all. William H. Macy's hapless, incompetent, and bumbling car saleman Jerry Lundegaard is one of his classic roles. Similarly, Steve Buscemi's weirdo criminal mastermind Carl was essentially replicated in other films such as CONAIR. Sweden's Peter Stormare who played Gaer, Carl's creepy and mostly silent henchman who had committed most but not all of the murders, had also appeared in the films Minority Report and in the 2005 film Constantine.

FARGO is available with subtitling in nine non-English languages -- revealing its global popularity. The digital high quality of the pictures and sound made home viewing of the movie a plasure. It is definitely worthwhile to revisit this now classical 1990s offbeat murder mystery.

Revisiting FARGO or even seeing it for the first time now is very worthwhile for an evening's home entertainment.

The Hunt For Red October (Special Collector's Edition [DVD] [1990]
The Hunt For Red October (Special Collector's Edition [DVD] [1990]
Dvd ~ Sean Connery
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.99

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Director John McTiernan gives us yet another techno thriller: THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. Sean Connery (whose Russian is too Scottish) plays Captain Marko Ramius, a much decorated Russian commander who navigates his submarine towards America in an attempt to defect. Soviet intelligence tells the Americans that Ramius went mad and plans to launch nuclear missiles at the United States. Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin in his major film acting debut), a brainy CIA analyst, believes otherwise: American spies have determined that the submarine is powered by a secret, silent engine called a "caterpillar drive."

To save the Soviet submarine for prying western eyes, meanwhile avoiding a nuclear war, Ryan must board the Red October to assist Captain Ramius in navigating past the Soviet (and American) fleet to U.S. waters. The gripping tension is reminiscent of the German film DAS BOOT. Director McTiernan produces an amazing film with a twisitng plot, a well acted script with a fabulous cast and lots of high tech explosions.

Nearly as exciting as "Red October" are the special production commentaries in the DVD. Everyone from the director to script writer, actors, cinematographers, and model makers discuss what it took to make this very special film so special -- that in 1990 ushered out the Cold War and Soviet Union.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2013 8:17 PM BST

Jersey Girl [DVD] [2004]
Jersey Girl [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Ben Affleck
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.18

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DIsjoined Melodrama Has Some Redeeming Value, 14 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Jersey Girl [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Some reviewers have taken Will Smith to task for not making another brilliant and hilarious film like his "religious comedy," 'Dogma.' But Will's romantic comedy starring Ben Affleck as hot, hard driving, aggressive Manhattan publicist Ollie Trinke is not intended to be cerebral. Moreover, watching the sweet little girl actor Raquel Castro portraying Ollie's complex daughter Gertie is a delight. Affleck's acting in this film ranges from O.K. to excellent. But Castro's is consistently quite brilliant. She couldn't have been more than 9 - 10 years old at the time of filming. Moreover, Castro bore a remarkable resemblance to Jennifer Lopez whose daughter she portrays.

We relatively briefly see Lopez in the beginning of 'Jersey Girl' playing Ollie's wife Gertrude who dies in childbirth while having Gertie. Smith has to have some offbeat characters in his movies, and so Ollie's crusty, plain speaking old dad Bart (George Carlin) and his widower's eventual love interest Maya (Liv Tyler -- who had co-starred with Affleck in Armageddon) fill the bill. At one point, when Ollie admits to Maya (a video store clerk who's a sociology graduate student) that he hasn't had sex ever since his wife had died seven years ago, shocked and overcome with compassion she offers to give him -- still a relative stranger -- a "mercy jump."

There are plenty of flaws in this movie which have made not a few other reviewers grumble. But just because 'Jersey Girl' is not simply just another brilliant Will Smith movie is no reason to over react to it. Why some who have commmented here couldn't seem to stand it is a mystery. This is an entertaining film which is what filmmaking is all about.

Not Will's most brilliant work, still it is worth seeing and succeeds in doing what it was intended to do. Entertain. Sweet movie, all in all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2009 10:07 PM BST

Apres Vous [DVD]
Apres Vous [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Auteuil

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Auteuil in a Wonderful Performance, 13 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Apres Vous [DVD] (DVD)
I admit to being a Daniel Auteuil fan. Few other performers can convincingly project such naive innocence as can Auteuil. That's what enhances the humor of this comedic Parisian love tale.

Convincingly playing a harried maitre d' at a fancy restaurant, Auteuil creates Antoine who is totally dedicated to his position. Throughout the film, Antoine never has enough time for anything because just as he is about to conquor one problem -- on his frantic job or out of breath life -- another one pops up to take its place. And so as the film opens, after bustling through the restaurant ardoitly solving kitchen problems on the run, Antoine literally dashes across the nightime park to fetch a special wine for one of his restaurant's clients (all the while reassuring his fiancee via mobile phone that he'll be with her as soon as he gets THIS problem solved).

Antoine comes upon a burly agitated man about to hang himself from a tree. What to do? Ignore the suicide and get back to his pressing task or stop the suicide? Given Antoine's character, he has no choice other than to not only rescue Louis (Jose Garcia) but to virtually adopt him. Thereby thickens the plot because Antoine's life is already overcrowded (including his live-in, long suffering fiancee). Amid trying to keep everyone happy (including his demanding boss -- a frantic widow), Antoine sets out to try solving the intensely neurotic Louis' failed romance with the willowly Blanche, played by Sandrine Kiberlain who imparts to the character an ephemeral detachment.

Of course, comedy derives from the impossible complexity of Antoine's life -- which he keeps making more complicated by impossible acts of kindness. To keep an eye on Louis, Antoine hires him as a sommelier (wine steward) over the objections of the owner. This too adds to the complexity because Louis doesn't know anything about wine.

This is not great comedy (or farce), but rather a charming French love and life story filled with impossible twists and turns. Yet, the actors play their characters so well that suspending disbelief comes quite easily.

You'll not laugh your head off from the comedy. Rather, the amusing antics of Antoine, Louis and Blanche will produce light entertainment accompanied by an occasional giggle.

Strange Bedfellows [DVD]
Strange Bedfellows [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paul Hogan
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £13.96

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Strange Bedfellows [DVD] (DVD)
Coincidentally released close to the American film "Brokeback Mountain" about two gay cowboys the movie starring Paul Hogan could have been a parody on gay films, but it wasn't. In "Strange Bedfellows, Hogan plays a struggling movie house operator (living in the projection booth) who reads in the newspaper about a new tax loophole for Australian same sex couples.

Having been stuck with a big tax bill by his divorced wife, Hogan desperately needs a tax break. He figures on using the new pro-gay couple tax loopehole. And so he nags and pressures his best friend (played by Michael Caton)into secretly signing an affidavit for the tax authorities that the two of them are a gay couple who share a household. Hogan assures his lifelong mate that their small outback town of Yackandandah (population 652) will never imagine they are gay.

The government responds with a detailed letter about Hogan's homosexual claims, but it pops open in the post office. The town's nosy postmistress (Monica Maughan) reads it and she soon spreads the gossip of Hogan's secret gay lifestyle all over town. The two men who, in fact, have always lived separate lives have no idea about the spreading rumor. The government letter further informs the men that a tax inspector (played by Pete Postlewaite) is soon visiting them to examine their claim. Now, the two "gay" friends are forced to move in together in Caton's house and attempt to quickly learn to act gay. They seek lessons from the local hair dresser who has pretended to be gay because it was expected in his business. The "couple" then decides to visit a gay nightclub in Sydney for advanced instructions on gayness.

The Sydney visit sets the stage for a series of comic misadventures back in Yackandandah involving the suspicious, eagle eyed taz inspector and the townsfolk. Making everything even more complicated, Caton's character's daughter suddenly shows up in town with her girl friend to pay dear old dad a visit.

The movie is tastefully done and will not offend anyone, except perhaps a tax man.

Smoke [DVD] [1996]
Smoke [DVD] [1996]
Dvd ~ Harvey Keitel
Offered by alentertainment
Price: £9.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THOUGHTFUL ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent Keitel/Hurt pas de deux, 24 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Smoke [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
This is the kind of off beat film that begins far away from its main point. So in a sense, it takes you on a journey. Especially, if you've grown up in very large urban centers where there were local neighborhoods with ancient, musty old small stores run by engaging proprietors this scene and story will resonate with you. But even if you did not enjoy the benefits of New York City's inner city, many of the characters can be similarly identified in daily rural life in Arkansas.

The grizzled and contemplative cigar store proprietor Auggie Wren is masterfully played by Harvey Keitel. He plays a man hanging on to his business while trying to sqeeze out of the dreariness of each day some kind of meaningful life. He doesn't go out to meet life ... it comes to meet him in his cigar store. A customer and not quite neighborhood friend played to its understated fullest by William Hurt, is a formerly celebrated novelist Paul now struggles with his tragic life and getting back to writing. The thread which connects the action is pulled through the film by a street wise teenage "black kid" calling himself "Rashid" is very well acted by Harold Perrineau Jr.

Everyone is searching for something in SMOKE. Rashid, his father; Paul his lost interest in life; and Auggie his lost meaning of life. Not all of the movie takes place in the cigar store ... b ut a lot of it does, and perhaps like Hitchcock in REAR WINDOW or THE ROPE, the photography and direcrting make it work. But there are many other scenes on sites to provide both variety and action.

This film not only works it is a terrific journey that promises to take you through many ideas and situations that are familiar and some bizarre. But they are always interesting and enjoyable. That's what entertainment is about. It is a good idea to see this movie in a settled-in-for-the-night state. Full enjoyment in it requires attention that inevitably gives way to immersion.

I agree with those reviewers who wrote that at least Keitel and the screen adaptation of this film earned its 1995 Academy Award nominations. See for yourself.

Analyze This [DVD] [1999]
Analyze This [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.90

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Analyze This [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Recently, I played the DVD of ANAYLZE THIS to a VERY small group of nine international scientists, students and spouses huddled around my Macintosh Apple G3 Powerbook computer. Does that sound like a pathetic "audience?" Not at all.

Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal are just as well known in Argentina, Israel and Switzerland as in the United States. All of us howled through the movie. Of course, some of the lines were not understood when the jargon became too New York Mafia-ese. By and large, the timing, body language and plot lines had literally universal appeal.

The next morning at breakfast, the above people were still laughing at scenes from ANALYZE THIS seen the night before. So in conclusion, this movie appeals to young and old from all corners of the globe ... and whether seen on a silver screen in the theater, a super big screen TV or a laptop computer ANALYZE THIS is a terrific comedy with literally universal appeal.

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