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MBR: The Library DVD Shelf

 
 
Midwest Book Review
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      10-12-2008
The Library DVD Shelf

Four Minutes
Wolfe Video LLC
PO Box 64, New Almaden, Ca 95042
WOL4478D, $24.95, www (dot) WolfeVideo (dot) com

Traude Kruger taught piano at a women's prison for more than sixty
years. But her inmate Jenny, a convicted killer with a history of
beating people for simple amusement, is unique. Once a great musical
talent she could be trained to participate in and wine a prestigious
piano contest -- despite her prison sentence. Traude's problem is how
to inspire Jenny to act out with her music rather than her fists.
"Four Minutes" is a riveting story, superbly performed, and the
conclusion is truly memorable. The German with subtitles DVD format is
enhanced with such bonus features as the Theatrical Trailer, a
Widescreen Presentation, Dolby 2.0 Audio sound. Total Running Time:
112 minutes; full color. Also highly recommended from Wolfe Video is
"Shelter Me" (WOL4531D, $24.95), the story of Anna and Mara, a lesbian
couple who inadvertently smuggle a young Moroccan boy across the
border into Italy.

First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
www (dot) firstrunfeatures (dot) com

First Run Features is a premier source for foreign movies,
documentaries, and independent film productions. Six of their newest
releases underscores the diversity of genres and subject matter that
have made First Run Features a unique source for personal, academic,
and community library DVD collections. "The Trials Of Henry Kissinger"
is an 80 minute documentary on Kissinger's role as part of the Johnson
administration during the Viet Nam conflict. "The Sacred Family (La
Sagrada Familia) is a 99 minute Spanish comedy combining sex, black
humor, and emotional candor. "Television Under The Swastika" is a
Michael Kloft's 52 minute documentary telling the story of Germany's
pioneer work in television that began in March 1935 and whose
broadcasts continued through September 1944. "Please Vote For Me" is a
58 minute documentary by Weijun Chen on an elementary school election
for class president held in the city of Wuhan in central China.
"Enough! (Barakat!)" is a 94 minute full color film set in the
Algerian civil war during the 1990s. The DVD format allows for each of
these titles to be enhanced with bonus materials that include such
items as Director Notes, Filmographies, Photo Galleries, Audio
Commentaries, and Theatrical Trailers. Film enthusiasts, academic and
community librarians are encouraged to visit the First Run Features
website at www (dot) firstrunfeatures (dot) com for a complete listing
of the massive film library.

Ranma 1/2 Season 7: Ranma Forever
Viz Communications Inc.
295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
DVD, $119.98 www (dot) viz (dot) com 1-800-394-3042

The thinpack boxed set of the seventh and final season of the wildly
popular Ranma 1/2 anime television series, based on the equally
beloved Japanese manga by Rumiko Takahashi (whose other works include
Inu-Yasha and Maison Ikkoku), is an absolute must-have for every self-
professed anime fan. A lighthearted, episodic martial arts comedy with
extra emphasis on the comedy, Ranma 1/2 follows the (mis)adventurous
daily life of Ranma, gifted with the extraordinary ability to
assimilate new martial arts techniques but afflicted with a curse that
makes him transform into a girl whenever he is splashed with cold
water, until he can find hot water and change back into a guy! Ranma's
friends, enemies, and rivals range from his short-tempered fiancee
Akane (who genuinely cares for him underneath the bluster, but whose
cooking is potentially toxic to human life), to his diminutive yet
lecherous master Happosai, to the fiercely antagonistic Ryoga (whose
curse periodically transforms him into a small black pig) and many
more. Like the series as a whole, Ranma 1/2 Season 7 includes episodes
that directly adapt Takahashi's work, episodes that add extra nuance
and depth to the original manga, and even some episodes created just
for television. Though suggested for "older teen" audiences, Ranma 1/2
merely has comedy violence mixed with a hint of mature innuendo (and
perhaps some nudity), and is certainly far more family-friendly than
any number of modern PG-13 movies. Highly recommended for anyone who
enjoys animated comedy; since the series does not have an arc-style
plot or excessive emphasis on continuity, Season 7 is just as good a
jumping-on point to the wonderful world of Ranma 1/2 as Season 1.
Japanese & English with English subtitles, 625 minutes, color.

Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$29.99 www (dot) 411videoinfo (dot) com www (dot)
hollywoodsinginganddancing (dot) com

Hosted by Academy Award winning stage, screen, and TV star Shirley
Jones, Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History is a
celebration of Hollywood musicals throughout history up to the present
day. From the exciting choreography that brought cheer to the darkest
times of the Great Depression, to wartime showtunes that fired up
America's fighting spirit, to modern smash hits such as "Chicago" and
"Dreamgirls", Hollywood Singing and Dancing is an amazing tour. Worthy
to be the centerpiece of any Hollywood history DVD shelf, Hollywood
Singing and Dancing: A Musical History comes highly recommend. 108
minutes, with 120 minutes of bonus footage.

Our Spirits Don't Speak English
Rich-Heape Films, Inc.
c/o 411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$29.95 www (dot) 411videoinfo (dot) com www (dot) richheape (dot) com

Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School is a DVD
documentary of the true-life stories of Native American children who
were forcibly taken from their homes and families and educated in
boarding schools, as part of a governmental policy to "kill the Indian
and spare the man". From 1869 through the late 1960's, more than
100,000 Native Americans had been compelled to attend Indian Boarding
School. Our Spirits Don't Speak English tells of growing up in a harsh
world of strict rules, where speaking tribal languages was severely
punished. A vivid reminder that America, land of the free, was not so
free for some of its citizens until relatively recently in its
history. 80 minutes, closed captioned.

Adventures in Voice Acting Volume One
Bang Zoom! Entertainment
1100 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505
1576406478, $29.95 www (dot) AdventuresInVoiceActing (dot) com

Adventures in Voice Acting Volume One is an exciting behind-the-scenes
DVD tour of the voice acting industry, a vital part of both games and
animated television shows. Featuring professional voice actors such as
Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants), Michelle Rodriguez (Halo 2), Lance
Henricksen (Mass Effect), Wendee Lee, Steve Blum, and more, Adventures
in Voice Acting Volume One teaches aspiring voice actors how to break
into the industry. Among the tips and discussed include techniques to
use while in the booth, how to prepare for an audition, what to expect
on one's first day in the studio, and more. An absolute "must-see" for
anyone curious about voice acting as a career. 130 minutes plus 32
minutes of extras, color.

John Deere Country Part 1: How a Combine is Made
TM Books & Video
PO Box 279, New Buffalo, MI 49117
9781932291216, $14.95 www (dot) tmbv (dot) com 1-800-892-2822

John Deere Country Part 1: How a Combine is Made is a DVD that lives
up to its title, bringing the viewer on a step-by-step tour of
precisely how a John Deere combine is crafted. From how lasers cut
sheets of metal into the thousands of parts needed, to the process of
bending, punching, and welding together the pieces, and adding
internal working such as cylinder, cleaning shoe, and grain bend. A
truly amazing look at the efficiency of modern technology,
supplemented with the human ingenuity and hard work, John Deere
Country Part 1 is a treat for young and old alike with an interest in
the inner workings of farm equipment. 1 hour 20 minutes, color.

The Dhamma Brothers
Produced by Jenny Phillips & Anne Marie Stein
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
1594587752, $275.00 www (dot) bullfrogfilms (dot) com 1-800-543-3764

Intended for viewers in grades ten to adult, The Dhamma Brothers: East
Meets West in the Deep South is a true-life documentary set behind the
walls of an Alabama maximum-security prison, which became the first
correctional institution of its kind to hold an extended Vipassana
retreat. The participants engaged in an emotionally and physically
taxing course of silent meditation for ten days, a process that yields
dramatic results. The Dhamma Brothers is not just the story of a
prison program, but also the human ability to accept responsibility
for the most terrible of offenses. Ultimately an inspirational
chronicle of hope, The Dhamma Brothers is highly recommended as an
example of how meditative discipline can harness the positive side of
the human spirit even in the most unlikely of places. 76 minutes,
subtitles, color.

Ripple Effect
a film by Philippe Caland
Monterey Media Inc.
566 St. Charles Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-3901
9781569946589, $24.95 www (dot) montereymedia (dot) com 1-800-424-2593

Ripple Effect is the DVD presentation of an award-winning film
starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, Academy Award nominee
Virginia Madsen and Academy award nominee Minnie Driver. Weaving the
tale of African-American cutting-edge clothing designer Amer Atrash,
Ripple Effect explores a burgeoning crisis that threatens to destroy
Atrash's business and his marriage. Re-examining himself, Atrash
reasons that the source of his ills comes from a detrimental deed he
committed fifteen years earlier, and sets out to atone for his wrong.
In the process he undergoes a revitalization of the spirit, awakening
to the value of compassion. An enduring and positive tale of human
redemption, highly recommended. 83 minutes, 16:9 aspect ratio, color.

Al Foster Quintet
MVD Entertainment Group
H-840 North Circle Drive, Oaks, PA 19456
$19.95 www (dot) MVDb2b (dot) com

Al Foster Quintet is a DVD capturing a 2007 performance of drummer Al
Foster, along with his musical quintet of pianists Aron Goldberg and
George Callaghan, sax player Eli Degibri, bassist Doug Weiss, and
trumpet player Dr. Eddie Henderson. Together, the team exults in
musical styles ranging from bebop to jazz to rock and more. The songs
played are "So What", "So Near So Far", "Shed", "Missing Miles",
"Cantaloupe Island", "Aloysius", "Peter's Mood", "The Chief", "Tune
Up", and "Jean-Pierre". Recorded live, Al Foster Quintet is
enthusiastically recommended as the perfect gift for modern music
lovers who enjoy rhythm & groove. 97 minutes, 16:9 aspect ratio,
color.

The Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy Workout
Gabrielle Reece
Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084
$19.98 www (dot) anchorbayentertainment (dot) com

Created by Gabrielle Reece during and after her pregnancy with the
help of certified personal trainer Mike Monroe, and approved by OBGYN
Vivian Dickerson, The Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy Workout is a
DVD of twelve fifteen-minute workouts, three for each trimester of
pregnancy and three to help trim down after giving birth. A few pieces
of inexpensive exercise equipment are recommended to tap the full
potential of The Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy Workout: no more
than an exercise ball, fitness band, and small hand weights. The
primary focus is on strengthening and stretching moves, ideal keeping
one's muscles strong and ready to reclaim one's figure. With the
caveat that any expectant mother should consult her doctor before
undertaking an exercise regimen, The Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy
Workout is an excellent choice for expectant or aspiring mothers, and
also highly recommended as a baby shower gift! 258 minutes, color.

Yoga with Your Baby
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$19.95 www (dot) yogawithyourbaby (dot) com www (dot) 411videoinfo
(dot) com

Yoga with Your Baby is a DVD for parents of children age 3 months to 4
years. Together, parents and baby can engage in yoga postures, sing
songs, and explore the joy of moving and stretching one's body. The
DVD features 20 yoga practices designed for the parent, 15 for the
baby, soothing songs ideal to sing, mindfulness-based parenting
practices, meditation and relaxation exercises, and more. A wonderful,
easy-to-use method to work fitness into one's busy lifestyle even when
taking care of small children. 100 minutes, color.

Rain Shadow Series 1
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
$39.99 www (dot) acornmedia (dot) com

Rain Shadow Series 1 collects the first six episodes of a dramatic
series following the small Australian farming town of Paringa.
Battered first by drought, then an outbreak of disease among its
sheep, Paringa is on the verge of dissolving; veterinarian Kate
McDonald (played by Golden Globe nominee Rachel Ward) and her plucky
assistant (played by Victoria Thaine) fight to save their community.
Filmed on location in the Adelaide Hills, Rain Shadow is a poignant
drama of hope, and the determination to fight for one's way of life,
as well as the strong wills of two women resisting the odds against
them. An excellent gift for anyone who enjoys fine drama. 16:9
widescreen, 326 minutes, color.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to
promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We
accept no funds from authors or publishers. Full permission is given
to post any of these reviews on thematically appropriate websites,
newsgroups, listserves, internet discussion groups, organizational
newsletters, or to interested individuals. Please give the Midwest
Book Review a credit line when doing so.

The Midwest Book Review publishes the monthly book review magazines
"California Bookwatch", "Internet Bookwatch", "Children's Bookwatch",
"MBR Bookwatch", "Reviewer's Bookwatch", and "Small Press Bookwatch".
All are available for free on the Midwest Book Review website at www
(dot) midwestbookreview (dot) com

Anyone wanting to submit books for review consideration can send them
to:

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129

To submit reviews of any fiction or non-fiction books, email them to
Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title,
author, publisher, publisher address, publisher website/phone number,
13-digit ISBN number, and list price).

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
 
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