Review (DVD): Cold July

5 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Michael Hall, Sam Shepard

5.0 out of 5 stars Starts slow, builds to a riveting climax, October 5, 2014

This was my FIRST CHOICE on a nine hour flight, and absolutely proved to be a top-notch mystery action film. In my view, this is more than a B movie, I found everything about it to be first rate from the plot to the acting to the direction and filming. Of the four movies I watched this came out tied with The Calling followed by Blended (2014) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

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Review (DVD): The Calling

5 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Sarah Sarondon, Gil Bellows

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, a real mystery, very ably presented, October 5, 2014

This is an engrossing movie that I am commenting on, having watched it on Virgin Atlantic yesterday, largely to add it to my list of now 139 recommended DVDs for smart people, find that list with links at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, look at the bottom of the right-hand column for Reviews (DVD Only) (139).

The film is engrossing and blends multiple themes I will not spoil. Absolutely worth watching if you have the time and want to be engaged in a mystery. All of the acting is top-notch, there are no negatives, although I think rating it “R” is a mistake, this is more a PG-17, never mind a few dead people.

The other three films I watched, in rank order, were:
Cold in July
Blended (2014)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

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Review (DVD): Blended

5 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Comedy, A Formula That Works, October 5, 2014

As much as I obsess about non-fiction and “the naked truth” I have a soft spot in my heart from romantic comedies and new-found happiness emerging from adversity. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are as good as it gets, and I am very happy to see them building on their earlier success in 50 First Dates.

This review is primarily a service to those who follow my Amazon reviews and want to tap into my reviews of 139 reviews of DVDs for smart people, easily found, all with links to their Amazon home page, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, at the bottom of the right-hand column see Reviews (DVD Only) (139)

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Review (DVD): Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit

4 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Colm Feore

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 for stars, 4 for plot, 3 for authenticity, October 5, 2014

As a former Marine Corps infantry officer and also a former CIA clandestine operations officer, one of the first to chase terrorists full time (in the 1980’s), I found the movie engaging but annoying. The producers obviously did not think enough of the USMC or the CIA to actually have a consultant able to catch the many small and some large mistakes in procedure (weapons on a helicopter are supposed to be muzzle down, always) and tradecraft.

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Review (DVD): Noah with Russell Crowe

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Russell Crowe

4.0 out of 5 stars Weak Odd Beginning, Ends Well — a Solid Four, July 31, 2014

This is an art video, not a science video. It is an artistic interpretation the Bible Belt has gone nuts over, to no useful end. I find that on balance, while the movie has almost no connection to reality or theology, it does have enough philosophy and cinematic value to be a solid four.

The team producing this movie over-reached badly on the beginning and the sci-fi aspects they portray at the beginning. That costs them one star. The rest of the movie is a compelling mix of extaordinary cinematography, a subtle script in which Cain keeps resurfacing including in Noah’s own son, and a very happy tear-jerking ending in which man is resurrected from the dead.

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Review (DVD): THRIVE

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Atlases & State of the World, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Cosmos & Destiny, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Environment (Solutions), Health, Information Society, Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Priorities, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Amazon Page

Foster and Kimberly Gamble

5.0 out of 5 stars Free Online and Worth Buying to Support the Endeavor, March 14, 2014

This is a riveting movie with phenomenal visuals. I’d rather it had been an hour long instead of two, but in the spirit of slow food and slow Internet, certainly worth two hours of your time as an inspiration to change how you live for the rest of your life.

The movie is a personal contribution of Foster Gamble of the Proctor & Gamble family, but he grew a soul starting in elementary school and by the time he finished at Princeton, he was on his way to being a full-blown radical thinker with libertarian tendencies.

The first third of the movie is focused on free energy and all the pioneers from Telsa to Trombly to Bedeini to Hutchinson to Mallove who created proven sources of free energy only to suffer raids from the FBI (we do not make this stuff up) and other abuses including in some cases the torching of their labs and murder. I am hugely impressed by this portion of the movie, which includes short interviews, and I strongly recommend the movie for this part alone if you lack patience for what follows.

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Review (DVD): Killers with Katherine Heigl

Reviews (DVD Only)
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Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Robert Luketic

5.0 out of 5 stars Could Become a Cult Classic — Jams Every Cliche Into One Package, November 29, 2013

This could become a cult classic, at least among those of us that have been spies or love spy movies. This was my Thanksgiving break in Afghanisgan, and so good I have put it on background a couple more times as I work on curating Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.

Heigl is not quite as great as in The Ugly Truth, but this movie has crammed into it every single cliche from across a range of spy movies down to all your neighbors being sleepers and a grand shoot-out in the end, so I for one am very tolerant of the little hic-ups across the movie. It’s a low budget hoot and they got to visit Monaco.

On the strength of this movie and being reminded how great she was in The Ugly Truth I have ordered One For The Money and expect to enjoy that. Remember, this is the woman whose orgasm scene in the restaurant rivals Meg Ryan’s original in When Harry Met Sally.

Also, the prices on these are extraordinary — under 2-4 dollars! I use my computers for more important stuff, so it’s nice to have the hard DVD to put the TV on the side to work.

Other great DVDs along these lines:

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Full Screen Edition)
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Harry Brown
Twisted
Human Target: The Complete First Season
From Paris With Love
Traitor

I recommend a total of 133 DVDs at the bottom of the second column of Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog. All my reviews are there, and all lead back to their respective Amazon page.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
YouTube: Gnomedex 2007

Review (DVD): Powerbody: Advanced Russian Kettlebell Workout with Phil Ross

Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Phil Ross

5.0 out of 5 stars Single Best Value — Better than any book, October 20, 2013
After reading through Kettlebells For Dummies I have to conclude that this DVD by itself is vastly more useful than any book. This is a complete package offering 45 minutes of perfectly displayed instruction for a routine that can be completely in 30 minutes.

Introduction. Basics include flat shoe or barefoot. Chalk up and hydrate but you must complete the exercise in the allotted amount of time to achieve the optimal benefit. Do not settle for anything less than a cast iron single piece kettlebell. This stuff is DANGEROUS if you are not warmed up, trained up, and ready to do the relatively coordinated actions such as swinging a kettlebell up, letting go the handle, and catching it the palm of you hand. What impresses me about this advanced version is that it clearly is a full-body work out where bending of the knees, a straight back, flexible hips, and balance are essential.

Tutorial. In this section a series of exercises are demonstrated with ample words, ending with the towel halos using a single sixteen pound RK and swinging the RK around in a manner that is clearly a full body work-out. And dangerous. If you are not good at this you could let go and hurt someone — or be hurt by others not yet ready for this exercise.

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Review: Kettlebells for Dummies

4 Star, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Sarah Lurie

4.0 out of 5 stars Overkill — 50 pages fluffed to 342, October 20, 2013

If you ever wanted to get to know a Russian Kettlebell intimately, as well as its family going back 1000 years and every possible nuanced aspect of it, this is the book for you. For me it is total overkill and would more usefully be replaced by a 50 page illustrated guide and a single wall chart — or two, one for warm-up with jumprope and stick, the other a series of exercises. I watched Powerbody: Advanced Russian Kettlebell Workout with Phil Ross before going through this book,and now I am leaning toward reversing my conclusion that the Ross DVD was too advanced and one should start with this book. Given a choice between the two, I would dump this book and use the DVD as a complete package.

Bottom line: too much of everything. This is a doctoral thesis on pulling carrots out of the ground. This is a formula book on steroids. It certainly earns four stars — some might give it five (I mistrust most of the reviews, them seem to be very short and empty reviews from people doing the author a favor) — and the substance is worthy, but the overall “door stop” nature of the book is very off-putting. I could have distilled this book into 50 pages with two wall charts, and been happier with that at the same price.

Here are a few bottom lines from this book:

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Review (DVD) Great Barrier Reef — BBC Earth

5 Star, Environment (Solutions), Reviews (DVD Only)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars RIVETING! As close as most might get, do not miss the chance

April 20, 2013

I put this up on my second screen, intending to do odds and ends on my primary screen, but very quickly found myself giving the film my undivided attention.

In no way do I agree with any prior criticisms of either the underwater voice, which I found totally appropriate, of the use of high speed photography, which was both essential and in my view, ultra professional. Some of the stuff shown here has never before been captured (e.g. parrot fish building its nightly mucus page) and other stuff just blew my mind, such as the rare coral spawning, the launching of male and female eggs from coral.

I had no idea, plain and simple. This film is educational, entertaining, and enchanting.

This is, as another reviewer has noted, three movies in one, to which I would add: 185 minutes, with each of the three segments roughly 60 minutes in length.

For myself, I could only marvel and the hundreds of hours it must have taken, of patient seemingly endless toil in filming, and ultimately the hundreds of hours doing the editing to get to this quite formidable, RIVETING, offering.

Highly recommended. Not only ideal for children, but a very fine — an extraordinary — view for adults.

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