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Planet Earth (2006)
Absolutely breath taking...a must-have for any Blue Ray owner
Easily a 10 out of 10.
I saw this video at a local video store three years ago and I knew I had to have it. I mentioned to my wife that it would be a great Christmas present (hint hint) and it had to be in Blu-Ray as such a huge undertaking needed to be appreciated. Boy was I right to pick this as a gift.
I just decided to re-watch the series and I definitely have a greater appreciation for it the second time around. Quite simply every single objective viewer of this series will express many "wow" moments. Some of the scenes are difficult to forget and have never been captured before, certainly not with such clarity. The effort that must have been exerted to provide such images on DVD had to be daunting.
Do yourself a favour and spend the extra few dollars and buy the DVD in high definition, it is a keeper. Whether for educational purposes or the awe inspiring imagery, it is a series you will watch more than once, and you will want to show others as well. No matter who you are, there are many scenes on this DVD that you have never seen before and they will amaze you.
The Big Bang Theory (2007)
Best comedy running right now...
I own the first two seasons of the big bang theory, I also happen to own the first 7 seasons of Two and a Half Men from the same writers.
In my opinion this show is a 10/10. It has everything that I personally enjoy: great writing, good character rapport and enough wit and jokes that require at least some thought to keep me interested. Furthermore it is not as raunchy as Two and a Half Men, though sex and sexual jokes seem to be more commonplace now than when the series first began, it is still not the main premise of most episodes which instead focus on these quirky, nerdy guys...who at first appear annoying (especially Sheldon) but in time grow up the viewer.
I find that Sheldon and Harold are the two characters that drive the show in terms of laughs. Others could easily disagree, but I find that in terms of humour and acting abilities those two characters do it for me. Every character has their value to the show and it wouldn't be the same if either Penny, Raj or Leonard were not written in, but I always look forward to the lines and lives of Sheldon and Harold to draw laughter.
Sheldon (Jim Parsons) in particular is impressive with his typical fast talking Texan style (without the drawl) that keeps my attention. He does the most physical acting of all of the main characters and his antics are (sometimes disturbingly) hilarious.
Harold is just one of those try hard dorks who exudes an awkward confidence even though he doesn't realize quite how much of a nerd he is. His home life with his mother is comical and provides otherwise unexpected laughs when they are together (though she is never seen). His moms lines always embarrass Harold and it is her blunt comments and his reaction that brings a smile (in some ways some of my own funny memories as a young man).
I could go on and on, but in a quick summary, if you haven't seen the show take the time to watch it. If you happen to not like it at first, watch a few more episodes, the characters will grow on you, I assure you and unlike most shows, there are enough casual characters that interact with the main characters to bring a different dynamic and infusion of funny lines.
Manner in which they portrayed Stasi agent
I liked the movie, it was enjoyable and although it may seem far fetched the business of spooks and spies is not surprisingly immoral and shocking so anything is possible.
I am not here to discuss the movie because I did enjoy it. However, I did want to mention my dismay with the manner in which they portrayed the Stasi agent (Ernst Jurgen?). When he realizes he is going to be killed he takes the "honourable path" by committing suicide. This, after giving a tender speech about how he is a throw back, a man who was proud in his skill in his former calling and thus, unknown to the assassin sent to kill him, he commits suicide.
As someone who has read two very powerful non-fiction books about the Stasi (The File and Stasiland) I was slightly offended by the characterization of this man. Although we do not know if he was a foreign operative when he worked for Stasi or a domestic spook, there is enough historical evidence to suggest how vile, immoral and damaging this agency was to the East German people. Many died in their fight for democracy in that former Communist state, many died or disappeared at the hands of the Stasi for trying to climb the wall to freedom, or for simply not buying into the "Party" line.
I understand the purpose of this character, I also understand that the Stasi are renowned for their skill in the spy craft (an almost obsessive desire for control and persecution of their fellow countrymen, to the detriment and suffering of its citizens). However, the viewer was almost driven to respect for this man; as if he came with a badge of honour for his former work, when in reality, most Stasi agents feared for their own lives after the fall of the Berlin wall because the citizens who were persecuted under them were so upset with the suffering they experienced at the hands of these monsters.
I know it is just a movie. I just wish the writers/directors/producers, whomever would have considered the historical context of these agents. I am guessing suicide would be too courageous an option to explore for a true Stasi agent. They were by most accounts, though not all , bullies and willing oppressors.
Just my two cents for what it is worth. All in all a great movie. Thanks for your time. Let me know if you agree or not (for all those spy buffs or historians out there).
Just Go with It (2011)
I rarely give a comedy such a high rating...
I have always enjoyed comedies, but I have seen so few truly funny movies of late. Today's funny movies generally consist of over-vulgar language and humiliation, this movie was not like this. 9 out of 10 stars from me, as it delivered more than I expected, and from top to bottom it was a funny and enjoyable film on many fronts.
First of all I will say this, if this was a supposed romantic-comedy it was far more weighted on the comedy than the romance, which is important to know if you are like me and not a fan of romantic-comedies in general. I was worried that this movie would be heavy on the romance, which almost always turns a potentially good comedy into something cheesy. I want to see such movies to laugh, not for the watered down romance storyline; this movie didn't go down that forgettable route as so many other potentially funny movies have.
On this note, there is some romance, but even though you knew where it was going at some point, it remained fresh and even hilarious at times, as the jokes kept coming and there wasn't a 30 minute lull in the movie to fulfill the mandatory boy-meets-girl part of the script.
Everyone in the movie did an exceptional job acting, including the kids in the film, and some actors took some risks for the sake of being funny (i.e when Aniston in a bikini, Aniston and Kidman entering the dance contest etc). It was particularly enjoyable to see that the actors didn't take themselves seriously in the role, but they did take their acting seriously. Often times I watch a comedy and cringe at the weak commitment to the film, this was not the case here as they all seemed more natural and free flowing, getting full value out of the dialogue.
As has been mentioned on here, Nick Swardson seemed to take the reigns with being the central comic-relief character, relying on his antics to get the laughs, and for my money he succeeded.
There were about 3-4 scenes in which I absolutely lost myself in the theatre and everyone else was laughing just the same. If this is any indication of a good comedy, than this movie over exceeded expectations.
War of the Worlds (2005)
Well...this movie was a disappointment...
I am and will be a fan of Spielbergs movies, but he missed with this one, and he is not alone (see George Lucas). Movies in general, in particular American movies have lately just not been very good and they have been "dumbed down" to the lowest common denominator of thought. It seems to me that this is the direction movies are going in...why? They make money, plain and simple. All of the uses of special affects have taken the attention away from good story writing so that I can be impressed with a great visual, it is very frustrating. That being said, I suppose this was the idea and the market the movie was catering to.
This movie actually isn't the bottom of the barrel, but the storyline is thin and at times comical. The scene where Bobby tells Cruise "dad, let me go I need to see this" (Why did he have a fascination with dying by an alien?, More importanty, htf did he survive?), the coincidental run-in with a madman who wants to destroy the aliens with an axe, the glaring lack of information from the outside world...the list could go on and on. Really there was not much content, just watching some guy and his family run from aliens, very little build up, and cookie cutter characters, even the way in which they killed an alien was unclear. The one positive, outside of the effects, was that they kept the standard comedy scenes you normally get to a minimum and early enough so that it wouldn't affect the mood too much.
It is too bad that Spielberg slipped with this, because it could have been a remarkable movie with staying power. Instead, it is a ho-hum, and unremarkable movie.
Dracula 3000 (2004)
Typical Lions Gate Entertainment film...
This move was simply horrible. Poor acting, horrendous dialogue, unbelievable and comical story. This is the typical Lion Gate film, pure garbage. I have seen a number of films released by them (most without knowing it was their film). Each time I was wondering how they could put out some garbage. A high school could produce a better film than what they release.
Do yourself a favour. While at the local movie rental store check to see if it is a Lions Gate film. It is the quickest way to save yourself some money and some time out of your day. Simply pass on the film. Awful.