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yortsnave

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Beautiful - makes me want to take the trip ..., 2 September 2013
10/10

I have been interested in traveling to Alaska most of my life, especially in driving the Alaska Highway. But from Ohio, Alaska is very far away, and life just keeps intervening. I saw this one-hour travelogue on my local PBS station in August, and now I have another trip to dream about: riding the ferry up the coast from Washington state. Best of all, I don't have to do the driving.

The aerial and shore-based photography is absolutely stunning--if the actual scenery is only 1/10 as pretty, Alaska remains a beautiful state indeed! The early history of the ferry system is also included, along with reminiscences from crew members of times when the weather was at its worst. The ferry system even helped in the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

I highly recommend this program, if you can catch reruns on your local PBS TV station.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Recommended..., 5 July 2013
10/10

I believe I saw this program broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the United States on January 22 2006. The title shown after commercial breaks was "Psychology of Suicide Bombers" and Anne Gartlan was credited as the narrator, but the director, producer, and editor credits match up. And since the closing credits called it a "BBC Discovery Channel Co-Production" with copyright year 2005, I am fairly confident I am commenting on the same program.

If my memory serves, the program examined and attempted to explain what was going on in the minds of suicide bombers (not necessarily just the 7/7/2005 London bombers, but other attackers also) and why they did what they did. I vaguely recall video footage of one female suicide bomber whose bomb failed to go off, and her anguish over her 'failure'. I recommend this program highly.

This program is AWESOME !!, 17 May 2013
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I caught the last third of this program on the History Channel last year (March 2012) and I was intrigued. I finally bought the DVD this month and watched the whole thing. AMAZING! If you are the least bit interested in either technology, history, warfare, or just general human goofiness, you MUST see this program! Lie, cheat, steal, be unkind to old ladies, do whatever you can to get a copy (it is currently posted on YouTube.) It is worth it for the wisecracks alone--for example, when reviewing the effectiveness of dogs delivering bombs to explode underneath Nazi tanks, the narrator mentions that several Russian tanks were destroyed by "friendly fur". (Trust me, it was funny.)

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good for aviation fans ..., 7 May 2013
7/10

I saw this film on the compilation video "What Were They Thinking?" from Netflix. Based on what I found on the Web, I must be in a minority of reviewers, because I liked it. True, none of the performances are Oscar-worthy, but they are not abysmally bad either. Although this film is definitely "sentimental", I certainly disagree with the adjective "cheesy".

The theme is aviation history. So even if you are a Jimmy Stewart fan, you will probably not appreciate this film unless you are an aviation buff also. It is a tribute to the Douglas DC-3, one of the most important airplanes in history, on the 40th anniversary of its introduction in 1936.

Bottom line: if you are an aviation or history fan, worth a view. Otherwise, probably not.

Decent portrayal of evangelical Christianity ..., 29 March 2013
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with other reviewers that this is not a typical "Rockford Files" episode: Jim Rockford is a peripheral character, victimized almost beyond credibility, and his scenes are marginally relevant to the main plot. So if you are a James Garner fan, this would not be one of your favorite episodes. And the "coupla guys" are not compelling either; I agree with the reviewer who cannot tell if they are good or bad. They are just annoying.

Years ago a friend told me about a scene in a Rockford Files episode with an "I Found It!" bumper sticker on a mobster's limousine. ("I Found It!" was a 1976 evangelistic campaign by Campus Crusade for Christ, now known as Cru.) It took a lot of Internet searching to find this episode because the Christian plot element is rarely mentioned. I rented the DVD mainly to see how an evangelical character would be portrayed.

*MAJOR SPOILERS* The mobster (a Mr. Lombard played by Gilbert Green) is apparently retired and has become a born-again Christian. He is having problems with a neighbor, a still-active mobster named Tony Martine, played by Antony Ponzini. One of Mr. Martine's relatives was convicted but committed suicide before going to prison. Since Mr. Lombard serves on an Interfaith Council with the local Catholic cardinal(?), Tony has been pressuring Lombard to convince the Catholics to allow his relative to be buried in 'consecrated ground', which they refuse to do. Desperate because he is running out of places to store the body, Mr. Martine kidnaps Mr. Lombard's daughter Renee to put even more pressure on him. (It was Renee who hired Rockford initially.) The coupla guys think that stealing the corpse would be a good(!) way of dealing with the situation, and they find out where it is hidden. It just so happens that Renee is being held in the same place, a restaurant with a walk-in freezer. Rockford convinces Mr. Lombard to finally call the cops, and they show up at the restaurant in the nick of time. *END MAJOR SPOILERS*

I was pleasantly surprised to find Christian characters that were not portrayed as evil or stupid or crazy.

Abstract ..., 26 December 2012
7/10

I saw this animated short film at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 11 2005. It was showing as an 'orientation' film for the museum, and I believe it was commissioned by the museum for that purpose. Per the museum web site freedomcenter.org it is still showing there.

The film is in three parts: Freedom and Unfreedom / Slavery / The Underground Railroad . Each part was done by a different animator with differing styles, and the parts were tied together with narration and an underlying musical theme. To be honest, I do not remember that much about it, but I was impressed by the differing animation techniques and the use of color. Much more information is available on the the awn.com and acmefilmworks.com sites.

Elbowing (1979)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Mildly interesting ..., 23 December 2011
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I believe this short animated comedy was included as part of an animation compilation film called "Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation", which I saw in a Columbus, Ohio, USA art theater (most likely the now-defunct Drexel North) in the late 1980s. I don't think that this compilation film was one of Spike and Mike's 'Sick and Twisted' offerings; I don't recall that was part of the title. All I really remember about this short film are the identical-looking characters, standing close together in a line. One character elbows another character beside him, who elbows the next character, and so on. Sorry I cannot provide more detail. . .

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Excellent..., 31 December 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This documentary is also included as a bonus on the children's DVD "The Torchlighters: The Eric Liddell Story". This program is very well done and I highly recommend it, not only for Christians but for all who are generally interested in sports and history. In addition to Mr. Liddell's Christian beliefs and dedication, topics discussed include: Christian missionary work in China; collegiate sports and boarding-school life in England; the 1924 Paris Olympics; the Japanese occupation of northern China in the 1930s and 1940s; and the internment of foreign nationals by the Japanese during World War II. Commentators include David McCasland (author of "Eric Liddell: Pure Gold"), eldest daughter Patricia Russell, the Rev. John Keddie (consultant to the film "Chariots of Fire"), and several internees of the Weihsien camp who knew Eric Liddell personally. A fitting tribute to a fascinating and inspirational servant of God!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Cute little film..., 6 November 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this cute little animated short as part of the animation feature film "Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation", at an art theater in Columbus, Ohio in the late 1980s. (There may be a video version of the Spike and Mike film (not part of the Sick and Twisted series), but I don't know if this short is included or not.) The plot, as I recall, is pretty basic: a group of Eskimos are chasing a polar bear, presumably to kill it. The polar bear stops suddenly, causing the hunters to give up the hunt--why? I won't give it away, but I will hint that the reason occurs every day in every public library in the world! By the way, director Andrew Stanton went on to earn much-deserved fame with his animated films for Pixar.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Started off great but didn't fulfill promise..., 17 December 2009
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film on DVD (in color with the original widescreen aspect ratio, a double-bill with "World Without End") with no expectations, not having seen it before. The movie started out great, with some amazingly beautiful footage of the delta-wing Avro Vulcan bomber. Then there was some excellent footage of another British jet plane, a small fighter which I believe (but am not sure) was a Folland Midge. The first views of the "Stardust" spaceship were really cool. And unlike many reviewers, I didn't mind the "talkiness" of the screenplay--I thought it gave the characters needed depth. So far, so good. But then things started falling apart, science-wise.

Many of the scientific explanations were standard 1950s sci-fi B-movie gobbledygook--for example, that the space-plane would travel "beyond gravity" when it was merely going into orbit. The whole "metallic attraction" explanation for the bomb sticking to the end of the spaceship was nonsense, but I guess they needed some sort of plot device to endanger the crew. What really killed it for me was the rocket-exhaust effect. The exhaust floated about like cigarette smoke in a light breeze, nothing like actual rocket plumes. (I must believe that a little extra effort on the part of the FX crew could have given a much more believable rocket exhaust.) I really liked the observation bubbles on each side of the spacecraft, though--quite a nice touch.

I still recommend this film for sci-fi and aviation buffs, if only for the Vulcan footage at the beginning.


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