Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert Album Review

Review:



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If you’ve spent any time around theater geeks, you know that the question of which Les Miserables cast album is the best is a topic that can lead to heated arguments, and even feuds. This one gets my vote.

Though the production itself was visually bland (a bunch of people standing on stage in costumes and singing into microphones), it was able to get most of the most legendary stars of the first ten years, and the vocals are simply outstanding. Colm Wilkinson. Philip Quast. Lea Salonga. Michael Ball. Alun Armstrong. It’s called the “Dream Cast” for good reasons – the names are enough to send almost any theater lover into raptures. And they live up to their reputations.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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Mulan

Review:



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The single best Disney movie to show to girls (and boys), in my opinion.

Although Disney has gotten much better at presenting well-rounded and interesting heroines in recent years, many Disney movies still focus ultimately on romance. In Mulan, by contrast, the romance is a minor and understated subplot, and the focus is squarely on Mulan’s quest to save her father’s life and bring honor to her family. Along the way, her cleverness, resourcefulness, and quick thinking save China as well.

In addition to providing a great role model, Mulan also has some great songs, lots of action and humor, and lovely animation. A must-have for any family video collection.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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The Complete Calvin & Hobbes



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Review:

In You’ve Got Mail, Joe Fox describes the film The Godfather as “the I-Ching,” the “sum of all wisdom.” That’s approximately how I feel about Calvin & Hobbes. It was my favorite strip as a child and I saved my birthday money to buy every new collection when it came out. Today, most of them are battered and falling apart after being read over and over by myself, my siblings, my children, my nieces and nephews, and other relatives and friends for 20 years. I’ve been dreaming of this collectors’ edition of the complete strip for years.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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Melissa and Doug Cutting Food



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Review:

We have several of the Melissa and Doug wooden food sets and this is probably the best. I wish I’d gotten it years ago. My sister’s mother-in-law (a former elementary teacher) gave it to my son (then 18 months old) to play with during a visit to their house and he loved it so much that we decided to buy one of our own. He got the hang of cutting the pieces almost immediately, though he still struggles a bit with putting them back together. I really think he’d entertain himself with this set for hours at a time if I didn’t get tired of helping him put them back together after awhile. My 7 year old daughter also likes it, but not as obsessively as her brother.

The pieces are sturdy and well made and have held up well to frequent play by an enthusiastic toddler. Highly recommended.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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Shakespeare in Love Movie Review



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Review:

Stoppard and Shakespeare is a magic combination. Witty dialogue, romance, great acting, zillions of literary allusions, beautiful costumes… what’s not to love?

My rating:  (5 / 5)

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Pride and Prejudice (1995) Movie Review



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Review:

The definitive adaptation of Pride and Prejudice!

My rating:  (5 / 5)

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Sense and Sensibility (1995) Movie Review



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Review:

My favorite movie of all time (so far). Every now and then I go for awhile without rewatching it and start thinking maybe it’s not sooo good, and isn’t it kind of depressing what poor Marianne goes through, and other such heresies. And then I pop it in the DVD player and within five minutes I am practically vibrating with glee over the wit and the acting and the eye candy and…

~swoon~

So yeah, favorite movie of all time.

My rating: (5 / 5)

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My Cousin Vinny Movie Review



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Review:

You know how some people can recite The Princess Bride backwards and forwards? That’s what this movie is like for my family. My Cousin Vinny combines courtroom drama with culture clash, great performances, and one of the funniest scripts ever written.

My rating (5 / 5)

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