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Reginald D. Garrard "the G-man" (Camilla, GA USA)
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Dallas - Season 13 [DVD] [2010]
Dallas - Season 13 [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Larry Hagman
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Average season at best!, 29 April 2012
While the remaining original stars (Duffy, Hagman, Bel Geddes, and Tilton) try their best, the loss of Linda Gray at the end of the previous season left a void that could not be filled.

This, the actual season TWELVE, has a mixture of pluses and minuses which could be listed as follows:

Pros:
1) The addition of Kimberly Foster as April's sisters Michele
Foster is not only a knockout in the looks department but does a pretty credible job as the girl who will do whatever it takes to become a success.

2) The return of Alexis Smith
Even though the storyline about the mysterious murders is really too "Murder, She Wrote," it's still good to see Smith as the Clayton's loopy sister, Jessica

3) Omri Katz and Joshua Harris as youngsters John Ross and Christopher, respectively
I wonder why the two actors were not asked to reprise their roles in the upcoming TNT "re-boot" of the series but they did get to effectively show their acting mettle in this season.

4) Leslie-Anne Down as Stephanie Rogers
Down is presented as a female equal to J.R. but is underutilized, appearing in only a handful of episodes. It would have been nice if the character had been introduced earlier to see how she and Hagman would've played off each other.

5) Cathy Podewell comes into her own
Podewell, as the latest Mrs. J.R. Ewing, is quite strong as a woman who must cope with her husband's infidelities and his every effort to run her off Southfork. She really gets to show her versatility as an actress, jumping effortlessly from scorned spouse to plotting her own brand of "payback."

Cons:

1) Sasha Mitchell
Perhaps, the idea of giving J.R. a "love child" was a good one but Mitchell's acting was not up to the part. And what was with the guy's hands? It's like the actor couldn't decide what to do with them, constantly moving them in an almost-Joe-Cocker-like-spasm.

2) The number two plus above is also a minus as well. Turning Miss Ellie (Bel Geddes) and Clayton (Howard Keel) into Jessica Fletchers comes across as nothing more than "let's-give-the-old-folks-something-to-do-before-they-ride-off-into-the-sunset." It was just dumb.

3) Jeri Gaile as Carter McKay's wife Rose
Though Gaile plays her part well, the question always arises as to "What's the point of having her character in the show in the first place?"...other than to have her flounce around the house in skimpy attire.

4) Bobby and April
Sorry, but they're about as exciting as Ray and Donna. Let's face it. Bobby (Patrick Duffy) was only interesting when he was with Pam.

5) The season finale
This is possibly the dumbest one in the show's history, ranking up there with a certain shower scene!

The DVD itself lacks in picture and sound quality. Occasionally, there is some discoloration as well as sound fading. Only English subtitles are available.


Predators (2010) [DVD]
Predators (2010) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Adrien Brody
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.89

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better successor to the original than the second film, 29 April 2012
This review is from: Predators (2010) [DVD] (DVD)
I went into this film with some hesitation, primarily because of star Adrien Brody. There is no doubt that Brody can act but carrying the lead in an action film wherein the original was played by Ah-nuld? No way.

Surprising, with a few added pounds of muscle and a confident swagger, Brody manages to pull it off as he becomes the leader of a bunch of earthlings-with-attitude-and-physical-skills who find themselves transported to an alien world as the "prey" of the familiar-dreadlock-wearing hunters from out there.

The group includes Alice Bragga, Danny Trejo, Laurence Fishburne, and a Topher Grace in an against type as a wimpy doctor thrust into the mix of machismo.

With just the right amount of action and bravado, the film also benefits from a tight plot line and a great score by John Debney, who pays homage to the original's landmark score by including themes from Allen Silvestri's composition for the first film.

While not quite as good as the original, this is still a worthy follow-up, even if it took twenty years or so to come to life.

"Predators" takes the place of "Predator 2" as a more likely and "logical" sequel to the original 1987 classic.


My Life II...The Journey Continues [Act 1]
My Life II...The Journey Continues [Act 1]
Price: £2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It's no "Breakthrough" but it's better than the last two!, 29 April 2012
For an artist who has been around for two decades, Mary J. Blige has remained at the top of her game as the proclaimed "Queen of Hip-hop Soul." "My Life II: the Journey Continues, Act I" is not likely to change Ms. Blige's station in music for it is another release that features her at her vocal and songwriting best.

The album tends to be a little "top-heavy" with guest performances by contemporary rappers. The strongest of these collaborations is "Next Level" with Busta Rhymes.

Blige fares better solo on such powerful ballads as "Irreversible," "Empty Prayers," "Need Someone," "The Living Proof," and "Miss Me with That," all five songs grouped together in the album's second half.

The strongest cut on the 17-track release is Blige's cover of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody." While this newer version is true to its origins, it does allow Blige to show what she can do with a song associated with another great artist. It also offers a hint of what Blige could do with an all-cover album, something she might consider doing in the not-too-distant future.

May Blige continue to take us on her journey of music and life.


Mistaken identity
Mistaken identity
Price: £17.57

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The tracks mid-way are the best!, 29 April 2012
This review is from: Mistaken identity (Audio CD)
The 90's was not very good for the "Queen of Disco." While the singer's output for much of the 80's wasn't as lucrative as her 70's releases, Summer did have successes in the 80's starting the decade off with "The Wanderer," followed by the Quincy Jones-produced "Donna Summer" from '82, 1983's Grammy-nominated "She Works Hard for the Money," and the modest-performing - moreso in the UK - "Another Place, Another Time" from 1989.

"Mistaken Identity," released in '91, unfortunately was a somewhat misguided attempt to mesh dance music with R & B with the then-popular New Jack swing, resulting in mixed results.

The first three cuts ("Get Ethnic," "Body Talk," and "Work that Magic") are B-sides and nothing more. Cut #4, "When Love Cries," allows the singer to emote her plaintive wail that she trademarked in her classic "Love to Love You Baby."

"Heaven's Just a Whisper Away," "Cry of a Waking Heart," "Friends Unknown," and the album's best track, "Fred Astaire," round out the middle portion of the album and conclude the best portion of the entire release.

The album then resorts to the final four, which like the first three, are throwaways, but for Summer fans, they're still tolerable.


Second Chance
Second Chance
Price: £18.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to an album that's something for everyone!, 17 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Second Chance (Audio CD)
First, I must admit that I'm not a major fan of El's voice, finding it a bit too "sugary" for my tastes. However, I listened to this album with a somewhat unbiased ear and came away finding it to be quite enjoyable.

The singer really sounds as if time has stood still since his 80's heyday with his siblings and as a solo performer. He's just as strong with his falsetto as he was almost three decades ago.

As was stated in the review's title, the album deftly blends the old and the new. Starting off strong with the two of the album's best tracks, "Lay with You" and "Heaven," DeBarge embarks the listener on a musical journey that is truly satisfying, especially if the hearer is unfamiliar with the singer's voice.

Other outstanding tracks include: "Close to You," the beautiful "When I See You," the haunting "The Other Side," and the triumphant "Second Chance."

Hats off to an album that announces the "second coming" of a major R & B talent.


Family Plot
Family Plot
Offered by zzp!
Price: £49.95

5.0 out of 5 stars "The First Seance" is worth FIVE STARS alone!, 17 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Family Plot (Audio CD)
A quarter century wait has come to an end with the release of John Williams' score to the last film by Hitchcock. One may wonder how Bernard Herrmann would've orchestrated the film, having scored some of Sir Alfred's best ("Vertigo," "North by Northwest," and "Psycho," to cite just three). However, inasmuch as "Family Plot" has a lighter plot than the other films, Williams does a fantastic job in orchestrating the film, a mixture of mystery, comedy, and the other world, of sorts.

Fans of Williams will recognize techniques/melodies that the composer utilized in the "Lost in Space" episode "Mr. Nobody" and will get a future "peek" at what will be heard in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Witches of Eastwick," A.I., Artificial Intelligence," and, to some degree, the "Harry Potter" films, among others.

The piece de resistance, no doubt, is, appropriately, the first cut: "The First Seance," a haunting number that sets up the character of the medium Blanche, played in the film by Barbara Harris. Using a female voice effectively as an "instrument," the tune captivates and transports the listener to a heavenly place.

The song is a true gem in Williams' line of successful melodies.


Superman: Complete Animated Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Superman: Complete Animated Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by Newtownvideo_EU
Price: £39.48

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-knotch production values make this Man of Steel fly high!, 29 Jan. 2011
When the critically-acclaimed "Batman - the Animated Series" premiered on Fox in the early 90's, it was obvious that the same production team would take a stab at DC fellow stablemate, Superman. "Superman - the Animated Series" ran on the WB from 1996-2000 and had the same top quality writing, animation, and use of top name acting talent as had its predecessor.

The series is especially notable for assembling some of the best "voices" for any animated series. Dana Delaney is great as Lois Lane while David Kaufman perfectly assays the role of Jimmy Olsen. Just like Kevin Conroy is the definite Batman/Bruce Wayne, appearing in five episodes of the show, Clancy Brown is perfection as Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor.

The last, but certainly not least of the main characters is Superman/Clark Kent, voiced by Tim Daly. The former "Wings" star does a good job of bringing "Ole Blue" to life. However, it is the actor's turn as Bizarro in three installments that is a treat for the ears. It's hard to imagine that Daly voices both Superman and his not-too-bright Doppelganger. That is a testament to Daly's skills as an actor.

In addition to the main characters, recurring and guest villains are also brilliantly portrayed by the likes of Mike Farrell and real-life wife Shelley Fabares (Pa and Ma Kent), Malcolm McDowell (Metallo), Brad Garrett (Bibbo and Lobo),Corey Burton (Braniac), Gilbert Gottfried (Mr. Mxyzptlk), Michael Dorn (Kalibak and John Steel), Ed Asner as the deliciously wicked Granny Goodness, and Michael Ironside as the despot Darkseid.

Speaking of the latter two, Asner and Ironside appear as their respective characters in the best episodes of the series, which include "Little Girl Lost,Parts I and II," "Apokolips, Parts I and II," and "Legacy, Parts I and II." These installments not only are inspired by legendary Jack Kirby's Fourth World series but demonstrate a more intense look at the Man of Steel as he faces what is arguably his greatest foe in the form of Darkseid.

"Apokolips, Part II" also features one of the most surprising deaths of ANY television series, bar none.

In addition to the series 54 episodes, this compilation has some really good audio commentary on several episodes, interesting looks at the myth of Superman, and a short piece on Darkseid.

While some may decry the fact that there are some double-sided discs in the set, the bargain price makes up for that marketing strategy.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2013 7:47 PM BST


Wonder Woman [DVD] [2009] [1975]
Wonder Woman [DVD] [2009] [1975]
Dvd ~ Lauren Montgomery
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch the "extras" before viewing the film, 9 Jan. 2011
While the supplemental extras tend to be either ignored or viewed by only the most ardent of fans, the ones on this two-disc set serve to provide background on Wonder Woman's creator, the time in which the character emerged, and her revolutionary significance in both the emergence of the rights of women and pop culture.

The two documentaries, "Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream" and "Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth" are truly engrossing, painting a most positive portrait of the comic book icon, showing why she ranks up there with Superman and Batman as one of the greatest creations in the DC Universe.

The two bonus cartoons, episodes from the "Justice League" series, are good but a better pair would have been the two-part installment "Paradise Lost," which coincidentally features some of the same characters that appear in the "Wonder Woman" film.

"Paradise Lost" actually reveals one of the weaknesses of the film: primarily in the voice-acting arena. The television installment features Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Susan Sullivan as Hippolyta, the great English actor John Rhys-Davies as Hades, along with horror icon Robert Englund as Felix Faust. While Keri Russell and Virginia Madsen assay the respective roles of Wonder Woman and Hippolyta in the film, they just can't compare to Eisenberg and Susan. And as good as Alfred Molina is, he just doesn't have the "power" vocally to portray the god "Aries."

Also, the film has a couple of grisly deaths, obviously the reason for the PG-13 rating. Another sequence between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor in a bar is very much for a more mature viewer, definitely not for pre-teens and under.

However, even with the three "minuses," so to speak, the film is still a good-but-not-great entry in the direct-to-DVD series.


Supernatural - Complete Fifth Season [DVD] [2010]
Supernatural - Complete Fifth Season [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Jared Padalecki
Price: £10.73

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is wrong with those Emmy folks???, 9 Jan. 2011
While the previous four seasons of the series were outstanding, the fifth season really "raised the bar" with the storyline about the Apocalypse with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles, along with the assistance of Castiel the angel (Misha Collins) and Bobby (Jim Beaver) taking on the minions of Lucifer, an assorted armada of angels, and the assorted regular crew of "things that go bump in the night."

This season sees some inspired casting with guest appearances that include former TV heartthrob Chad Everest as an older version of Dean, Paris Hilton as a demonic version of herself, and former Stargate SG-1 alumnus Michael Shanks as one in a town filled with religious-demon-fighting zealots. In addition to these memorable special acting turns, the season also features outstanding performances from actors in recurring roles, chief among these are Kurt Fuller as "Zachariah," Mark Pellegrino as "Lucifer," Richard Speight as "The Trickster/Gabriel" and Mark Sheppard as "Crowley."

Episodes of note include "Fallen Idols," with Hilton; "I Believe Children Are Our Future"; the award-worthy "Changing Channels, parodying shows from "Grey's Anatomy" to 70's laugh-track-laden sitcoms; "Swap Meat," a great tale wherein Sam unknowingly exhanges bodies with a teen-aged aspiring warlock and acting kudos to guest star Sarah Drew as "Nora"; "99 Problems"; and "Hammer of the Gods," a wonderful foray exploring "gods" of world myth.

The special features include all web-isodes of "The Ghost Facers" and "Supernatural: Apocalypse Survival Guides," fascinating documentaries culled from other sources, including PBS. The "gag reel" included is light on the heavy laughs but nonetheless is entertaining.

Of course the reason for watching the show is the near-perfection pairing of Padelecki and Ackles in their respective roles. Both young actors deliver in each installment and why they have yet to receive Emmy nominations is as much a mystery as are the things that the Winchester boys investigate.

Perhaps, before the show ends its run, the two will receive their due.


Hello Tomorrow
Hello Tomorrow

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Koz, as usual, does it again!, 9 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Hello Tomorrow (Audio CD)
Though not quite up to par with "The Dance" and "Saxophonic," "Hello Tomorrow" is still a smooth ride for the listener, featuring Koz doing his usual masterful sax solos as well as being accompanied by bevy of musical heavyweights.

While each song is a treat, the surprise is Koz doing his own vocals on a remake of Herb Alpert's "The Guy's in Love with You." Alpert also provides a trumpet accompaniment.

Relaxing, sultry, groovy are just three words that can describe "Hello Tomorrow," a nice way to start as well as finish the day.


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