The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005)

The Chronicles of Narnia is a film that couldn’t have been made in the 20th century effectively – it relies so heavily on special effects and digital tricks that even attempting to make it without all the digital trickery would have resulted in a B-film, regardless of its budget. With his experience as the special effects guy on several of the Batman films, director and producer Andrew Adamson did manage to put together one hell of a display. With all the visual do-goodery in place, and one of the best stories ever told to drive it forward, there wasn’t a lot to make the Witch and the Wardrobe fail… And of course, it doesn’t. [Read more…]

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Alive (Piers Paul Reid)

On Friday, October 13, 1972 a Fairchild F-227, chartered from the Uruguayan Air Force, carrying a young amateur rugby team and their families and friends from Uruguay, slammed into the middle of the remote Andes Mountains in Argentina…This is a legendary book that shook the conscience of the world in the 1970s. And now, 45 years on from the tragedy, this non-fiction work still makes for compelling reading. Forty five passengers and the crew were on the plane before it crashed. Only sixteen of the passengers left the mountain alive. [Read more…]

Thérèse Raquin (1980 BBC)

The picture quality on this DVD has the resolution of a fading VHS tape from 30 years ago, and if this truly is the best restoration that can be made of this 166-minute production, that must be counted as a minor but distinct tragedy…for actress Kate Nelligan is the Thérèse Raquin to end all Thérèse Raquins. Based on the Zola novel, this is the story of a vibrant but trapped young woman, stuck in a loveless marriage to a pampered weakling. Then one day, the husband brings home an old friend–Laurent– and the doors of her soul fly open. [Read more…]

The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield)

A gothic suspense novel with echoes from several Victorian novels. The familiar device of a “story within a story” is employed, and sometimes it even contains another story. This story-telling tradition strongly reminds the reader of earlier classic tales. In fact the “rule of threes” goes throughout this book echoing its fairytale feel. There is the structure of the book itself, “Beginnings, Middles and Endings”. There are three generations in the earlier saga. This is the author’s first novel, and promises well if she stops being so rooted in the gothic canon and makes a bold leap into the unknown and the supernatural she is clearly so drawn to.   [Read more…]

Krakatoa: The Day The World Ended: August 27, 1883 (Simon Winchester)

krakatoaOne of the great events in the history of the 19th century. It was exactly 10:02 a.m. on Monday, August 27, 1883 when the small volcanic island of Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra blew itself out of existence with an explosion that was heard thousands of miles away and that resulted in the deaths of over 36,000 people. That eruption is believed to be the loudest sound ever heard by human ears. [Read more…]

Rebecca (1997 United Kingdom)

rebecca_03With this superb 1997 adaptation, you are able to see a more deeper version of both Max and the second Mrs. DeWinter’s characters played by Charles Dance and Emilia Fox. You see that they are in love in this version whereas in the Hitchcock version, it’s not so obvious. You also get a better sense of Mrs. Danvers’ character who you almost feel sorry for in this adaptation. Additionally, you’ll see a few glimpses of what the beautiful Rebecca might look like. [Read more…]

THE BRIDE WORE BLACK (1968, France)

bride-wore-black-2Time for me to get nostalgic about my first few posts and this was the very first, so if you missed it back in March (I started off writing reviews that were too short and cold–then realized they needed more length & warmth). So here it is again. How can you resist? I didn’t think so either. Seriously though, this is one of my more sexy reviews. It has to be. Jeanne Moreau is the star and her middle name is Sexy. You’re eyes and brain will thank you for it …. [Read more…]

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