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      28.01.2011 21:16
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      A simple, easy to use machine with many features and functions

      Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 4500 wireless all-in-one printer.

      This review is for the aforementioned product, the Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 4500 wireless all-in-one printer. The all-in-one refers to all of the different functions that can be performed with just this one machine. These functions include printing, copying, scanning and faxing. And, thanks to the wireless technology, it can all be done without having to be connected to your computer. Your all-in-one printer can be in a different room with no extra cords connected to your computer; very convenient. However, in order to use the wireless feature you must already have wireless access. If not, you can still use the printer and all of its features, but it will have to be connected to your computer via cable.
      Printing: the printer function works the same as any other printer, printing documents in both color and black and white. The printer can print at a rate of up to 28 pages per minute in black and white, and up to 22 pages per minute in color. It is also able to print borderless photos.
      Copying: the copy function works similarly to that of a full sized copy machine. The copier surface isn't as large as that of a full-sized machine, but it's certainly large enough to handle all of your at home copying needs. The copier uses the same paper as the printer and, like the printer, can copy up to 28 copies per minute in black and white and up to 22 copies per minute in color. It can copy up to a maximum of 90 copies at one time.
      Scanning: the scanner function works the same as a stand-alone scanner. It can scan a document or a photo up to 8.5 by 14 inches on to your computer. The scanner uses the same surface as the copier.
      Faxing: like the other functions, the fax function here works the same as a regular fax machine. You are able to fax at speeds of up to 33.6 kbps. The fax transmission speed is approximately 3 seconds per page, and the incoming memory is up to 100 pages. There is also a speed dial function that can hold up to 90 numbers. Like the copier, the fax machine also uses \the same standard paper as the printer.
      The printer comes with everything you'll need: ink cartridges, one black and white and one color, power cords, directions and a CD with easy-to-follow on-screen instructions.
      The machine itself is approximately 17 inches long, 16 inches wide and nine inches tall. It weighs approximately 13 pounds and is energy Star qualified.
      It supports most Windows and Mac based operating systems.

      As I pulled the printer out of the box and began examining all of the accessories I was faced with the daunting task of hooking up and programming this machine. Not being particularly, or at all, computer, printer or tech savvy I suddenly began to wonder what in the world I had just gotten myself into. I inserted the CD with the easy-to-follow instructions into my computer and did my best to follow along. To my surprise, the CD worked just as it was supposed to, the instructions were clear, simple and easy to follow. The CD quickly and expertly guides you through each step of the setup for each of the functions. To my utter amazement, this whole process took only a few minutes. I don't know how many exactly, but I would guess that it was only somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes before the machine was set up and ready to go.
      The next task was to try each of the functions and learn how to use them. The display on the printer is easy to read and has all of the information you need. It displays all of the functions available and which one you're currently using. And, switching between functions is as simple as pressing a button. The buttons themselves are large, clear, easy to read and easy to operate.
      Following the instructions, I was able to use each function correctly the first time I attempted to.
      Having never used a scanner before, and having only used a copy machine once or twice in the past, I was surprised by how easy both functions were to use.
      The only part of the process that took a second or third attempt was the fact that both the scanner and copier use the same bed, but to make a copy the document must be placed toward one end of the bed and to scan a document it must be placed toward the other end of the bed. Plus, the first time I scan a photo I discovered which way the photo has to be placed, as I scanned it upside down.
      But, after making those simple mistakes, I was able to use all functions of the printer correctly and easily.
      I use the printer the most, the copier occasionally, the scanner from time to time and I never really use the fax, but it's convenient to have all of them when I need them, and especially all in one machine.
      This machine is perfect for a home office. It has all of the functions you need for your office in one small machine that's not really any bigger than an ordinary printer. It's performance, function and convenience. Plus, it's quite stylish.
      With a regular price of $129.99 American, it's kind of expensive, but when you look at it as getting four machines in one, it's actually quite reasonable. Plus, it includes free standard shipping.
      I ordered mine from the manufacturer's website at the same time I ordered a computer, so I was able to get the printer for a reduced price, nearly half off, so it was quite a deal.
      Overall, it's a great machine. It has all of the functions you could possibly want, it doesn't take up much space, it's convenient, it's easy to set up and it's easy to use. I really like it, and I'm sure that you would like it too. I would definitely recommend it.

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      • Black Christmas [1974] (DVD) / DVD / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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        27.01.2011 21:01
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        A killer targets a sorority house during Christmas

        Black Christmas (1974)

        Genre: horror/thriller/mystery

        Writer: Roy Moore
        Director: Bob Clark

        Cast:
        Olivia Hussey - Jess
        Margot Kidder - Barb
        John Saxon - Lieutenant Fuller
        Andrea Martin - Phyl
        Keir Dullea - Peter
        Marian Waldman - Mrs. Mac
        Doug McGrath - Sergeant Nash
        James Edmond - Mr. Harrison corrects

        Plot:
        A small group of girls live in a sorority house off-campus. At Christmas time, while the girls are distracted, a killer sets his sights on the sorority house and them. While one of the girls goes missing and the search is underway, the house is beset with prank phone calls. With all of the distractions the killer is able to pick off the girls one by one.
        Meanwhile, one of the girls, Jess, suspects that her boyfriend might be to blame.
        Are Jess's suspicions correct? And, will she be able to survive this vicious killer?

        My thoughts:
        **may contain spoilers**
        This is an average movie. It's a Canadian horror film, although I found there to be much more drama than horror. The film was inspired by a string of murders in the Québec area around Christmas time.
        The story is typical slasher fare, and the direction is pretty well done. Surprisingly, for a mid-seventies slasher flick, there is no gore or nudity and very little blood. I found it to be kind of boring and slow moving at times and not the least bit scary.
        The cast is very good, as are the performances.
        Olivia Hussey is decent as Jess. She's very cute and fits the role of a sorority girl in a slasher film perfectly, but sometimes her emotions, her level of fear, didn't quite match the situation.
        Margot Kidder was very good as Barb. She spends most of her time in the film drinking or drunk and talking about sex. She was very convincing as a drunk. Plus, surprisingly, as I watched her in this film I easily saw her as this character and not Lois Lane, obviously the one character that she is so famous for portraying.
        John Saxon is also very good as the detective. His part isn't very big, but he's certainly effective in it.
        Marian Waldman was also very good as the house mother, Mrs. Mac. She was a smarmy and foul mouthed little woman with bottles of liquor hidden all over the house that she was continuously sneaking drinks from. She was very entertaining.
        The role of Mrs. Mac was originally to be played by Bette Davis and the role of Peter was originally to be played by Malcolm McDowell. I can only imagine what this film would've been like had those two actors appeared. I'm a fan of both of them, so I'm sure I would've enjoyed it.
        This movie was remade in 2006. The remake was much more graphic, with much more violence and gore. The remake also delved into the killer's past and shed some light on his mysterious killing spree. Whereas the original provides nothing of the killer except a series of mysterious and somewhat confusing phone calls.
        As is rarely the case, I actually enjoyed the remake better than the original.
        Overall, this is an average slasher flick. It has a good cast and a decent story. I would recommend it to horror fans.

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      • Mr. Baseball (DVD) / DVD / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        02.01.2011 21:55
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        A hotshot American baseball player struggles with cultural differences when he is sent to Japan

        Mr. Baseball (1992)

        Genre: comedy/sport/romance

        Writer: Gary Ross & Kevin Wade & Monte Merrick
        Director: Fred Schepisi

        Cast:
        Tom Selleck - Jack Elliott
        Dennis Haysbert - Max 'Hammer' Dubois
        Ken Takakura - Uchiyama
        Aya Takanashi - Hiroko Uchiyama
        Toshi Shioya - Yoji Nishimura

        Plot:
        Jack, a hotshot baseball player, is sent to Japan to play. He is given a translator, but still has trouble with the language barrier. He has trouble adjusting to the Japanese cultures and adjusting to the differences in the way that the game is played in America and in Japan.
        Jack disagrees with the manager on most things and they butt heads at every turn.
        Jack meets Hiroko, an advertising agent that wants Jack for some commercials. The two of them soon begin a romantic relationship and fall in love.
        With so many obstacles in their way will Jack and Hiroko be able to make their relationship work? And, will Jack be able to fix his game and help his Japanese team to victory?

        My thoughts:
        This is a pretty good movie. It's a good sports comedy with just a bit of drama and romance thrown in. It's pretty well written and directed. It does a pretty good job at portraying some of the differences, both large and small, in two different cultures. It also does a very good job in portraying how the same game can be played so differently between two different cultures.
        It has a good cast and all of the performances are well done.
        Tom Selleck is very good as Jack. Being a baseball fan and even having played some when he was younger, Tom was able to use his knowledge of the game to be quite convincing as his character. I'm a big fan of Tom Selleck and I like everything he does, and this movie is no exception, I enjoyed his performance very much.
        Dennis Haysbert was also very good in his supporting role. He was a good complement to Tom's character and helped show him the ropes.
        Aya Takanashi was excellent as Hiroko. She's cute and sweet and brings a little femininity to a male movie. She has great chemistry with Tom and the two of them interact very well with one another.
        Ken Takakura is good as the gruff manager. His and Tom's characters butt heads throughout the film, but also have respect for one another. He's traditional and stern, but learns to loosen up a bit as the movie progresses.
        Overall, this is a pretty good movie. It's a pretty good sports comedy, but it's not just a sports comedy, there's also some good drama and romance to round out the story. I would definitely recommend this one to Tom Selleck fans.

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      • The Beyond (DVD) / DVD / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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        18.12.2010 22:10
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        A hotel built on one of the seven gates of hell

        The Beyond (1981)

        Genre: horror

        Writer: Dardano Sacchetti & Giorgio Mariuzzo & Lucio Fulci
        Director: Lucio Fulci

        Cast:
        Catriona MacColl - Liza Merril
        David Warbeck - Dr. John Mccabe
        Cinzia Monreale - Emily
        Maria Pia Marsala - Jill
        Veronica Lazar - Martha
        Antoine Saint-John - Schweick
        Gianpaolo Saccarola - Arthur

        Plot:
        Liza inherits, from her wealthy uncle, an old rundown hotel in Louisiana. She plans to fix it up and reopen it. However, as work begins accidents and strange things begin to happen. Liza discovers, in a not so subtle way, that the hotel was built on one of the seven gates to Hell.
        Now that the gate has been opened Liza finds herself in a fight for her life. Will she survive?

        My thoughts:
        ** may contain spoilers **
        This is an excellent movie! It is an Italian horror film and is considered by many to be one of director Lucio Fulci's best. It is the second film in the Gates of Hell trilogy.
        It has an average story, but it never gets boring or uninteresting. It is excellently directed and lacks nothing. The movie has a lot of blood and gore, which initially resulted in heavy censorship when the movie was first released in the United States. The film has very good special effects and excellent makeup that stands up well today, and is even much better than the makeup you see in a lot of movies today.
        One of the best, at least one of my favorite, scenes in the film is the scene in the library with the spiders; it is a delightfully disgusting treat for both the eyes and ears.
        The ending of the film is not necessarily a happy one either, with our heroes ending up in an underworld or afterlife that portrays a rather grim existence.
        The cast is very good, as are the performances.
        Catriona MacCall is very good as Liza. Her emotions all seem real and her fear is very believable.
        David Warbeck is also good as John. Although, the look on his face throughout most of the film is a puzzled or confused look, or a look of thoughtful suspicion.
        Cinzia Monreale is also very good as Emily. She's mysterious, eerie and you're not entirely sure whether or not she's trustworthy. She's also very believable as a frightened blind woman.
        Overall, this is an excellent horror film. It stands up well today and is much better than a lot of the stuff being made today. If you're a fan of horror movies this one is definitely a must see. I would definitely recommend it.

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      • The Gorgon (DVD) / DVD / 10 Readings / 9 Ratings
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        13.12.2010 20:16
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        An ancient creature wreaking havoc in a small village

        The Gorgon (1964)

        Genre: horror/fantasy/mystery/romance

        Writer: John Gilling & J. Llewellyn Devine
        Director: Terence Fisher

        Cast:
        Richard Pasco - Paul Heitz
        Barbara Shelley - Carla Hoffman
        Peter Cushing - Dr. Namaroff
        Christopher Lee - Professor Karl Meister
        Prudence Hyman - The Gorgon
        Michael Goodliffe - Professor Jules Heitz
        Patrick Troughton - Inspector Kanof

        Plot:
        When his son becomes the latest in a rash of mysterious deaths Professor Jules Heitz travels to the small German Village to investigate. He finds that an ancient mythological being may be to blame.
        When Jules becomes the next victim his other son, Paul, comes to the village to continue his father's investigation.
        Paul seeks help from the local doctor, but the mysterious doctor refuses to help.
        The doctor's assistant, Carla, does try to help Paul and the two of them begin a relationship.
        However, Carla May have ulterior motives.
        Will Paul be able to conclude the investigation that his father started and solve the mystery?

        My thoughts:
        ** may contain spoilers **
        This is a decent movie. It's a British horror movie for Hammer Films and is their typical fare.
        A novel of this film was included in the book The Hammer Horror Film Omnibus by John Burke.
        This is the kind of movie I really like, 50s and 60s horror films. And, this one stars two horror movie mainstays in Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
        The story is good and the film is well directed.
        The special effects are cheap, unrealistic and almost humorous by today's standards, what with the special effects and the CGI that run so rampant in today's movies, but I would imagine that they were pretty good and quite effective for their time.
        The movie has an excellent cast and all the performances are very good.
        Peter Cushing is excellent, as he always is, as Dr. Namaroff. He's mysterious and obviously hiding something and you're never quite sure, until the end draws near, exactly what his motives are. He's also obviously in love with Carla, but won't admit it.
        Christopher Lee is also excellent, also as always, in his role as Professor Meister. He's a bit gruff, driven and straightforward. He knows what he wants and he won't let anyone stand in his way.
        Barbara Shelley is also very good as Carla. She's very pretty and seems quite innocent, at first. She seems to suspect in the back of her mind that the doctor is not being completely forthcoming with her, but she simply refuses to believe that there are any sinister motives behind it. She seems to be aware that something is wrong, but she has no idea what it is or how bad it is.
        Richard Pasco is also excellent as Paul. He's headstrong and rude in the beginning, but softens a bit as he becomes involved with Carla. He's determined to find answers and won't let anything or anyone stand in his way.
        Overall, this is a movie that is good for its era and its genre. If you're a fan of this type of film you will most likely enjoy this one as well and I would certainly recommend it to this specific audience.

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      • Hachi - A Dog's Tale (DVD) / DVD / 16 Readings / 12 Ratings
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        07.11.2010 21:11
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        A loyal dogs futile wait

        Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2008)

        Genre: drama/family

        Writer: Stephen P. Lindsey & Kaneto Shindo
        Director: Lasse Hallstrom

        Cast:
        Richard Gere - Parker Wilson
        Joan Allen - Cate Wilson
        Jason Alexander - Carl
        Erick Avari - Jasjeet
        Davenia Mcfadden - Mary Anne
        Sarah Roemer - Andy Wilson
        Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - Ken

        Plot:
        Parker Wilson is a professor that takes the train to and from work every day. One day, as he gets off the train he finds a small puppy which he takes home and names Hachi.
        Every single day Hachi accompanies Parker on his walk to the train in the morning and then returns home.
        And, every single day Hachi returns to the train station at five o'clock and greets Parker as he returns home from work.
        One day Hachi begins acting strange and doesn't seem to want go with Parker, but eventually does. And, he once again returns to the station at five o'clock to wait. However, this time Parker never arrives.
        How long will Hachi continue to wait for his friend and master?

        My thoughts:
        ** may contain spoilers **
        This is a very good family movie. It is a remake of the 1987 Japanese movie called Hachiko Monogatari. It is a true story that took place in Japan through the 1920s and 30s about a dog named Hachiko. The dog is actually immortalized by a statue that sits outside of the train station where the story took place. It's a touching and heartwarming story about friendship and loyalty.
        The movie has a great story that is very well written and very well directed.
        The movie has a very good cast which provide very good performances.
        Richard Gere was very good as Parker Wilson. At his age and with his gray hair and glasses he very much looked the part and gave a good performance.
        Joan Allen is also good in her small role.
        Both Jason Alexander and Erick Avari are excellent in their supporting roles and often bring more to the film than their counterparts with the bigger roles.
        The dog, whose real name I do not know, is also very good. He is very well trained and is quite a good actor. He was very good at conveying sorrow and sadness and his sullen face could almost break your heart.
        Overall, this is a very good movie suitable for the entire family. It combines drama with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of heart. I would definitely recommend this one.

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        • Stay Alive (DVD) / DVD / 14 Readings / 13 Ratings
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          02.11.2010 21:46
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          If you die in the game you die in real life

          Stay Alive (2006)

          Genre: horror/thriller

          Writer: William Brent Bell & Matthew Peterman
          Director: William Brent Bell

          Cast:
          John Foster - Hutch
          Frankie Muniz - Swink
          Somaire Armstrong - Abigail
          Jimmi Simpson - Phineus
          Sofia Bush - October
          Adam Goldberg - Miller Banks
          Wendell Pierce - Detective Thibodeaux

          Plot:
          A group of friends discover a realistic video game. After playing the game, the first friend that discovered it dies mysteriously. Soon a second and then a third of the friends dies. The remaining friends discover that all of their friends died in the same ways that they died in the video game. The friends discover that the game is based on the story of a 'Blood Countess', and they fear that she is the one behind the deaths. They vow to stop her before they become her next victims. Will they succeed, or will they too lose the game, and their lives?

          My thoughts:
          ** may contain spoilers **
          This is a below average to average movie at best. It's one of a number of movies that came out around the same time that had people dying after either watching a video, visiting a web site, receiving a phone call, or in this case playing a video game. However, the video game in this film is actually based on "The Blood Countess" Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
          The Countess' story is interesting, which is more than can be said for this movie; it's unoriginal, predictable and clichéd.
          I did like somewhat how the people in real life and the people in the game coincided and interacted.
          The directing was decent enough provided the material there was to work with.
          The cast is okay, but their performances are definitely subpar. They don't show nearly enough emotion or fear.
          Although the movie would be considered financially successful because it made more money than it cost to produce, it was by no means a hit. And, the movie was generally panned by critics, with good reason.
          Overall, this is a subpar movie with not much going for it. If you're looking for a good horror movie you can certainly and easily do better than this one. Unless you're a diehard horror fan with a goal of watching every horror movie ever made, I'd recommend skipping this one.

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          • Summer of 42 (DVD) / DVD / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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            11.10.2010 21:04
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            A nice coming of age story

            Summer of '42 (1971)

            Genre: drama/comedy

            Writer: Herman Raucher
            Director: Robert Mulligan

            Cast:
            Gary Grimes - Hermie
            Jennifer O'neill - Dorothy
            Jerry Houser - Oscy
            Oliver Conant - Benjie
            Katharine Allentuck - Aggie
            Christopher Norris - Miriam
            Lou Frizzell -other co The Druggist

            Plot:
            15 year old best friends, Hermie and Oscy, spend their summer vacations on Nantucket Island. This particular summer the two of them seem to be obsessed with sex and losing their virginity.
            While Oscy sets his sights on Miriam, a girl his own age, Hermie meets Dorothy, an older woman (a woman in her late 20s or early 30s) whose husband is away in the military.
            Hermie does chores for Dorothy, the two of them become friends and Hermie eventually begins falling in love with her.
            Oscy sets Hermie up with Miriam's friend, Aggie. Hermie likes Aggie, but he's too shy and nervous to "close the deal." He's infatuated with Dorothy and wants his first time to be with her.
            Will Hermie be able to fulfill his fantasy and have a summer fling with an older woman?

            My thoughts:
            This is a decent movie. It's dramatic with a good amount of humor sprinkled in. The film is written by Herman Raucher and is based on his own story and his own memories of vacationing on Nantucket Island. Raucher also wrote a best-selling novel of the same name. The novel was released prior to the movie being released which leads most people to believe that the movie is based on the novel, but in this case the novel is actually based on the movie. The film and novel also led to a Broadway adaptation years later. The movie also produced a sequel two years later called Class of '44 that had three of the main characters from this film reprising their roles.
            This isn't the kind of movie that I would normally watch, but I came across it late one night when I could find nothing else to watch and I decided to give it a chance. And, I'm glad I did, as I enjoyed it very much.
            The movie is very well written and very well directed. It does a good job at capturing the times, the early 40s, and the location, a small beachside town on Nantucket Island.
            The movie has an excellent cast and all give very good performances.
            Gary Grimes gives a very good performance and was the perfect choice to play Hermie. With his big brown eyes and his innocent smile he's very believable as the love struck teen. My favorite scene was when he was in the pharmacy; the scene was hilarious and he was funny in it.
            Jerry Houser was also good as Oscy. He provided some good humor and was a perfect complement to Hermie.
            Jennifer O'neill was good in her role as Dorothy and was also well cast. She's young and pretty, yet mature and unassuming. However, I don't understand how she could seem so oblivious to Hermie's blatantly obvious crush on her. Still, she had very nice chemistry with Gary and the two of them made each of their scenes pleasant and believable.
            Overall, this is an unexpectedly (at least for me) good movie. It's a good story that's well told with just the right balance of drama and humor. It's entertaining and enjoyable and I would recommend it.

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          • Burnt Offerings (DVD) / DVD / 13 Readings / 12 Ratings
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            15.09.2010 19:40
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            A good movie with a good cast that's definitely worth watching

            Burnt Offerings (1976)

            Genre: horror/mystery

            Writer: William Nolan & Dan Curtis
            Director: Dan Curtis

            Cast:
            Karen Black - Marion Rolf
            Oliver Reed - Ben Rolf
            Lee Montgomery - David Rolf
            Bette Davis - Aunt Elizabeth
            Burgess Meredith - Arnold Allardyce
            Eileen Heckart - Roz Allardyce
            Dub Taylor - Walker
            Anthony James - The Chauffeur

            Plot:
            Ben, Karen, their son Davey and Ben's aunt Elizabeth become the caretakers of an old house for the summer.
            The brother and sister that live there can't seem to get out of there fast enough and are offering the house for the summer at a very cheap price. There's just one catch, their elderly mother must remain there. However, the mother never leaves her room and only requires a tray of food be sat outside three times a day.
            At the price that is being offered the family can't turn it down and decide to move in.
            It's not long before strange things begin to happen. Ben tries to hurt Davey, Marion becomes obsessed with the mother's room and Elizabeth ages rapidly.
            It seems there's more to this house than meets the eye and this family is in grave danger.

            My thoughts:
            This is a pretty good movie. It's a horror movie based on the novel of the same name by Robert Marasco. It's pretty well written and pretty well directed. It has a tense ominous feeling throughout and a nice, all be it expected and not too surprising twist at the end. The effects, although outdated today, were very good for the time and still hold up well as far as this movie is concerned.
            The cast is excellent and all give wonderful performances.
            Karen Black was excellent as Marion and was very believable as this woman becoming increasingly obsessed and sliding down into madness. I am a fan of Karen, so I really enjoyed her performance, but it's such a good performance that I would've enjoyed it even if I wasn't a fan.
            Oliver Reed, who I was unfamiliar with before this film, was also excellent in the role of Ben. He was quite believable throughout his range of emotions from anger to fear to disbelief. As I stated, I was unfamiliar with his work prior to this film, but became a fan due to this performance and I found myself rooting for him and hoping that he would succeed in his quest to save his family.
            Lee Montgomery does a good job as Davey, but I found him to be a little annoying for my taste. Especially in the scene in the car with his father; I found myself wanting to slap him to shut him up. Plus, his screams sound more like that of a young girl than of a 12 year old boy.
            Bette Davis was wonderful in her role as Elizabeth. Her acting hadn't diminished one bit and she was still just as good as she was in her prime. She's one of the greatest actresses that ever lived and this performance was believable and very enjoyable.
            Both Eileen Heckart and Burgess Meredith were very good in their small roles as well. Both of them were mysterious, intriguing, strange and a little creepy; quite enjoyable.
            Even the house itself was an excellent character in this film.
            Overall, this is a good movie full of good actors giving good performances. If you're a fan of older horror movies, which I certainly am, you will most likely enjoy this one. I enjoyed it very much and I would certainly recommend it.

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          • Cold Heart (DVD) / DVD / 17 Readings / 16 Ratings
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            27.08.2010 20:37
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            A jilted lover with bad intentions

            Cold Heart (2001)

            Genre: crime/thriller

            Writer: Zvia Dimbort & Dennis Dimster
            Director: Dennis Dimster

            Cast:
            Josh Holloway - Sean
            Nastassja Kinski - Linda
            Jeff Fahey - Phil
            Hudson Leick - Julia
            Janne Olivia Campbell - Natalie
            Bob Sattler - Detective Harris

            Plot:
            Sean, a troubled young man, becomes obsessed with his girlfriend, attacks her and gets locked up. Phil, a psychiatrist hired by Sean's father, gets Sean released to a halfway house.
            Sean must stay out of trouble, get a job and meet with Phil three times a week.
            Sean gets a job as an executive assistant for a filmmaker named Linda.
            Sean soon becomes obsessed with Linda. Linda reciprocates Sean's feelings at first and the two have an affair. But, Linda breaks it off to remain with her husband. Sean snaps and resorts to the same actions that he took with his previous girlfriend.
            Linda and her husband try to get away from Sean, but he won't be denied.
            However, we learn that Sean May not be the only one to blame.

            My thoughts:
            This is a pretty good movie. It's nothing all that original and it's nothing you haven't seen before, but it's still entertaining and enjoyable. It's well made and there's a pretty decent twist at the end that was quite enjoyable.
            The movie is pretty well written and pretty well directed.
            The movie is pretty well cast and all of the actors do a pretty good job.
            Nastassja Kinski is very good as Linda. She's quite believable as the pretty wife of a man that's grown cold. She's nice and sweet throughout, but is also very sexy and erotic when the scene calls for it. I enjoyed her performance very much.
            Josh Holloway was pretty good in his role as Sean as well. This was his first movie role, long before his current stardom for "Lost". He over acts at times, but does a good job overall. He's quite good at conveying "crazy and maniacal" with his eyes. He was quite easily able to convey sweet and friendly, angry and troubled, and cool and sexy when the situation called for each.
            Jeff Fahey was also very good in his role as Phil. I'm a bit biased because I'm a fan of Jeff, but even if I weren't I'd still enjoy this performance. He's calm and collected throughout, but never loses his heir of mystery as though he's hiding something and simply isn't to be trusted.
            Overall, this is a pretty good movie. It definitely isn't for everyone with some nudity and "adult situations." I enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

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          • The Quiet (DVD) / DVD / 32 Readings / 31 Ratings
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            05.05.2010 20:36
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            the secret dysfunctions of a modern suburban family

            The Quiet (2005)

            Genre: drama/thriller

            Writer: Micah Shraft & Abdi Nazemian
            Dir.: Jamie Babbitt

            Cast:
            Camilla Belle - Dot
            Elisha Cuthbert - Nina Deer
            Martin Donovan - Paul Deer
            Edie Falco - Olivier Deer
            Katy Mixon - Michelle Fell
            Shawn Ashmore - Connor

            Plot:
            Dot, a 17-year-old deaf girl whose mother died when she was seven, goes to live with her godparents after the death of her father.
            Dot is a loner and a bit of an outcast and spends all of her time alone until Connor, a popular boy at school, takes a liking to her.
            Dot also discovers a disturbing relationship between her godfather, Paul, and his 17-year-old daughter, and Dot's new god sister, Nina.
            Dot begins comforting Nina, and Nina, who regarded Dot as a freak when she first arrived, begins growing closer to her.
            Nina's mother, Olivia, is aware of what is happening in her home, but does nothing. She's hooked on pain pills and spends every night passed out.
            Nina secretly discovers that Dot has a secret of her own. Trying to lure Dot into exposing her secret, Nina makes a startling confession to her.
            Will Nina actually go through with her confessed plan? And, will Dot reveal her secret?

            My thoughts:
            This is a pretty good movie. It is not at all what I was expecting.
            The movie is very well written and was very well directed by Jamie Babbitt.
            This movie has an excellent cast, and all gave outstanding performances.
            Elisha Cuthbert was perfect in the role of Nina. She wonderfully portrayed this character that seems superficial on the outside, but much more than meets the eye on the inside. It was the perfect balance between the popular, snotty stuck up cheerleader, and the sad lonely girl with the deep dark secret. Elisha was truly able to convey that confliction and bring it to life.
            Camilla Belle was also perfect for the role of Dot. Camilla has somewhat sad eyes that really lend themselves well to the character. She too, wonderfully portrays a sad and lonely character with a secret of her own.
            Martin Donovan was excellent as Paul. His eyes too, seemed to show a different person than his character. Even when his face was hard and mean his eyes still seemed to show a softness and a sadness. He wonderfully portrays a man that is truly sleazy and a monster, but doesn't see himself as such. He is a man that is truly in love with his daughter and believes that everything he is doing is truly out of love.
            Edie Falco is also very good in her role. Most known for her role on 'The Sopranos', this is a completely different character that she easily portrays. She is a woman that either consciously, or subconsciously, realizes what is happening, but does nothing to help her daughter, instead, choosing to ignore the problem and medicate herself.
            Thora Birch was initially cast as Dot, but backed out before filming began. And, in my opinion, and with no offense to Thora Birch, that turned out to be a very good thing because Camilla was the perfect actor for this role.
            This movie was generally panned by critics. And, although not a box office hit by any means, the film was nominally successful.
            Overall, this is a pretty good movie that delves into the deep dark secrets of the average, modern suburban family. It's definitely interesting and worth a watch for a more mature audience; not recommended for younger viewers. I would recommend this one.

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          • Shrek The Third (DVD) / DVD / 25 Readings / 25 Ratings
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            29.04.2010 22:31
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            more fun with the big loveable ogre

            Shrek the Third (2007)

            Genre: animation/comedy/family/adventure/fantasy

            Writer: Andrew Adamson & Jeffrey Price & Chris Miller & Peter S. Seaman
            Dir.: Chris Miller & Raman Hui

            Cast:
            Mike Myers - Shrek (voice)
            Cameron Diaz - Princess Fiona (voice)
            Eddie Murphy - Donkey (voice)
            Antonio Banderas - Puss in Boots (voice)
            Rupert Everett - Prince Charming (voice)
            Justin Timberlake - Artie (voice)
            Julie Andrews - Queen (voice)
            Eric Idle - Merlin (voice)

            Plot:
            Shrek, an ogre, is next in line for the crown in the kingdom of Far Far Away, but he isn't interested. He learns of another heir, Artie, and he and his two sidekicks, Donkey, a talking donkey and Puss in Boots, a talking, sword wielding cat, go in search of him. They find him in a school and bring him back.
            Meanwhile, Prince Charming, tired of being ridiculed, decides that he wants to be the new king, so he gathers an army of fairy tale 'bad guys' and attacks the kingdom, imprisoning the 'good guys' and taking over.
            Now, it's up to Shrek, Donkey, Puss and Artie to try and save the day.
            Will they be able to stop the 'bad guys' and save the kingdom, or will they too be over-powered and imprisoned, or worse?

            My thoughts:
            This is a pretty good movie. It is an animated family film and is the second sequel (third overall) to the movie Shrek. All of the movies are based on the book Shrek! by William Steig.
            This movie has many returning characters, but also incorporates many more fairytale characters including Prince Charming, Merlin, Snow White, Captain Hook and Rapunzel, just to name a few.
            Although this film will appeal to all ages, many of the jokes seem to be aimed at adults and won't resonate with the younger viewers.
            Like the first two, the animation in this one is excellent with bright vivid colors.
            The movie is well written with a good story and is well directed also.
            The cast of voice actors is excellent, as are their performances.
            Mike Myers is excellent as Shrek. He's the perfect choice for the role because he's funny, charming and sweet.
            Eddie Murphy is also excellent and perfectly cast as Donkey. He's hilarious and his voice perfectly matches the larger than life character.
            Antonio Banderas is also excellent as Puss in Boots. His accent fits the character perfectly. He too is hilarious and he steals every scene that he's in.
            Cameron Diaz is great as Princess Fiona.
            Justin Timberlake joins the cast as Artie and fits right in with a great performance.
            Then entire cast does a wonderful job.
            This movie received mixed reviews with more negative than positive. The public was not dissuaded by the reviews as this movie was a huge financial success.
            Overall, this is a good movie that follows in the footsteps of the first two. Some of the humor is aimed at the older kids and the adults, but all ages will ultimately enjoy it. If you like the first two films you'll like this one too. I would certainly recommend this one.

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            • Poor Pretty Eddie (DVD) / DVD / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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              24.04.2010 20:03
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              cult movie with an exploitation feel

              Poor Pretty Eddie (1975)

              Genre: drama/horror

              Writer: B. W. Sandefur
              Dir.: Chris Robinson & David Worth

              Cast:
              Leslie Uggams - Liz Weatherly
              Michael Christian - Eddie Collins
              Shelley Winters - Bertha
              Ted Cassidy - Keno
              Slim Pickens - Orville
              Dub Taylor - Floyd

              Plot:
              Liz Weatherly, a famous singer, is taking some time off before her next performance. Far out in the country her car breaks down and she becomes stranded at a lodge run by Bertha, a former starlet and Eddie, a wanna-be country star.
              Eddie promises to fix Liz's car, but actually has no intention to. He intends to keep Liz there and make her his. One night, believing that Liz wants him, Eddie rapes her.
              One night Liz is able to escape in Eddie's Jeep and is arrested for speeding. She explains to the sheriff, Orville, who happens to be a friend of Eddie and Bertha, that Eddie raped her. Not interested in the truth, nobody really believes nor cares if she was raped or not, and she is returned to Eddie.
              Eddie plans on marrying Liz whether she wants to or not and plans a wedding.
              Will Liz ever be able to escape, or will she be forced to marry Eddie and remain his forever?

              My thoughts:
              This is a decent movie. It is your average 1970s exploitation B-movie fare. At times it is creepy, at other times it is funny and at other times it is ridiculous.
              Leslie Uggams is very pretty, but her performance lacked emotion and intensity.
              Michael Christian on the other hand was excellent, his performance was well rounded and ran the gamut between funny, creepy, charming and downright mean. He seemed to be the right actor for the role and his performance speaks for itself.
              Shelley Winters was also perfect for the role of Bertha, the former starlet turned drunkard desperately trying to hang on to Eddie with all her might.
              Ted Cassidy, best known for portraying Lurch on The Addams Family, is very creepy as Keno, the hired man. He has only a handful of lines and doesn't really get involved in the action until near the end of the movie, but just his presence, always lurking about, made him appear quite spooky and the ominous throughout.
              Slim Pickens (of whom I am a fan) plays the redneck sheriff to a tee. He really comes off as a creep and a pervert while talking to Liz about the rape, all the while doodling naked pictures and sucking on a tomato. Slim was often cast in these kinds of small, quirky roles, and with good reason, he was so great at playing that type of character, and this part was no exception, weird, quirky and perfect.
              This movie is definitely not for everyone, there are sexual situations and some violent scenes. But, if you're a fan of 70s exploitation films, especially ones with better performances than most, like this one is, you will definitely like this one.
              I enjoyed it and I would recommend it.

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            • The Heartbreak Kid (DVD) / DVD / 23 Readings / 19 Ratings
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              21.04.2010 19:27
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              a man on his honeymoon falls for another woman

              The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

              Genre: comedy/romance

              Writer: Scot Armstrong & Leslie Dixon & Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly & Kevin Barnett
              Dir.: Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly

              Cast:
              Ben Stiller - Eddie
              Michelle Monaghan - Miranda
              Malin Akerman - Lila
              Jerry Stiller - Doc
              Rob Corddry - Mac
              Carlos Mencia - Tito
              Danny McBride - Martin
              Roy Jenkins - Buzz

              Plot:
              After dating for only two months, Eddie and Lila get married. On their honeymoon in Mexico, Eddie realizes he's made a mistake. He then meets Miranda, a girl vacationing with her family, and the two begin a relationship.
              After a misunderstanding about Eddie's marriage, Miranda doesn't want anything to do with him.
              Plus, Lila leaves him, stranding him in Mexico.
              After a month, Eddie returns to America and finds Miranda only to learn she's now married.
              Eddie returns to Mexico to live and to open a business.
              One day Miranda shows up at Eddie's business, once again on vacation with her family.
              What could possibly happen next?

              My thoughts:
              This is a below average movie at best. It is a romantic comedy and is a remake of the 1972 movie of the same name based on the Neil Simon screenplay, which is based on the story A Change of Plan by Bruce Jay Friedman.
              I'm not particularly a fan of romantic comedies and movies like this one are the reason. I didn't really see any romance and there was absolutely no comedy.
              I like Ben Stiller and the Farrelly brothers, but they all laid and egg on this one.
              The writing is sub-par, clichéd, unoriginal and full of holes. The directing is fair at best, and below average for the Farrelly brothers' standards.
              The cast is okay and the performances are decent, but they didn't have much to work with.
              Ben Stiller, usually very funny and likeable, was dull and stale in this one. He had a couple of decent lines, but the character and the performance are nothing new.
              Michelle Monaghan is cute and likeable, but she doesn't bring anything special to the character. The part could've been played by virtually anyone else and the role would be the same.
              Malin Akerman is decent as Lila. She probably gives the best performance in the film, but that's not really saying much.
              Carlos Mencia is below average as well. Granted, I hate Carlos and think the best thing he could do for entertainment is to stop trying to provide it, but his performance truly is sub-par. Whether intentional or not, his moustache is obviously fake. And, his accent is inconsistent, sometimes being very thick and other times being quite mild.
              Much like me, critics didn't care much for this movie either, giving it mostly negative reviews.
              The movie performed fairly at the box office and went on to be a marginal financial success.
              Overall, this is a disappointing movie that falls short of both romance and comedy. If you're a die-hard Ben Stiller fan you may somewhat enjoy this one, but otherwise there are plenty of far superior romantic comedies out there. I would not recommend this one.

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              • More +
                15.04.2010 20:51
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                Michael Myers is back for more

                Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

                Genre: horror/thriller

                Writer: Michael Jacobs & Shem Bitterman & Dominique Othenin-Girard
                Dir.: Dominique Othenin-Girard

                Cast:
                Donald Pleasence - Dr. Sam Loomis
                Danielle Harris - Jamie Lloyd
                Ellie Cornell - Rachel Carruthers
                Beau Starr - Sheriff Ben Meeker
                Wendy Kaplan - Tina Williams
                Don Shanks - Michael Myers

                Plot:
                One year after Michael Myers' return, he comes back for Jamie again.
                Jamie has been in a children's clinic and hasn't spoken a word since attacking her mom. However, she now has a mental connection to Michael. She can see through his eyes when he's going to attack someone.
                Michael kills Rachel, leaving her friend Tina as the only person left to care for Jamie.
                When Tina is at a party, Jamie sees that Michael is after her.
                Jamie and her friend escape from the clinic to help Tina.
                Dr. Loomis and the cops wait for Michael to return to his old house. They're able to tranquilize him and put him in jail.
                Does this mean that Michael Myers' killing spree is finally over, or is there much more in store?

                My thoughts:
                This movie is okay at best. It is another sequel to the 1978 film Halloween. It is the fourth sequel, and the third sequel that includes Michael Myers. The first two Halloween movies were very good, but by the time you get to this one there really isn't anything new. The element of Jamie's mental connection to Michael is an interesting concept, but unfortunately it's the only new and interesting concept in the film.
                The writing is clichéd and unoriginal with nothing new to offer, and the directing is average.
                Except for a few players, the cast are a bunch of cardboard cutouts that could be played by anyone.
                Donald Pleasence once again reprises his role as Dr. Sam Loomis, and is one of the bright spots. He plays his role to perfection, almost overplaying at times, and demands your attention whenever he's on screen.
                Danielle Harris reprises her role as Jamie, but this time she's mute. She once again does a very good job for someone so young in such an intense role.
                Ellie Cornell also reprises her role as Rachel, although only briefly, running around half naked until she's killed.
                Beau Starr also reprises his role as Sheriff Ben Meeker.
                The new main cast member in this one is Wendy Kaplan, who plays Tina. She actually does a pretty good job coming in this late in the franchise. She very well portrayed the typical slasher victim, young, pretty, apparently not very bright and full of bad decisions.
                Don Shanks replaced George Wilbur as Michael Myers in this one. However, George Wilbur would returned to the role of Michael Myers in the next installment, Halloween 6.
                This film was rushed into production and ended up being the least successful in the franchise. It opened well, at # 2, but quickly fell off and did quite poorly.
                Overall, this movie is nothing special. If you're a fan of the franchise you'll probably enjoy this one, but if you're not, this is definitely not the one that will make you a fan. I can only recommend this one to Halloween fans.

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