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A REVIEWS VII

The Feminist Dilemma
The Feminist Dilemma When Success Is Not Enough By Furchtgott-Roth, Diana (Book - 2001 ) HQ1421 .F87 2001 Available in some locations

Annotation:EXCELLENT book with very serious research and lots of information. Highly documented. A must read for all women. * * * * * (May 31, 2012)

The War Against Boys
The War Against Boys How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men By Sommers, Christina Hoff (Book - 2000 ) 305.235 SOMMERS Available in some locations

Annotation:Mrs. Sommers did extensive research (and documented it) on how boys are treated in schools. Their needs are being methodically neglected by feminazi educational theorists who plan to eliminate the distinction between boys and girls. One of her arguments is that England is getting off this path and even segregating boys from girls: their differences are such, that separate education seems just obvious to the Brits! I always laugh when I hear the classical misconception that “the world would be a better place if ruled by women”! Yup, I’d love to have a woman with PMS in a position of power! OK, maybe it is because I moved to the US thirteen years ago, I can see the irreversible damage being done to boys here; maybe Americans—especially women—should take a step back and try to watch the big picture to understand the damage they are doing. At least before it is too late… (By the way, I’m a woman!) * * * * * (Censored. I reposted on 8/1/12)

Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace
Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace (DVD - 2010 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:Funny movie, but after a while the excess of hysteria might get to your nerves. The two old aunties—Josephine Hull and Jean Adair—are absolutely priceless and, together with Peter Lore, they save the movie. Raymond Massey—The Fountainhead—will make you laugh hard with his appearance. Grant, is handsome as ever, but a bit too finicky, making too many faces. Priscilla Lane is enchanting and sweet. * * * * (May 29, 2012)

Wallander
Wallander (DVD - 2009 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:Political correctness thy name is Wallander! I should have known better. SPOILER: Wallander goes to a crime scene where one of the victims whispers something in his ear before dying. He finally decides to tell his staff that it MIGHT have been “foreigner.” The press gets a hold of the information and, obviously, the xenophobic, intolerant, racists get to work: the next day, in a “foreigner” camp (Syrians, I believe), a trailer explodes. Immediately after the explosion, Wallander, who was in the site of the explosion, gets a call in his cell phone (how, one can only wonder); the caller only says, menacingly: This is only the beginning! (And for the ones who didn’t get my point yet, what I meant by PC is that Wallander believed if the word “foreigner” was uttered, the xenophobic, intolerant, racists—most likely whites, of course!—would act. Pure BS!) Well, we turned Wallender off right there! I am really tired of this ridiculous stereotyping moviemakers are spreading! 1/2 * (Censored. I reposted on 8/1/12; Reviewed 10/24/12)

Enchanted April
Enchanted April (DVD - 2009 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:I love this movie. Unlike the book, that I did not enjoy and could not finish, which end has no resemblance whatsoever with the film. The entire cast is absolutely perfect, all first rate actors. Some comical situations, some romance, some bittersweet scenes and the absolutely stunning Italian coast. I was actually in one of the places it was filmed (Portofino) and only realized when I went up to the castle (http://www.castellobrown.it/) to look at the gorgeous view. * * * * 1/2 (9/2/13)

The Complete Book of Bedroom Elegance
The Complete Book of Bedroom Elegance With Over 30 Projects for the Bedroom of your Dreams By Wrey, Caroline (Book - 1994 ) 646.21 WRE Available in some locations

Annotation:Outdated book, BUT with lots of ideas on valences and all the things that make a room feminine--and how to make them. Just adapt them to the 21st Century and you can have a beautiful bedroom! * * * 1/2 (May 29, 2012)

Mr. Palfrey of Westminster
Mr. Palfrey of Westminster Complete Collection (DVD - 2010 ) TELEVISION Available in some locations

Annotation:We enjoyed this series very much and lament there is only this DVD. We wished there were more movies! This is not a sophisticated production, and there is also the early 80's feel, so keep this in mind when watching. If you can stand that, you'll have 10 nice episodes to watch. * * * * (May 29, 2012)

The Enchanted April
The Enchanted April By Von Arnim, Elizabeth (Book - 1992 ) FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:I love the movie and decided to read the book. I could not pass the first pages. Very negative, dull narrative. I was curious to see how similar the end was to the movie and read it. It is nothing like the movie and quite disappointing. Stick with the movie and forget about the book; if you read it, make sure you do it before watching the movie! 1/2 * (May 29, 2012)

Elizabeth and Her German Garden
Elizabeth and Her German Garden By Elizabeth (Book - 1900 ) Fiction Available in some locations

Annotation:Elizabeth von Arnim’s “Elizabeth and her German Garden” was published in 1898 and was her first book. I can’t fathom why it is so popular and, therefore, reprinted many times, since it is a dull and self-centered, shallow story, with mostly musings of a solitary narcissism. As “mkcarp2011” so accurately wrote, the story evolves around Elizabeth’s belly-button. Very revealing, the sequel to this book is “The Solitary Summer”… Her disdain for other women and her egocentrism are unbearable, disgusting. She mentions her children en passant, who, it seems, were left with her husband—that right there was enough to discredit her in my view. (Incidentally, the author’s name was actually not Elizabeth, but Mary; after the publishing of her first book, she changed it to Elizabeth.) I read also by her “The Caravaners” and was disappointed because one of her main characters was a communist. She seemed to have had a certain disdain for respectable people, who did not profess socialism, that being reflected in her writings. 1/2 * (May 29, 2012)

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2
Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (DVD - 2011 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:Lost a lot of its original charm with the loss of the original voices. Plus, there is also the politically correctness that permeates everything nowadays. SPOLIER: I was shocked at the open scene where a priest is joining in matrimony two dogs! Then one of the dogs is a homosexual. Frankly, aren't children sacred anymore? On the other hand the movie "Ballet Shoes" has a cautionary PG because one character smokes! Ridiculous! * (May 27, 2012)

John Carter
John Carter (DVD - 2012 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 154 copies

Annotation:Like with “Battleship,” we first watched John Carter in the theater and liked it very much. Taylor Kitsch’s boyish charm is very engaging and the scenes when he first lands in Mars (Barsoon) and is faced with some “gravity” problems are hilarious. And so is his first encounter with the (9 feet tall!) Tharks, with the first miscommunication problems—when Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) understands his name to be Virginia instead of John Carter! And he also meets the gorgeous princes of Helium, Dejah (Lin Collins), who is a bit too muscular for my taste, but I guess she is today’s ideal for women… unfortunately. Carter also finds a new faithful—if perhaps TOO fast—companion in the “dog” Woola. As another patrons mentioned before, Carter came from the fertile imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs; the movie made want to read it! (The only funny thing is that Carter slowly loses his southern accent!) * * * * * (May 26, 2012)

The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray An Annotated, Uncensored Edition By Wilde, Oscar (Book - 2011 ) Fiction Wilde Available in some locations

Annotation:I was very excited to read this original version of Wilde’s “Dorian Gray.” Alas, I got the impression that, for the author, anyone who condemned Wilde’s homosexuality was deemed bad; the ones who approved of his conduct, were good… Besides, I do not like the title. The book was not "censored." Like all writers since the beginning of printed books, writers are urged by their editors/publishers to make changes to their books. Why would Wilde be an exception? He was writing to sell to the readers of his time; consequently he had to adapt to their tastes if he really wanted to sell! 1/2 * (Reviewed Aug 12, 2012)

Pimpernel and Rosemary
Pimpernel and Rosemary By Orczy, Emmuska Orczy (Book - 1985 ) Fiction Available in some locations

Annotation:I was quite disappointed, because the book is about 20th century descendants of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Could pass the first couple of chapters. 1/2 * (May 25, 2012)

Belles on Their Toes
Belles on Their Toes (DVD - 2004 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:What a nice movie. I wonder how people were able to make movies with no blood/gore, sex, homosexuality or foul language then! It seems filmmakers lost this talent! * * * * * (May 25, 2012)

The Guard
The Guard (DVD - 2012 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:One of the worse, most disgusting movies I have ever tried to watch. Two talented actors wasted in this piece of trash. 1/2 * (May 25, 2012)

Charlemagne
Charlemagne (Book - 1995 )

Annotation:Poorly made series; the music is excruciatingly loud at times; the wigs are so outrageously artificial-looking I couldn’t help laughing. Christian Brendel will probably remind viewers of Timothy Dalton—especially his mannerisms and loud voice. Frank Finlay played an intriguing Alcuin de York. The actress who played Charles’ mother made me think of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I was surprised that all the women were shown riding astride, very unlikely in the Middle Ages. They show girls in class together with boys, learning how to read, and I doubt it, since women were viewed as quite inferior and ignorant beings then. The series gives an overall look at Charles’ life, but leaves too much out. Mildly entertaining. (Incidentally, I highly suggest anyone interested in early MA to read “La Chanson de Roland,” an episode broached in this series.) * * 1/2 (May 21, 2012)

The Road to Jerusalem
The Road to Jerusalem Book One of the Crusades Trilogy By Guillou, Jan (Large Print - 2009 ) Fiction Guillou Available in some locations

Annotation:I love historical fiction, and am a voracious reader, yet couldn't go father than the first 5 pages of this book. Did I say BORING?! 1/2 (July 23, 2011)

Party Central
Party Central A Month-by-month Guide to Entertaining on the Cheap : Festive and Frugal Ideas for Every Occasion (Book - 2004 ) TX731 .P334 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:This is an adolescent, immature "party" book. It's like a bunch of frat kids gathered and put it together. The more outrageous absurd they created is a 4th of July cup cake with a "peace" symbol as decoration. How do these idiots think independence was achieved? That's what happens when we no longer teach kids the US Constitution! Zero stars for bad taste. 1/2 * (7/23/11)

Fortune's Favorites
Fortune's Favorites By McCullough, Colleen (Book - 2008 ) FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:I found the same kinds of incongruence in "Fortune's Favorites" that I found in the prior books. First, the liberties she takes with a few historical facts--OK, I can take it, because she writes well enough. But some things she wrote had me biting my lip! But what bothers me much more is her lack of respect for her readers. Since the first book her sense of superiority is made clear. Her arrogance in the "Author's Afterword" is nevertheless shocking: "I have neither the room nor the inclination to argue here why I have chosen to portray Spartacus in the way I have; scholars will be able to see the why--and the who--of my argument in text." In other words, we, who are the bulk of her readership (how much time do these "scholars" have to be able to read novels?!) are too ignorant and uninformed to be given a decent explanation for her historical interpretation of Spartacus! Courtesy is a word Mrs. McCullough never researched, indeed! (And she should stick to writing: her drawings are, to say the least, pathetic!) 1/2 * (7/23/11)

Tom Horn
Tom Horn (DVD - 2005 ) WESTERNS Available in some locations

Annotation:According to some research I did, this movie doesn't have much to do with Horn's real story. The end especially is quite troubling, with Horn absolutely refusing to defend himself from the charges... Not McQueen's best role. * * Violence, Coarse Language; 18 and over. (7/25/11)

The Real Scorpion King
The Real Scorpion King (Book - 2002 )

Annotation:Good program. Has some news, but some are far-fetched assumptions that should have never been considered for a serious program. I recommend the first 2 parts of the program especially. * * * 1/2 (Aug 23, 2011)

Nefertiti et le rêve d'akhnaton : les mémoires d'un scribe
Nefertiti et le rêve d'akhnaton : les mémoires d'un scribe roman / Andrée Chedid By Chedid, Andrée (Book - 1974 French ) FR FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:Boring, boring, boring! Nuff said! 1/2 * (Jul 27, 2011)

Nancy Goes to Rio
Nancy Goes to Rio Two Weeks With Love (DVD - 2008 ) CLASSICS Available in some locations

Annotation:Nancy goes to Rio is a cute movie (yet you can see how far Hollywood pushed the envelope at that time, since adolescent girls’ pregnancy was a taboo then). It was hilarious to see the fake bay of Copacabana in the background of a restaurant, especially when I know Rio so well! Carmen Miranda, as always, super-energetic. Jane Powel makes an adorable Nancy and she is also great in Two Weeks with Love with a handsome and young Ricardo Montalbán. * * * * 1/2 (Jul 30, 2011)

Twice A Minority
Twice A Minority Mexican American Women (Book - 1980 ) E184.M5 T84 Available in some locations

Annotation:Not in this book review is the fact that Margarita Melville was expelled from her order, because her deep involvement with communists. She was involved with the Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes, the military wing of the Guatemalan Labor (communist) Party. She--together with her husband, Thomas Melville--joined a group of expelled clergy, communist sympathizers. The group planned to join other Guatemalan guerrilla movements, but ended up back in the US, where, from DC, they continued to spread their communist views. She then became a teacher of "Latin American Issues," beginning the indoctrination of young minds. 1/2 * TAGS: communist propaganda (Jul 20, 2011)

Painted Lady
Painted Lady (DVD - 2009 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:Depressing, dark movie; not even Hellen Mirren was able to catch our attention. 1/2 * (Jul 20, 2011)

The Finishing Touch
The Finishing Touch Details That Make A Room Beautiful By Spier, Carol (Book - 2009 ) 747 SPI Available in some locations

Annotation:This is a nice little book with tons of ideas for every room in the house. The only problem is that it is, well, small, therefore the pictures are too small. It is a great pity, because it detracts from its quality. * * * 1/2 (Jul 23, 2011)

French Country Style at Home
French Country Style at Home By Siraudeau, Sébastien (Book - 2010 ) NK2049 .S57 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:Customers would be better served if the book's title were something like, for example, "French Country Style at Places you Can Stay!" These are not homes, but businesses one can visit and stay. The pictures show an array of shabby, old, dusty objects, in shabby, old, dusty rooms, mixed with ultra-modern minimalist furniture. Definitely not my style. If you have a more sophisticated style and want a good source of inspiration for French interior decorating, I highly suggest a book by one of my favorite authors, Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery: The French Country House. And if you like a bit of history, your choice is "Hôtels Particuliers de Paris. Visite Privée," which has views of beautiful, sophisticated Parisian mansions. 1/2 * (Jul 23, 2011)

Vintage Alexandria
Vintage Alexandria Photographs of the City, 1860-1960 By Haag, Michael (Book - 2008 ) DT154.A4 H33 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:This book is full of information about Alexandria of the past. Beautiful pictures, very well researched, this book--unlike Haag's "Alexandria, City of Memory"--tells the story of the city and the many peoples who lived there. A must have/read for people who, like me, are doing research on Egypt of late 19 and early 20 centuries. * * * * * (Censored; I reposted 8/12/12)

48 Liberal Lies About American History
48 Liberal Lies About American History (that You Probably Learned in School) By Schweikart, Larry (Book - 2009 ) 973 SCH Available in some locations

Annotation:FIVE STARS

Egypt Art
Egypt Art By Hagen, Rose-Marie (Book - 2007 ) N5350 .H35 2007 Available in some locations

Annotation:This book has a nice collection of pictures. From everyone's favorite Nefertiti to the not so widely known, but not less beautiful head of Queen Tiye. A little bit of History, a small description of the pieces and historical facts related to them makes this book good for people who want to learn a bit about Egyptian culture. * * * (Jul 23, 2011)

Red Land, Black Land
Red Land, Black Land Daily Life in Ancient Egypt By Mertz, Barbara (Book - 2008 ) DT61 .M54 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:Mrs. Mertz's book is a good way to gather basic general knowledge of pharaonic Egypt. It has a nice little reading list by subject; yet she needs to add Aidan Dodson's "Monarchs of the Nile," to it. The book has some nice pictures too. Now, it is certainly difficult to write a book without bias--and here I am, giving my biased opinion!--but not impossible, and it should be of utmost importance to an Egyptologist conveying the little that survived about that civilization. Her "feminist inclinations" are a constant presence in the book. I believe the small amount of documents that survive would be better comprehended if readers were allowed their own conclusions. She harshly--and too frequently--criticizes Victorian scholars for judging Egyptians based upon their values, yet, she can hardly claim no prejudice. Adultery, for example, she concludes was not a big deal for Egyptians--yet historical documents record adulterous women being burned alive, or killed and thrown to dogs! Then there is one V Dynasty tomb at Sakkara that belonged to 2 court officials; both had wives and children, but are "shown in their joint tomb in attitudes more commonly found between husband and wife." So, she concludes that was "Strong indication that [homosexual] relationships were accepted"! Silly me, I thought Egyptologists expected to find at least several examples to believe something common in a civilization--and we are talking about one that lasted thousands of years! Then, she describes a mummy of a "middle-aged woman found at Deir-el-Bahri [that] has the most extraordinary hairdo for an Egyptian woman." She says that the mummy's hairdo "is very `un-Egyptian' and I know of nothing like it in the pictorial representations." So, she believes that one example of (possible) homosexuality proves it was widely accepted among Egyptians, yet one hairdo example does not make it a rule for Egyptian women... Mmmm... It seems Mrs. Mertz may believe readers are ignorant and cannot make up their own minds if given only facts. (Consider this: not even "experts" agree and many explanations/views exist to each surviving piece of evidence.) Her book is lavishly punctuated with silly remarks, such as "don't ask me, because I don't know!" At one point she wonders if Nefertiti ever had a bad hair day... She informs us that: "Some loaves [of bread] have survived to the present day; they are like rock, the stalest bread you can imagine." Who would have expected hundreds-of-years-old bread to be stale or hard, right? Oh, and there is the case of the many centuries old rose bud found by an Egyptologist, who put it in water and it... opened--I kid you not! Later on she mocks Mika Waltari for using a name--Nefer-Nefer-Nefer--in his famous novel "The Egyptian." Gosh, could she have forgotten Ka-Nefer-Nefer (the Twice Beautiful Ka) whose name has been given by an Egyptologist (Goneim)? Paraphrasing Mrs. Mertz, don't ask me, because I don't know! (Is that annoying or what?) * * * (Jul 23, 2011)

Chéri
Chéri (DVD - 2009 ) ENTERTAINMENT Available in some locations

Annotation:Chéri is empty, shallow, immoral. Well, being that it is based on Colette's work, it is not surprising it presents immorality as a virtue... Miss Pfeifer is beautiful, as always--just a bit too thin--in the perfectly tailored fin-de-siécle costumes, and comfortably embodies the emptiness and lack of morals that is a constant in Colette's works. Rupert Friend, an actor I don't really like, looks SO effeminate, there was a close-up scene showing his face, I thought for a few seconds it was a woman's. The dialogues are vapid and rehearsed, trying to convey the carelessness of the empty characters. Worth watching ONLY for the absolutely gorgeous and perfect Art-Nouveau set and costumes. 1/2 * (May 26, 2012)

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app08 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/22 14:48