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All reviews - Movies (7) - Books (5)

Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945 review

Posted : 3 months, 2 weeks ago on 3 September 2017 02:09 (A review of Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945)

Field Marshal Viscount Slim (1891-1970) led shattered British forces from Burma to India in one of the lesser-known but more nightmarish retreats of World War II. He then restored his army's fighting capabilities and morale with virtually no support from home and counterattacked. His army's slaughter of Japanese troops ultimately liberated India and Burma. The first edition of Defeat Into Victory, published in 1956, was an immediate sensation selling 20,000 copies within a few days. This is an updated version with a new introduction by David W. Hogan Jr.


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Dereliction of Duty : Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam review

Posted : 3 months, 2 weeks ago on 3 September 2017 02:03 (A review of Dereliction of Duty : Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam)

"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C." - H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion)

Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning new analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on recently released transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. It also pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants.

Dereliction Of Duty covers the story in strong narrative fashion, focusing on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public.

Sure to generate controversy, Dereliction Of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam.


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Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (text only) by P. Paret,G. A. Craig, F. Gilbert review

Posted : 3 months, 2 weeks ago on 3 September 2017 01:53 (A review of Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (text only) by P. Paret,G. A. Craig, F. Gilbert)

The essays in this volume analyze war, its strategic characterisitics and its political and social functions, over the past five centuries. The diversity of its themes and the broad perspectives applied to them make the book a work of general history as much as a history of the theory and practice of war from the Renaissance to the present. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age takes the first part of its title from an earlier collection of essays, published by Princeton University Press in 1943, which became a classic of historical scholarship. Three essays are repinted from the earlier book; four others have been extensively revised. The rest--twenty-two essays--are new.


The subjects addressed range from major theorists and political and military leaders to impersonal forces. Machiavelli, Clausewitz, and Marx and Engels are discussed, as are Napoleon, Churchill, and Mao. Other essays trace the interaction of theory and experience over generations--the evolution of American strategy, for instance, or the emergence of revolutionary war in the modern world. Still others analyze the strategy of particular conflicts--the First and Second World Wars--or the relationship between technology, policy, and war in the nuclear age. Whatever its theme, each essay places the specifics of military thought and action in their political, social, and economic environment. Together the contributors have produced a book that reinterprets and illuminates war, one of the most powerful forces in history and one that cannot be controlled in the future without an understanding of its past.


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The Art of War review

Posted : 3 months, 2 weeks ago on 3 September 2017 01:48 (A review of The Art of War)

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world, as eagerly studied in Asia by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict.


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Carl Von Clausewitz on War review

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 3 November 2016 01:42 (A review of Carl Von Clausewitz on War)

Carl von Clausewitz's On War has been called, "not simply the greatest, but the only truly great book on war." It is an extraordinary attempt to construct an all-embracing theory of how war works. Its coherence and ambition are unmatched by other military literature. On War is full of sharp observation, biting irony, and memorable phrases, the most famous being, "War is a continuation of politics by other means."


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Carl Von Clausewitz on War review

Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 3 June 2015 03:30 (A review of Carl Von Clausewitz on War)

Whether you like it or not this is a milestone in the history of cinema. Like the James Bond movie Thunderball set new standards for violence in mainstream cinema, Emmanuel set new standards for sexual content.

Certainly the film was an amazing hit and box office records quickly tumbled. It is the most seen French film of all time and holds the record for the longest run at a single non-multiplex cinema (18 months in Paris, France). After this film sex on film was a completely different beast and many directors (new and old) used part of the template.

Anyone one wanting a dirty movie will be sadly disappointed. Here sex is treated as natural, rarely earth shattering and almost matter-of-fact. The bedroom is only one of the locations where the act takes place - in fact I am surprised the participants weren't arrested!

Sylvia Kristel plays a newly married wife of 22 (19 in reality) with no previous film experience (this is no accident). Previously she had only appeared in commercials. She is the innocent who becomes corrupted, but it is a journey of corruption she is happy to take. Her nice-but-cold older husband is also all for it. The circumstances behind their marriage are not even touched upon - but maybe it was a marriage of convenience as he is a world travelling diplomat?

For a film aimed at men, men are rarely shown in a great light. Emmanuel finds she is bisexual and looks happier with women than with men - who commonly treat her as a sex object. If she appeared brighter she could even be viewed as a feminist icon, but even the high queen of feminism Germaine Greer says she is a "bimbo."

Lot of things are dated in this movie. The view of casual unprotected sex certainly. There is even a casual rape. But its use of third-world locations is a treat on the eye (on the big screen especially) and there is nothing substandard about the production. Even the music is first class and still does the rounds on its own.

The photography is as good as you would see in a big budget epic. The film moves along at a slow but steady pace and you do look forward to finding out what happens next or how a situation is resolved.

The film is nothing but a study of an open marriage from the female perspective. The fact that she yields to the experiences and becomes more sexual bold is clearly pleasing to the male viewer. No doubt this was a date movie for males those that wanted their partners to follow her lead.

This is a clever erotic movie. It stays in the mind long after seeing it and Kristel looks comfortable with or without her clothes. She is far from a great actress, but she does have poise and dignity. The sequels that followed are nothing more than attempts to extract more money from a franchise and are merely routine entertainment.


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Insatiable review

Posted : 5 years, 3 months ago on 30 August 2012 03:44 (A review of Insatiable)

I had heard about this movie back in the '80s, and finally rented it a few years ago on Pay-Per-View. It was made during a time when adult movies actually looked like real movies-shot on 35mm film. The film locations and sets indicate that the movie had a big budget, compared to other adult features of the time. The charismatic Marilyn Chambers plays a model/actress that can't seem to find satisfying relationships, but has a whole lot of fun trying. It's a definite classic adult film and a must have for VHS/DVD classic adult film collectors.


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Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusade review

Posted : 5 years, 4 months ago on 17 August 2012 03:40 (A review of Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusade)

OK, it's easy to poke fun at softcore erotica, but I actually like it, and I had high hopes for this flick considering it's big budget (for erotica) and has the same writer, director and some of the same cast as "Busty Cops 2", a flick I really enjoyed.

As long as the ladies are beautiful, the sex is hot, and the stuff between the sex scenes keeps me laughing... then I can put up with subpar acting, cheesy special effects, fake tits, and other weaknesses. Unfortunately, this flick is just not very funny and the sex scenes are are pretty lame. And one out of three is bad.

Silly movie spoofs can be fun, and erotica uses that theme a lot, but when the comic writing falls flat, it can be painful to sit through (can you say "Epic Movie"?). Although there is an occasional amusing line, most of the comedy here falls rather flat (unlike the actresses), and the only scene I found funny was the one where Jungle Bill hit the girls with some rapid fire silly quiz questions (a gimmick also used in "Busty Cops 2"). Other than that, the Jungle Bill character was actually very annoying (that trek thru the jungle with him seemed to last forever) and there were no sustained laughs. Ironically, I think I laughed more during the closing credits where the actresses were interviewed than I did during the film. There's some funny stuff there... and if you don't get Deanna Merryman's comment about a "NASCAR driver", read the trivia page for this film.

My problem with the sex scenes is that most of them are not simulated sex (which I like), but are what I call "stripper shows". Two or three girls perform some combination of stripping, dancing, wriggling, caressing themselves and/or each other, occasionally licking a nipple and throwing sexy looks at the camera, all set to music. There's one girl/girl simulated sex scene which is passable, and two guy/girl scenes (one OK, one terrible). These scenes are very low energy and set to mellow music. I consider the Deanna Merryman/Scott Styles sex scene one of the very worst I've ever seen. If not for their slowly moving hands, I would have thought they were asleep. She just sat there when she was on top. Ironically, in the credits Deanna claims that she has never had an orgasm. Considering how badly she simulates sex on screen, maybe she's not doing it right in real life either.

Lots of lovely girls here, and Nikki Nova and Cheyenne Silver are stunningly beautiful. I'm not a fan of over-sized fake chests, but when the word "busty" is in the title of the flick, I can't complain about that.

On the upside, there's a lot of great music and beautiful outdoor locales (Hawaii). Unfortunately, that can't save this film from the lack of laughs or the absence of good simulated sex... but check out the girls' interviews in the credits!


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Yasmine à la prison de femmes review

Posted : 5 years, 4 months ago on 16 August 2012 03:09 (A review of Yasmine à la prison de femmes)

YASMINE BEHIND BARS stars a winning ensemble of European actresses, not just Yasmine, portraying women in stir and the warden and guards who hump them. Some guys are thrown into the mix for arousing XXX action.

This is not the typical big-budget Marc Dorcel production, boasting lovely locations, glamorous costumes and a huge cast list. Rather, befitting its genre, it is claustrophobic, gritty, with gals in orange jumpsuits, but the requisite quantity of f & s.

Nomi is the severely styled, lovely blonde warden of the prison, and format simply has new girls arriving. It's basically an all-sex approach, with no real plot, no scheming, no prison break, just sex.

Earning highest honors are Laura Lion as the new inmate -she has the biggest bust of any of the current range of European ultra-beauties. I particularly liked her work in another Dorcel opus THE WIDOW. Also impressive is uninhibited guard Tarra White, coming in a close second in the sex department. Yasmine, who doesn't get top billing on screen but is the advertised draw, is very effective as one of Lion's cell mates. Yasmine particularly earns her keep in a very strong sex scene opposite big-dicked Ian Scott.

Video doesn't add up to anything, with "THE END" superimposed arbitrarily after the final sex scene, as movie merely expires with the three cell mates just sitting around doing nothing. I wish writer/director Alain Payet had taken the time to scribble down something resembling a storyline on the back of an envelope before shooting.


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Country Girls 2 review

Posted : 5 years, 5 months ago on 11 July 2012 11:04 (A review of Country Girls 2)

Country Girls 2 see's a bunch of women who work for the Softcore Pornography company "Peach DVD" travel out to the country for a Photoshoot gone wild.

Featuring 1-on-1 photoshoots and interviews with each woman, you'll get to see girls playing naked pool, and posing naked in various country themed places, such as Bars, Saloons etc.

Country Girls 2 is a boring DVD, it is listed as Adult, but there isn't anything remotely "hardcore" in this DVD, if you're after something a little harder, go elsewhere, however If average looking women posing topless and naked do it for you ... Still try elsewhere because Country Girls 2 fails at that.

A very disappointing DVD, even for fans of the DVD's cover girl "Tylene Buck"


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