Archive for the 'Review' Category

My 5-Star Netflix DVDs

Here are the DVDs that I rated 5-Stars in Netflix:

  1. 12 Angry Men
  2. 16 Blocks
  3. 21 Grams
  4. 25th Hour
  5. After the Wedding
  6. Amores Perros
  7. Animal Kingdom
  8. Annie Hall
  9. Another Year
  10. Babel
  11. Before Night Falls
  12. Blow
  13. Body of Lies
  14. Boyz N the Hood
  15. Bread and Roses
  16. Breaking and Entering
  17. Brooklyn’s Finest
  18. Brothers
  19. Brothers
  20. City of God
  21. Closer
  22. Dead Man Walking
  23. Die Hard
  24. Eastern Promises
  25. Factory Girl
  26. Fair Game
  27. Fargo
  28. Five Minutes of Heaven
  29. Four Brothers
  30. Fragments
  31. Fresh
  32. Friends with Money
  33. Great Pas de Deux
  34. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
  35. In Bruges
  36. Inception
  37. Inside the Actors Studio: Robin Williams
  38. Kids
  39. La Haine
  40. Man on Fire
  41. Million Dollar Baby
  42. Monster’s Ball
  43. Mother and Child
  44. Mystic River
  45. Onegin
  46. Please Give
  47. Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire
  48. Pride and Glory
  49. Redemption
  50. Requiem for a Dream
  51. Running Scared
  52. sex, lies, and videotape
  53. Shooter
  54. Spun
  55. Street Kings
  56. Sylvia
  57. Taxi Driver
  58. Tender Mercies
  59. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  60. The Battle of Algiers
  61. The Beat That My Heart Skipped
  62. The Bourne Identity
  63. The Bourne Supremacy
  64. The Bourne Ultimatum
  65. The Celebration
  66. The Crime of Padre Amaro
  67. The Departed
  68. The Fighter
  69. The Good Shepherd
  70. The Hours
  71. The Hunt for Red October
  72. The Hurt Locker
  73. The Kids Are All Right
  74. The Kingdom
  75. The Lives of Others
  76. The Lover
  77. The Matrix
  78. The Pledge
  79. The Remains of the Day
  80. There Will Be Blood
  81. The Score
  82. The Shawshank Redemption
  83. The Transporter
  84. Things We Lost in the Fire
  85. Thirteen Days
  86. Three Kings
  87. Traffic
  88. Training Day
  89. Up in the Air


Netflix Instant

Review of audible book ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ by James Joyce

This is the finest audible book I have listened to so far. Joyce excels at evoking characters through their conversation, and at expressing philosophical ideas. His storytelling is engaging, humorous and clever. I did weary of his extended descriptions of Catholic beliefs, just as I wearied of the extended descriptions of cetology in Moby Dick.

This is also the finest narration I have listened to in an audible book. Some narrators imagine themselves as performers and contrive distinct voices for each character. Yet none of these “performers” is in fact a great actor, and it is often painful to listen to them — particularly to their attempts at imitating female voices.

In contrast, Jim Killavey uses three or four slight alterations of voice to distinguish characters in a way that is both unambiguous and unobtrusive. It is a true pleasure to listen to his narration. His pronunciation is clear and precise, as is appropriate for reading a work of literature. I was taken aback on a few occasions by his pronunciation of certain words (e.g. in-‘die-sees for indices, fair-‘rool for ferrule, and ‘poig-nant for poignant), but this is a minor issue on the whole.

(This review is posted at Download A Portrait of the Artist)

Review of audible book ‘The Reserve’ by Russell Banks

Having enjoyed Russell Banks’ “Continental Drift”, I purchased “The Reserve”. I should have been alerted to the impending catastrophe when the narrator self-described his presentation as “The Reserve, performed by Tom Stechschulte”. Indeed, this book was not read, it was “performed”. The performer attempted to create unique voices for each character, and his imitations of female voices are incompetent to the point of being embarrassing and painful to hear, sounding more like a parody of a gay man. When a fine actor like Winona Ryder reads “The Diary of a Young Girl” without attempting to imitate a male voice for Mr. Dussel, it is inexcusable for Tom Stechschulte to impose his performance on us.

I shouldered on, only to find that “The Reserve” has none of the qualities of “Continental Drift”. The plot degrades into a silly tale of characters making foolish, unmotivated decisions. With another two hours of “performance” to go, I doubt that I will finish listening.

(This review is posted at Download The Reserve)