Monthly Archives: February 2012

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition [Blu-ray]

Okay, I might have gotten lucky. AMAZON is selling the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition Blu-ray set for $54.99 (list price: $79.96). I picked this wonderful set up at BJ’s Warehouse for a mere $29.99. I suspect someone goofed up because the regular DVD set of the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition was also priced at $29.99. I bought this Blu-ray set and now I’m thinking I should go back and buy the other mis-priced Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition Blu-ray sets before someone figures out that Something Is Wrong. If you’ve not seen these Swedish versions of Stieg Larsson’s best selling books, you’re missing a real treat! Noomi Rapace is fantastic! This Extended Edition includes two hours of additional material! GRADE: A


While watching the PBS American Masters episodes of Woody Allen: A Documentary I realized that there were a handful of Woody Allen movies that I hadn’t seen. I made a list and I’ll slowly work my way through those films until I’ve seen all of Woody’s movies. I’m starting with Matchpoint, Woody’s Hitchcockian thriller from 2006. Former tennis pro Chris (Jonathan Rhys-Meyer) marries the daughter (Emily Mortimer) of a wealthy mogul. But Chris isn’t satisfied. He begins an affair with Nola (Scarlett Johansson). Nola is passionate, but also wants Chris to herself. A crisis occurs and Chris has to take action or his entire life will blow up. Woody Allen, who is best known for comedy, shows he has the chops to do suspense, too. GRADE: A-


For years, many of my coffee-addicted friends would reject Starbucks’ brews because they were “too strong” or “too bitter.” Someone in Starbucks’ Marketing Department must have finally taken notice because now we have a line of Starbucks Blonde coffees. The “Blonde” refers to a lighter roast which produces a lighter, brighter taste. I bought a bag of Starbucks Blonde Willow Blend Coffee and after a week of drinking this delightful beverage, I can give this new Starbucks product two thumbs up! I also bought a bag of Blonde Verona that’s in the on-deck circle. If you’re one of those folks who avoided Starbucks coffee because of taste issues, you might really like this lighter brew. GRADE: A


Diane and I have seen seven of the nine movies nominated for BEST PICTURE (we have no interest in Tree of Life or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). I have no inside knowledge of how the Academy will vote, but here’s my best guesses:
BEST ACTOR: George Clooney
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer
BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
BEST MOVIE: The Artist


If you’re a fan of the Indiana Jones movies, you’ll love this computer-animated, motion-capture adaptation of Herge’s classic Tintin comic strip. Secret of the Unicorn is the first in a planned trilogy of Tintin movies. Snowy the dog, Captain Haddock, and the Thompson twins help Tintin on this quest to find pirate treasure. Spielberg’s fantastic sense of pacing keeps the action percolating through the twists and turns of the clever plot. One of the screen writers of The Adventures of Tintin is Steven Moffat who also writes for the current season of Doctor Who. Watching Tintin and Snowy’s adventures turned me back into a kid again. GRADE: A

FORGOTTEN BOOKS #157: THE STAR HUNTER By Edmond Hamilton & THE ALIEN By Raymond F. Jones

I know this looks like an ACE Double, but it’s a clever imitation. Armchair Fiction is reprinting SF from the 1950s and 1960s in a faux-ACE Double format. Sometimes, they use the same covers that graced the front of those classic ACE Doubles, sometimes not. So far, Armchair Fiction has published 50 books in this back-to back double novel trade paperback format. They also offer a line of SF singles. If you’d like to check out this wonderful publishing endeavor, just click here.


Up until the night before the Grammys, very few people were listening to Whitney Houston’s songs. Although this 2-CD collection came out in 2000, the events of the past couple of weeks makes this music all the more memorable. It’s been over 10 years since Whitney Houston had a hit. Her disastrous marriage to Bobby Brown and their twin addictions are too dismal to recount. But the music survives. At one time, Whitney Houston had seven Number One hits in a row. Elvis didn’t do that. Neither did The Beatles. Whitney Houston lit up the screen in The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale. Her film career crashed and burned just as her recording career melted down. But the music survives. They’ll be listening to these songs 100 years from now. Just listening to Whitney sing “The Star Spangled Banner” from Super Bowl XXV in 1991 sends chills down my spine. GRADE: A
1. You Give Good Love Whitney Houston 4:09
2. Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston 3:54
3. Greatest Love Of All Whitney Houston 4:48
4. All At Once Whitney Houston 4:25
5. If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (Remastered: 2000) Whitney Houston with Jermaine Jackson 4:16
6. Didn’t We Almost Have It All Whitney Houston 4:34
7. Where Do Broken Hearts Go Whitney Houston 4:35
8. All The Man That I Need Whitney Houston 3:54
9. Run To You Whitney Houston 4:24
10. I Have Nothing (Remastered: 2000) Whitney Houston 4:47
11. I Will Always Love You Whitney Houston 4:23
12. Exhale (Shoop Shoop) Whitney Houston 3:21
13. Why Does It Hurt So Bad Whitney Houston 4:37
14. I Believe In You And Me (Film Version) Whitney Houston 3:52
15. Heartbreak Hotel Whitney Houston feat. Faith Evans and Kelly Price 4:05
16. My Love Is Your Love Whitney Houston 4:19
17. Same Script, Different Cast Whitney Houston & Deborah Cox 4:58
18. Could I Have This Kiss Forever (Metro Mix/Remastered: 2000) Whitney Houston with Enrique Iglesias 3:55

1. Fine (Remastered: 2000) Whitney Houston 3:34
2. If I Told You That Whitney Houston 4:33
3. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss Mix) Whitney Houston 4:15
4. My Love Is Your Love (Jonathan Peters Radio Mix II) Whitney Houston Feat. Dyme 4:18
5. Heartbreak Hotel (Hex Hector Radio Mix) Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price 4:20
6. I Learned From The Best (HQ2 Radio Mix) Whitney Houston 4:23
7. Step By Step (Junior Vasquez Tribal X Beats) Whitney Houston 4:05
8. I’m Every Woman (Radio Edit/C + C Club Mix) Whitney Houston 4:30
9. Queen Of The Night (CJ’s Single Edit) Whitney Houston 3:46
10. I Will Always Love You (Hex Hector Radio Mix: Remastered 2000) Whitney Houston 4:50
11. Love Will Save The Day (Jellybean & David Morales 1987 Classic Underground Mix) Whitney Houston 5:06
12. I’m Your Baby Tonight (Dronez Club Mix) Whitney Houston 5:05
13. So Emotional (Dave Morales Mix) Whitney Houston 3:57
14. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Junior’s Happy Handbag Mix) Whitney Houston 4:25
15. How Will I Know (Junior Vasquez Club Mix) Whitney Houston 4:09
16. Greatest Love of All (Junior Vasquez Mix) Whitney Houston 4:51
17. One Moment In Time Whitney Houston 4:44
18. The Star Spangled Banner


Boy gets girl, boy loses girl to amnesia, boy has to get girl to remember him again. That’s pretty much the plot of The Vow. I was prepared to hate this movie, but Rachel McAdams won me over despite the predictable plot. Rachel McAdams plays a recently married woman who gets into a car accident that robs her of years of her memories. She doesn’t remember her loving husband (played by Channing Tatum) or her dysfunctional family. But she does remember her old boy friend. Complications ensue. Her husband has to try to get his wife fall in love with him again. There’s nothing original or surprising in this movie. But when Rachel McAdams smiles, my heart does back-flips. GRADE: B


Watching this movie will rot your brain! Tons of mindless sex and graphic violence! The only reason I’m not giving this movie an “F” is that someone in the Marketing Department came up with that catchy title. I was hoping for something sophisticated and witty and ironic. Nude Nuns With Big Guns is none of these. You’ve been WARNED! GRADE: D (for dumb)