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MBR: The Library DVD Shelf

 
 
Midwest Book Review
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      04-29-2010
The Library DVD Shelf

The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries
Dorothy L. Sayers
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
$49.99 www.acornmedia.com www.amazon.com

A British aristocrat with a penchant for deductive reasoning, Lord
Peter Wimsey was the creation of master mystery writer Dorothy L.
Sayers. Now the Acorn Media Group has compiled two feature-length BBC
adaptions of her novels in "The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Set 1".
'Clouds of Witness' finds Lord Peter confronted with the murder of his
future brother-in-law and the man accused of it is his Lord Peter's
brother, Gerald Wimsey. 'The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club' has
Lord Peter being called upon to determine 'whodunnit' and why when a
member of the exclusive Bellona Club dies on the same day as his
sister meets her own death. Featuring the usual impeccable levels of
production values, these BBC productions have been superbly packaged
as a 3-disc DVD boxed set with total running time of 398 minutes, and
include extras such as interviews with Ian Carmichael, production
notes, SDH subtitles, and a biography of Dorothy L. Sayers. "The Lord
Peter Wimsey Mysteries" will prove to be a welcome and popular
addition to community library DVD collections, and an absolute 'must'
for the legions of Dorothy L. Sayers' mystery loving fans.

Building Alaska
PBS
c/o SSA Public Relations (publicity)
15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
9781608831630 $24.99 www.ssapr.com

"Building Alaska" (87 min., widescreen, closed captioned) is an
extraordinary DVD documentary about the grand engineering projects
that shaped the state of Alaska. From the great railroads and highways
constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the invasion
of Alaska by the Japanese during World War II, to the repercussions of
the biggest earthquake ever to hit North America, "Building Alaska"
reveals how monumental events of history transformed the state
forever. Educational as well as entertaining, Building Alaska is a
worthy addition to public and school library DVD shelves. Also highly
recommended is the PBS documentary "Benjamin Latrobe: America's First
Architect" (9781608831937, $24.99, widescreen, closed captioned).

Secrets: Landing and Keeping a Job
Learning ZoneXPress
PO Box 1022, Owatonna, MN 55060
$49.95 www.learningzoneexpress.com 1-888-455-7003

"Secrets: Landing and Keeping a Job" (24 min. grades 9-adult, closed
captioned) is a brief, educational DVD about the value of
"transferable skills" in today's ever-changing economic market. These
are lifelong skills that can be used at any job, and include
communication skills, problem solving skills, and the capacity for
teamwork. An invaluable and instructive resource enhanced by included
teaching materials, Secrets Landing and Keeping a Job is very strongly
recommended especially for school and public library collections,
particularly given current tough economic times. Another excellent
choice from Learning ZoneXpress is "Sew Green: Recycle Repurpose
ReStyle" (38 min., grades 7-adult, English subtitles), a wonderful DVD
guide to using unconventional materials to create practical and
delightful handicrafts such as a fused plastic messenger bag or a cell
phone/MP3 player from old jeans.

Kundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & Beyond
Ana Brett & Ravi Singh
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
188694296X $15.95 www.411videoinfo.com www.raviana.com

"A List" fitness teachers Ana Brett and Ravi Singh, whose clients have
included Olympic athletes and celebrities such as Madonna, present
"Kundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & Beyond" (2 hours), a guide
offering twelve meditation segments as a relaxing and invigorating
complement to their more active fitness DVDs. Simple, step-by-step
instructions for calming one's mind, controlling one's breathing, and
exploring the benefits of tranquility and respite from information
overload that meditation can bring. A great introduction to the
benefits of meditation, Kundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners &
Beyond is a top pick for viewers of all backgrounds. Also highly
recommended are Ana & Ravi's new exercise DVDs focusing on the
physical benefits of Kundalini Yoga: "Kundalini Yoga Solar Power All-
In-One Workout" (1886942943, $15.95, 80 min.) and "Kundalini Yoga
Transformer All-In-One Workout" (1886942951, $15.95, 90 min.).

Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
www.crystalproductions.com 1-800-255-8629

The multi-talented (to the extent of deserving to be called a
Renaissance woman) artist Peggy Flores and Crystal Productions present
four new instructional crafts DVDs offering recommendations for
creative, hands-on projects accessible to viewers of all skill and
experience levels. "Making Books" (9781562906191, $29.95, 25 min.)
offers techniques for creating books with simple stitch binding,
accordion books, and even pop up books for everything from note taking
and diaries to sketches. "Printmaking: Basic
Techniques" (9781562906061, $29.95, 26 min.) gives a demonstration of
relief printing with flat cardboard, Styrofoam, and string which can
be glued onto cardboard, painted, and inked. Another simple printing
method revealed involves creating images through carving on vinyl
blocks, instructing viewers in the use of tools such as brayers, bench
hooks, and carving tools. "Junk Sculpture" (9781562906177, $29.95, 23
min.) shows how one can use anything from discarded boxes and paper
tubes to plastic containers, egg cartons, and more to create art -
animals, figurines, and other delightful objects. A simple how-to
instructional, "Junk Sculpture" is especially ideal for kids.
"Creating Cultural Art" (9781562906085, $29.95, 27 min.) demonstrates
a wide variety of art forms involving indigenous materials - and how
these unique styles can be re-imagined using readily accessible
materials such as crayons, paint, markers, and pencil. Creations
inspired by traditional bark painting, tapa cloths, Celtic knots and
designs, and much more make for an enlightening and enriching
experience. All four DVDs are very highly recommended especially for
school library collections and hands-on art education shelves.

Thunderheads: A Daredevil Quest into the Eye of the Storm
Smithsonian Networks & Infinity Entertainment Group
Greenleaf & Associates (publicity)
$9.98 www.smithsonianchannel.com

Thunderheads: A Daredevil Quest into the Eye of the Storm is an
exciting DVD following a bold group of scientists, researchers, and
best-of-the-best pilots, equipped with state-of-the-art devices, in
their quest to understand the role thunderstorms play in worldwide
climate change and global warming. 250 experts put together I.C.E.
(the International Cloud Experiment) and ventured to Darwin, Australia
to study "Hector", one of Earth's largest thunderstorms. Their search
for knowledge put them at odds with grapefruit-sized hail,
microbursts, mechanical troubles, and the enigma of "gravity waves".
An inexpensive yet extraordinary documentary, highly recommended
especially for public library DVD collections. 47 minutes.

Vision Video
PO Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490-0540
www.visionvideo.com 1-800-523-0226

Vision Video is a premiere providers of inexpensive but flawlessly
produced DVDs that are particularly appropriate for personal,
congregational, and community library collections. Four of their
newest titles are especially recommended for Christian viewers. "The
Call To Business" (501355D, $19.99, 105 minutes) is a documentary that
focuses on how businesses can and should be conducted in accordance
with sound biblical principles and consists of eleven 'stand alone'
secessions addressing key issues ranging from 'Can church and business
combine?' to 'Is there real Biblical evidence for God's interest in
business?'. "Saving Face: Matt Kern's Journey from Indictment to
Redemption" (501352D, $19.99, 80 minutes) is that story of a young man
who, along with two friends, stole a care and in the process, one of
them shot and killed the driver. For his part in the crime Matt was
sentenced to 60 years in prison. It was while in Florida's DeSoto
Correctional Institute that Matt (the youngest male among 1,100 men)
suffered brutally, and during it all, was able to experience a
spiritual awakening that would change his life. "Long Run
Back" (501356D, $24.99, 52 minutes) is the story of a young woman
reentering society after serving 11 years in prison and facing the
difficulties and prejudices that commonly confront ex-offenders. Also
documented is how mental illness often complicates coming to terms
with the outside world for someone released from institutional care.
"In Spite of Darkness: A Spiritual Encounter with Auschwitz" (501358D,
$19.99, 74 minutes) was filmed throughout seven days documenting an
interfaith retreat held at the infamous Nazi concentration camp of
Auschwitz-Birkenau where more than one million people were
systematically murdered. The focus in on five members of the retreat
including a Rabbi, an atheist, and a Catholic priest, as they address
their own responsibilities with respect to the legacy of the Holocaust
and how it should be regarded by current and future generations. The
production values of these documentaries is uniformly excellent, the
subject matter deftly handled and presented, making each of them an
inspired and inspiring experience that will be truly memorable in the
minds and hearts of the viewers.

Bulletproof Salesman
Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
$24.95 www.firstrunfeatures.com

Bulletproof Salesman is a wryly dark documentary about the work of
Fidelis Cloer, a self-described war profiteer, who has supplied kings,
presidents, and dictators with top-of-the-line armored vehicles. When
the US invaded Iraq, he pounced on the business opportunity brought
about by chaos and violence, yet as the war ran on, Improved Explosive
Devices (IEDs) became more widely used against his creations. Fidelis
became involved in an arms race against insurgents who matched more
powerful and sophisticated explosives against his stronger and more
expensive armored vehicles. Bulletproof Salesman is ultimately an
utterly striking narrative, absolutely unforgettable and highly
recommended. 70 minutes.

Belly Beautiful Workout, Volume 1
Patricia Friberg
411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$19.95 www.411videoinfo.com www.bellybeautifulworkout.com

Belly Beautiful Workout, Volume 1: Prenatal Fitness for a Beautiful
Pregnancy is a fitness DVD offering an exercise program designed to be
safe and healthy for women of all fitness levels, and in all
trimesters of pregnancy - the program's benefits are sure to
invigorize women before and after pregnancy, as well. Combining
Pilates, sculpting, stretches, and relaxation techniques, Belly
Beautiful Workout does not requires expensive equipment, although a
simple stability ball and a foot resistance band are recommended.
Professional fitness instructor Patricia Friberg hosts this user-
friendly guide to personal fitness, perfect for strengthening one's
endurance, reduce stress, and improve mood prior to the big due day.
Highly recommended, especially as a baby shower gift! 67 minutes.

Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor
PBS Home Video
c/o SSA Public Relations
15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
9781608831845 $24.99 www.shopPBS.org

Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor is an episode of the award-winning
educational documentary series NOVA, re-examining what science and
history have to tell us about critical attack on Pearl Harbor that
prompted America's involvement in World War II. When the USS Arizona
sank, more than 1,000 crew members lost their lives; it was the
greatest single loss in American naval history. But the recent
discovery of a group of Japanese midget subs in and around Pearl
Harbor raises questions about what really happened that fateful day.
NOVA follows a team of experts to the sea's floor in search of clues -
could a mini-sub with a two-person crew have managed to enter Pearl
Harbor and fire torpedoes at the USS Arizona? Other evidence gathered
includes aerial photos taking by Japanese aircraft, and testimonials
from U.S. and Japanese veterans. An enthralling look into the critical
role these tiny yet deadly mini-subs might have played in world
history, highly recommended. 56 minutes, widescreen. Also commended to
history buffs and public library collections are the PBS documentaries
"The Bombing of Germany" (9781608831838, $24.99, 60 minutes,
widescreen), and "Building Pharaoh's Ship" (9781608831876, $24.99, 56
minutes, widescreen).

Ezra Jack Keats: His Life and Art
Weston Woods Studios
143 Main Street, Norwalk, CT 06851
054521758X $39.95 www.scholastic.com/westonwoods 1-800-290-7531

Intended for viewers ages 8 to adult, Ezra Jack Keats: His Life and
Art is a documentary presenting an interview with the acclaimed author
and illustrator of beloved children's books. An additional segment
titled "The Art of People and Place" gathers children's book scholars
from around the world discussing the value of Keats' work, and
messages that transcend their immediate era. An absorbing and
illuminating portrait of this talented children's book creator, Ezra
Jack Keats: His Life and Art is an excellent choice for anyone
nostalgic about Keats' stories and curious to learn more about the man
who wrote them. 22 minutes, live action.

Travel with Kids: Ireland
Equator Creative Media
c/o Janson Media
88 Semmens Road, Harrington Park, NJ 07640
9781568393512 $17.98 www.janson.com

Travel with Kids: Ireland is a great DVD both for those seriously
contemplating a family visit to Ireland and for armchair families who
just want to vicariously enjoy a savory taste of the experience.
Following the Roberts family as they explore the storied history and
culture of Ireland, Travel with Kids: Ireland includes scenes of
climbing Blarney Castle, dancing to traditional Irish music, viewing
the world's tallest sea cliffs, and much more. Travel hints and tips
include suggestions for great accommodations (even staying in a real
castle!), transportation, and activities. A bonus "Ireland At Home"
section with language, crafts and recipe suggestions rounds out this
useful travel prep guide and loving tribute to all things Irish.
Highly recommended.

This Emotional Life
PBS Home Video
c/o SSA Public Relations
15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
9781608831661 $34.99 www.shopPBS.org

How can human beings improve the quality and fulfillment of their
lives? "This Emotional Life: In Search of Ourselves... and Happiness"
is a 3-DVD set revealing the latest scientific research alongside
perspectives of ordinary people and even the wisdom of celebrities
such as Chevy Chase, Larry David, Katie Couric and more. Disc 1,
"Family, Friends & Lovers" reveals why social relationships are so
important to our emotional well-being, and how they can best be
maintained; disc 2, "Facing our Fears" explores the important role
that negative emotions play and how they can be kept in check; and
disc 3, "Rethinking Happiness", explores what really makes us happy,
and how we can better focus on what is truly important to us. An
amazingly insightful documentary, highly recommended especially for
public library DVD shelves. Other excellent and educational recent
releases from PBS Home Video include "The Antarctica Challenge: A
Global Warning" ($24.99, 52 minutes) and "Wyatt Earp" ($24.99, 60
minutes).

Let's Make Money
Erwin Wagenhofer
Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547
1594589224 $295.00 www.bullfrogfilms.com

Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize of the Sundance Film Festival and
licensed for public performance, Let's Make Money is an educational
DVD that questions the social justice of the current world financial
system. The World Bank influences an economic system in which the
developed and Western world consumes a massive proportion of the
undeveloped world's resources. What does it mean to truly be an
ethical investor, and how can compassion for one's fellow human beings
be effectively incorporated into the desire to make one's money work?
A thought-provoking portrayal of the hands-on hard work that ordinary
people do worldwide with a strong message to think twice when choosing
which investments to fund, Let's Make Money is an excellent choice for
showing to viewers in grades 10 and up, as well as for college library
DVD shelves. 107 minutes, SDH captions.

10 Minute Solution Ultimate Boot Camp
Jessica Smith
Anchor Bay Entertainment
2401 West Big Beaver road, Suite 200, Troy, MI 48084-3304
$14.98 www.anchorbayentertainment.com www.jessicasmith.tv

Hosted by certified wellness coach and fitness expert Jessica Smith,
10 Minute Solution Ultimate Boot Camp is an excellent workout DVD for
anyone with variable schedules or very little free time. Featuring
different five boot camp routines, each of which is just ten minutes
long, 10 Minute Solution Ultimate Boot Camp allows the viewer to mix
and match individual workouts to their taste. A set of dumbbells and a
mat or towel are the only equipment recommended for use with the
segments, which consist of the cardio-intense "Fat Fighting Skills &
Drills", "Ultimate Upper Body Training", "Ultimate Lower Body
Training", "Ultimate Total Body Training", and "Six Pack Ab Attack".
An excellent and easy-to-use contribution to fitness DVD libraries
everywhere. 57 minutes.

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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