Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Twilight Zone - Season 1 (The Definitive Edition) (1959) Review

I love the Twilight Zone. It is without a doubt one of the finest series ever produced for television. The show had numerous a-list actors in it, the production values were high, and the stories were simply incredible.

So what's the gripe? Pricing! Aside from the fact the show has been released on DVD at least twice before, once as individual disks of four episodes each and once as a box set of five but not in chronological order. They were way overpriced then and they are way overpriced now. Take a look around at the other tv season box sets. Heck just look at the Outer Limits (the original series). That set was almost half the price they are asking for the TZ. As far as I'm concerned what they are charging is way out of whack. Other posters refer to this as Corporate Greed. I agree. There's no question the consumer is being horrendously gouged here.



Friday, April 29, 2005

The Fugitive (Special Edition) (1993) Review

The reviewer two reviews down who thinks a U.S. Marshal wouldn't have had 'jurisdiction' apparently doesn't know that the United States Marshal Service maintains many regional Fugitive Task Forces that do what Tommy Lee Jones does in this film.

There are three such offices in Illinois.



Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Come September (1961) Review

Gosh, what can you say. This is a lighthearted, fun film with Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, and Bobby Darin. It starts out with the rich owner of a villa in Italy (Hudson) discovering that his household help rents his villa out as a hotel when he is away. He is stuck with some teenage American girls and their chaparone for a couple of days. Bobby Darin and his college buddies sleep in tents outside and chase the girls. As it turns out, Rock and Bobby are very much alike. In the end, everyone is happy. You get the treat of a Bobby Darin performance along the way - "Multiplication" and the theme song "Come September". FYI - Sandra Dee and Bobby met on the set and married before the film was released. They have one child - Dodd Darin. They divorced in 1967, six years before Bobby died. Whoops! too sad... Anyway, Rock and Bobby are both lucious in this film - and the girls aren't bad either (if that's what you like). A film that's fun & delightful and sure to please. BUY IT NOW!!!!



Casablanca (1942) Review

There is nothing wrong with this film. It's near-perfect. Almost flawless. The acting is first rate. Bogart and his usual suspects - Lorre, Greenstreet, Raines - all grouped together for one of the most eloquent, powerful, stunning and important movies ever made. and while making it, the studio never looked at it as a big deal. Script pages were literally handed in to the actors on a daily basis. Bogart made less than Mickey Rooney that year. All kinds of strayed fabrics of fate conspired to make this film a bad one, and failed miserably.

Bogart plays Rick, a hard-drinking bar and restaurant owner in Casablanca. A very important revolutionary is trying to escape the clutches of the Nazi regime and seeks the help of the person who possesses some very rare letters of transport that will get him on his way: Rick. Problem is, the revolutionary brings along his wife - Rick's old flame played by Ingrid Bergman. Will heartache and spite keep Rick from doing the right thing? You know the ending. "We'll always have Paris."

By the way, the phrase "Play It Again Sam" is never uttered in this film. Not once.



Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tenchi Muyo - OVA DVD Boxed Set Review

. . . I'm going to quibble. In the editorial review above, the reviewer says that the Tenchi OVA reunites the cast of the TV show, but that's not so. The OVA was the original; the TV series "Tenchi Universe" and "Tenchi Tokyo" came afterward and made some radical changes in the plot lines, characters, and histories.

The original Tenchi OVAs are far superior to the different TV series, movies, and specials. OVA 1 is episodes 1-6, OVA 2 is episodes 6-13, and OVA 3 is slowly being released at the time of this writing.

The character relationships and backstory are far better in the OVA. The more that's revealed about the galaxy-wide civilizations that are hinted at in the series, and the more infomation that is revealed about earth's place in this scheme, the more fascinating this saga becomes. So much anime doesn't make you think and want to dig for detail. The Tenchi OVAs are so deep and complex that it seems that the stories should never end.



Monday, April 25, 2005

The Twilight Zone - Collection 2 (1960) Review

My favorite TV show of all time is "The Twilight Zone". There are a number of reasons for that but mostly it is because those 1/2 hour shows packed more drama, excitement, and morality lessons than anything I've seen before and since. The star of the show was Rod Serling whose staccato-like voice opened to set the stage and wrapped up at the end with a statement of irony, intrigue, warning, or hope. Watch the credits at the end of any episode that really impressed you and the odds are that it was written by Rod Serling.

The First Collection in this series left you wondering if it had gotten all the "big" episodes but "Collection 2" shows that there's still plenty more out there. This collection has a couple of the later, hour-long shows that the first collection didn't have. The first one, "In His Image", was one of the old episodes that stuck with me for years and I was surprized to find that it was an hour-long show. It seemed then and now to move along at the same pace as the half-hour episodes. The second, "Death Ship", however, gives a hint that the extra half hour tended to drag down the pace too much. The rest of the episodes includes some of the great ones of the series. There are the humorous ones such as "Once Upon a Time " (with Buster Keaton), "One for the Angels" and "Escape Clause". There are the ones with happy endings such as "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim", "In Praise of Pip", and "Still Valley". There are the true morality plays such as "The Fever", "A Quality of Mercy", "The Man in the Bottle" and "I Shot an Arrow into the Air". Finally, there are the down-right chilling episodes such as "The Dummy", "Living Doll", and "The After Hours".

I watched these episodes with my son, now 12, who seemed to enjoy them just as much as I did. We'd only watch them at night with the lights turned out. Sometimes we'd just look at each other afterwards and say "Wow!". When there was the occassional episode that I thought might not interest him, he still talked with me about it afterwards. They seemed to work just as well for him as for me and that may be the ultimate testimony to "The Twilight Zone". With all the glitz and sparkle that TV has today, impressing a kid with a half-hour black and white show with (for him) no recognizable stars seemed too tall a task. However, true greatest meets and exceeds the test of time. Time now for "Collection 3".



Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Collection Review

This is a nice final edition to the 21 disc Sherlock Holmes collection (featuring Jeremy Brett). Unfortunately, Jeremy Brett was terminally ill during the filming of these episodes. He eventually died of cardiomyopathy in 1995. His failing health is quite noticeable in these final mysteries. Ironically, it was most evident in "The Dying Detective," where Holmes fakes a terminal illness to capture the killer. This would have been a great episode if it had been filmed when Brett was in better health. Holmes (Brett) is absent completely from one of the episodes ("The Mazarin Stone"). Sherlock's brother Mycroft and Dr. Watson solve the case this time around. Mycroft also plays a vital role in "The Golden Pince-Nez," an episode missing Dr. Watson. Both episodes are OK, but lack the strong chemistry between Watson and Holmes. "The Cardboard Box" is one of the darkest Sherlock Holmes programs and depicts a particularly dramatic and ugly result of infidelity and jealousy. The episode takes place during the Christmas season, which provides an interesting backdrop not seen in other episodes. The best case in this collection, though, is "The Red Circle," which depicts a young couple escaping the vengeful wrath of an Italian mob/terrorist organization. It is the most suspenseful and intriguing mystery in this set.

This collection also includes an interview of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's son Adrian. He gives the interviewer a tour of a Sherlock Holmes museum and provides commentary and insight into the personality traits and legacy of Sherlock Holmes.

Overall, this a good set to have. And it is transferred from the original negative, so the visual quality is pristine. But I would make sure you have the "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," "Return of Sherlock Holmes" and "Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" collections first. They are more consistent and feature a healthy, vibrant Jeremy Brett.




Top Gun (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition) (1986) Review

I just received the latest Tom Cruise Action Pack, which includes the Widescreen Special Collector's Edition of Top Gun. If you have a new home theater system and are looking for a movie that will demonstrate its capabilities, this is the one!

The picture quality is great, especially when one considers this movie was originally shot in the mid '80s. But, the real item of note is the soundtrack. As of this posting, Amazon has the DTS soundtrack listed as 5.1, but the English DTS soundtrack is actually a discrete 6.1! Ever wonder what it would sound like if a fighter jet flew through your living room?



Friday, April 22, 2005

Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas (Disney Gold Classic Collection) (1999) Review

This Video is filled with the Spirit Of CHristmas. It is narrated and strung togtehr by the naration of Kelsey Grammer.
Thre separate stories wrapped inside Disney's beloved characters.

Story One is the story of Donald, Daisey, Uncle Scrooge and the nephews learning what Christmas is really all about. It's Heuy, Duey and Luey who learn that Christmas is spacial ONE day of the year. Becasue sometime when you wish for things you can get them and having is not as always a pleasing a thing as wanting it. Imaging X-Mas 265 days a year!

Story Two is about Father and son. Goofy and his son learn the value of each other while Goofy spends most of the time trying to convince his son Santa Clause does exists. At first its hard but later Goofy's son learns that his day is giving loving and cheerishes him more than anything. Santa Does exists.

Story Three involves Mickey and Minnie in the basic of basic of the Christmas Spirit. Each one wants to buy the other something they need. But the problem is they can't afford it so give up something for the other. The end result is Love survives all.

A wonderful video with great animation, action and humor. It will tug at your heartstrings - just a little. (12-2-03)



Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965) Review

This is a horrible version of R&H's Cinderella. The first song by the prince is truly awful. I can see why it was left out of the new version. Speaking of which, this might have been good for it's time but nowadays there's a much better version: The Whitney Houston/Brandy version is a colorful, lavish production of the fantastic musical with an all-star cast including the amazing Bernadette Peters. Also, it has three added songs that this version does not have. Rent it, buy it, whatever, but stay FAR away from this film!



Getting Started on Drums Featuring Tommy Igoe DVD - Setting Up / Start Playing Review

This DVD is perfect for beginning drummers - it starts at getting the drums set up all the way through playing techniques. I especially like the professional approach, this is not a condescending instructional video. Bottom line: A great tool for those looking to learn about drums the right way!



Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Gia (1998) Review

I have the dvd of this movie also, but this unrated vhs is wonderful! Gia & Linda have such a powerful chemistry! On this vhs version the relationship seems more mutual between them then the dvd version! They had a real heart touching relationship! I was so glad I got this version of the movie it was so worth it!



Sunday, April 17, 2005

Maurice - The Merchant Ivory Collection (1987) Review

I remember seeing parts of Maurice on TV when I was a kid and the whole gay thing was so forbidden--I had to turn the channel when I heard my parents coming. I have always wondered what it was about, so when I saw it on DVD, I ordered it. What a surprising treasure. Although sensual at times, it is in no way a skin-flick. It is such a great story told in a colorfully rich, genuine way. Classically acted, it is full of integrity, honest struggles without being clich´┐Ż or angst ridden, and true to relationships of lovers, friends, and family. It moves at a slow pace, but a very enjoyable one. It is like watching a novel. Art. Beauty. Joy. It is a film that represents what gay cinema and story telling could and should be; actually, what any cinema could and should be. I believe this film can have universal appeal beyond gay or straight. I am proud to have this film in my DVD library. The extra features are very good as well, definitely watch them last, as they will alter the way you view the film. Get it, enjoy it!



The Wedding Dance Review

I've tried dance videos before. They've all been miserable, frustrating, horrible! Not to say all dance videos are bad, but if you've ever been frustrated by dancing or a dance video before, I think you know what I mean.

This DVD is different. The instruction on this disc isn't confusing at all. Quite the contrary, if you simply watch the short section called "Moving Together" you'll learn how to lead or follow in about 30 minutes. Then you can fake your way through any dance.

I hate to use the "two left feet" cliche, but I've always felt that way until my Fiance bought this DVD. We literally practiced for less than an hour, and we pulled off our wedding dance without a hitch. We even got a bunch of compliments, and look good in the video. Who could ask for more?

Why are you still reading? Add this disc to your basket. You won't regret it!



Friday, April 15, 2005

Roswell - The Complete First Season (1999) Review

I became fan instantly upon watching the first episode.The only show I have finished watching the whole season in less than a week. Once I started the pilot, I really don't want to stop.

Luckily I don't have much problem with the original songs since I did not really watched the originals. Dido provided a nice touch. But ofcourse I should agree that if they retained the songs it could have been more great but might make the price higher!

Now it's time for me to wait for the Second and third season.



Man on Fire (2004) Review

Very few actors possess the talent to make a successful revenge movie. This is pure escapism. Only a great one can pull it off. Man on Fire definitely does not have a complicated plot. There are few surprises and one can easily predict what will happen in the next scene. This film includes the expected sweet little girl, Pita (Dakota Fanning), who is guaranteed to pull at your heart strings. She is adorable, innocent, and all that other mushy stuff. Denzel Washington (John Creasey) portrays the conventional former American secret agent who one upon a time ruthlessly dealt with our country's enemies. Reading the Bible helps to unburden Creasey's guilty soul, but alcohol helps him get through the day. He is traveling through Mexico when a buddy from the old days, Rayburn (Christopher Walken), persuades him to earn some money as the body guard of Pita. Abductions are an everyday event in this one step above a third world country. Corrupt police are a ho-hum reality. The well-to-do are constantly targeted, and Pita's family will be no exception. Criminals grab her, something goes wrong during the exchange of money for the child, and you should be able to figure out the rest for yourself.

Now comes what you really desire to see in this movie: John Creasey exacting revenge on the bad guys. The dude punishes the evil doers in some unpleasant ways. It's gory, brutal---and very satisfying. Gratuitous violence can sometimes be rewarding. Hey, we all can't be another Mahatma Ghandi! Denzel Washington should be considered for an Academy Award for his performance, but this type of a artistry rarely garners such respect and adulation from the Hollywood community.



Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Bourne Supremacy (Widescreen Edition) (2004) Review

I've been watching movies for a long time,50 years, to be exact.
One of the main ideas is that some movie-makers are not making action movies anymore. They're making action blurs/blurbs, like music videos, etc. When there is an action scene, you can't see what's going on;you have to infer as to what is happening?? I remember action films such as "Enter the Dragon", Bruce Lee, where you could clearly see and hear the actors/stuntpersons as they performed their crafts.

Today, the films (many) seem to be made in a coldron of boiling water. The audio is very low (almost inaudible)or mumbly/gargley. I turned my home audio system up in order to be able to hear it better and comprehend the low throaty words.

Then an action scene rushes in and blasts the
Heavens out of kilter. I suppose it may seem that I am picking on
this one movie (The Bourne Supremacy), but actually, this one reminds me of what's wrong with many of the newer ideas in movie-making. To bad, I really wanted to see it, but once I started watching and listening, I was forced to remember some of the negatives which is inherent the newer (1998 - now) action movies. A saving grace, perhaps is that Matt Damon is a very good actor and the plot is great. Wish I could have enjoyed the clearity of action; and the audibility of
normal speech without action . . .



The Life of Birds Review

I own everything David Attenborough has ever done -- I have the utmost respect for his work. Life of Birds is fascinating, well-composed, informative, etc.

But the video quality (I have it on DVD) is absolutely dreadful. Grainy and washed out like very early digital video (I wonder if it was shot on digital video to make it easier to get some of the amazing footage he captured). By comparison, the look of Life of Mammals is breathtaking -- the composition of shots, color, lighting, and overall vividness is a hundred times better than Life of Birds.

It's quite distracting, and disappointing.



Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Review

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful film not only because it involves bizarre and creepy alien pods taking possession of human bodies in their sleep, but because it presents the truly terrifying possibility of a world without love and emotion. The love story here is key to the story for that reason, and there is an especially poignant scene where Becky describes her fear of waking up and not loving her doctor boyfriend anymore. The rest of the film involves these two lovers trying to flee from the pods and save themselves. The ending is quite tragic, and lingers in the mind for a long time.

Some people write of the 1950s as if it were another, super-conservative world that is far inferior to what we have now. Although there have been many, many important and positive changes since the 1950s (civil rights, rights for African Americans and Gays, womens' rights, etc.), I think we have also lost something. Nobody really loves anyone anymore. Perhaps that is why some consider the love story, central to the film and the fear itself, so lame. Maybe that is also why some can look back on this film and not consider it scary at all--for a world without love is not too far removed from the world we have today.



Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Review

Thirty years ago in 1974, Sidney Lumet (who is known for directing "Network" in 1976, "Serpico" in 1973 and "Death Trap" in 1982) directed a murder-mystery film based upon the 1934 novel "Murder on the Orient Express" (a.k.a. "Murder in the Calais Coach"). The novel was written by the famous murder-mystery author Agatha Christie (1890-1976) and was the ninth book in the series that featured her famous fictional detective named Hercule Poirot. The Orient Express began service in 1883 as a passenger rail service between Paris and Venice. An additional southern route (known as the Simplon Orient Express) was started in 1919 that ran from Paris to Istanbul that also passed through Venice. It is upon the Simplon Orient Express that Agatha Christie placed the location for her novel.

The 1974 film adaptation included an all-star cast, including the famous actor Albert Finney who played Hercule Poirot, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. (Albert Finney has been nominated 4 times by the Academy for Best Actor and once for Best Supporing Actor, which was for his role as Ed Masry in the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich".) Poirot boards the Orient Express on his journey home after solving a murder case. On the train, in the sleeper cabin next to his is the millionaire businessman Mr. Ratchett (Richard Widmark), who is accompanied on the train by his secretary, Hector MacQueen (Anthony Perkins, 1932-1992), and his butler, Mr. Beddoes (Sir John Gielgud, 1904-2000). Other passengers on the train include the Countess Andrenyi (Jacqueline Bisset), Greta Ohlsson (Ingrid Bergman, 1915-1982), Mrs. Harriet Belinda Hubbard (Lauren Bacall), Colonel Arbuthnot (Sean Connery), Princess Dragomiroff (Wendy Hiller, 1912-2003), Mary Debenham (Vanessa Redgrave), Hildegarde (Rachel Roberts, 1927-1980), Count Andrenyi (Michael York), Mr. Hardman (Colin Blakely, 1930-1987) and Signor Bianchi (Martin Balsam, 1914-1996). The conductor was Pierre Paul Michel (Jean-Pierre Cassel). One night with the train en route, Mr. Ratchett was murdered. When Poirot learns this, he begins an immediate investigation in the hopes of finding the murderer before the train reaches its next scheduled stop. As Poirot questions the passengers, he is amazed that many of them may share something in common from many years earlier. Tension on board mounts when the train becomes trapped following an avalanche covering the tracks ahead of it. Before the tracks can be cleared, can Poirot solve this very mysterious murder on board the Orient Express? You'll have to watch this very well made film to understand the mystery.

In addition to Albert Finney's Oscar nomination for Best Actor, "Murder on the Orient Express" received four other nominations including Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay. Ingrid Bergman won her nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Overall, I rate this outstanding film with 5 out of 5 stars. It is a tribute to the great mystery and literary skills that Agatha Christie shared with the world in her many novels. I highly recommend the purchase of this film that is being released on DVD, which, thankfully, is in widescreen format.



Sex and the City - The Complete Fourth Season (2001) Review

I love "Sex and the City". The funny thing is I really didn't watch it until after it got canceled. Anyways, here's what happened.

Carrie(Sarah Jessica Parker)joins a fashion show. Then she and Aidan get back together. They get engaged and she hurts him...again.

Samantha(Kim Cattrall)dates a woman named Maria. Then she falls for Richard, her boss.

Miranda(Cynthia Nixon)gets pregnant and almost has an abortion.
In the end, she keeps the baby. She and Steve have a son named Brady Hobbs.

Charlotte(Kristin Davis)gets back together with Trey. They tried to have a baby, but fail. Trey decides not to have a baby.
And they end up apart again.

This is the funniest season of "Sex and the City". I can't wait to see seasons 5&6. Enjoy!



Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1941) Review

... you either don't get it or don't care. This movie is designed to make a person think. Think about your life, your choices, and where your path ultimately ends. Does anyone really want to end up alientated from friends, family, and even reality when they die? Even if great wealth has been obtained? At what cost is greatness obtained?

Watch. Think. Listen to yourself.



Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) Review

I'm from Brazil and skateboard is as popular here as it is in the US. I started skating in the 80's so names like Peralta, Alva, Hosoi and Caballero were top skaters we've never seem, but we knew those guys could skate. I saw tons of pics of Alva riding a pool, Jay Adams' stylish tricks, but I never saw any footage of'em. When I saw this movie, it felt like I was in the dogbowl. It really made me understand how skateboard change those kids' lifes and how they changed skateboarde course and the whole skateboard scene, with the way they dressed, the shoes they wore, and stuff like that. Skateboard industry was never the same after Dogtown Boys. It's a complete source of information of how skateboard grew, got popular and changed the life of millions kids around the world.



Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba Review

I have yet to see this DVD, but I did get the chance to see La Nouba live last June 03. La Nouba is by far the best live show I have ever seen in my life. Every single second was awe-inspiring. The performers amazing talent and skill just grabs your attention and you can't peel your eyes away from them. Every single one of the acts are amazing. I particularly loved Diabolos and Arial Ballet in Silk. Arial Ballet In Silk just had this feel of romanticism that I loved. Diabolos was my favorite , though. Those little girls had so much talent and grace and everyone in the theatre gave them a standing O!
From the minute the first acts came out, I remember realizing that I wouldn't leave feeling like the same person I did coming in....And I was right. After seeing it live, you leave with this feeling of being a new person. So much adrenaline is rushing through your body and you just feel rejuvinated with not a care in the world.
I can't wait to get this DVD. It'll be a wonderful way to remember the fun I had on one of the best (and most inspiring) nights of my life. I recommend this to anyone. I would recommend going to see this show live as well though to get the whole expirence. It's hard to explain the feeling it gives you, but you won't be the same person afterward, I assure you. It's been over a year later and that feeling has yet to wear off.



Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends - The Complete First Season (1961) Review

If you do not get this I will be dissapointed. Every single person in the USA should have this collection for in my book it is the best show on earth! FORGET BARNUM AND BAILY!



The Who - The Kids Are Alright (Special Edition) (1979) Review

It took far to long for The Kids Are Alright to get out on DVD. After seeing and hearing the new special edition, it was worth the wait! Keith Moon has to be seen to be believed. The extended A Quick One really shows how amazing and entertaining he could be. The Ox Cam on the 2nd disc is a fitting tribute to the man who held the band together, but is rarely seen compared to his more flashy band-mates. This is a great package with great content and should be required in every home where music is played. Just don't smash your TV when it's over.



Rio Lobo (1970) Review

The opening sequence in RIO LOBO -- the hi-jacking of a Union train during the Civil War -- is a very well done set-piece. However, from there on, this film becomes an embarrassment. It is truly awful! Poorly written, acted, directed. George Plimpton, who had a bit role in it, had the best comment: I didn't have the faintest idea what it was about. That's because it wasn't about anything, George.



M*A*S*H - Season Seven (Collector's Edition) (1978) Review

Issues the 4077th face are timeless. War, separation and divorce, finding the simple comforts on the front line, and keeping your sanity with grace and humor. Alan Alda's Hawkeye, Harry Morgan's Colonel Potter and the rest of the crew are compelling characters whose lives you want to follow. For example, this is the season Margaret "Hotlips" Houlihan is getting a divorce from her Lt. Colonel husband. Hawkeye Pierce also loses it when he learns the Peace Talks have been stalled and heads to the front in a 'appropriated' Jeep to give the delegates a piece of his mind. All in all, a very enjoyable viewing experience.



New Legend of Shaolin (1994) Review

From a kung fu movie fan's standpoint, this is a poor movie. The actual fighting in it is all wire assisted, and the special effects are so primitive that it's laughable. There's a monster with a metal car, and these 5 shaolin monk kids that can't fight, and this woman named Red Bean who pretends her mother is dead so she can marry a rich guy. The very bad plot is impossible to follow. Watch this only if you're a jet li diehard, and if you have a free rental coupon.



Will & Grace - Season One (1998) Review

Well what I can say. I just started to watch this show not long time ago and decided of course to buy it to know where all persons come from to the show and why. I will recommend this DVD to all fans of Will and Grace. I was a little bit diappointed cauz I didn't see any additional features but I understand DVD -makers cauz Season one is 8 years old. Hopefully on the next seasons DVDs we will see more additional features.

Buy it and watch it.



Lost in Space - The Complete First Season (1965) Review

The review "A treat for the nostalgia buff, March 18, 2004" has said it all, even down the crush on Penny, Angela Cartwright. It does bring back childhood memories. I was seven when this show first aired. Other great shows from then are "The Time Tunnel" and the show that must have been a big influence on "The X-Files" creator "The Invaders" starring Roy Thinnes, "a Quinn Martin production". The special effects were ahead of the time then. I highly recommend this set. Lost In Space may be a little dated but it still holds your attention.



Scream Trilogy - Boxed Set Review

Scream 3 is very fun, funny and is entertaining through out. But unfortinatly it is not at all scary. If you are in the mood for a fun film to watch with your friends you found it. If you won't an edge of your seat thriller look some place else. Scream 1 and 2 are much better.



Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition) (1964) Review

It's wonderful to have Mary Poppins on dvd. I haven't seen it in years but it's just as great as when I first saw it in the movies as a ten year old. Every child should be made to watch this movie. It's about more than children needing a nanny. It's about the family as a whole. The kids don't need a nanny to be happy. They just need their mom and dad. This is one of the all time Disney great movies. It's a great family picture. No car chases, bombs, sex, cursing, nudity, rap music, miniskirts, etc.

This dvd is well worth having. There are so many extras that they are longer than the movie. I've been up for hours trying to see everything but I gave up. I'll have to see the rest of it tomorrow. Interviews, the premier, out takes, behind the scenes, after party, red carpet, star interviews after the movies, deleted songs, plus much, much, more.

Mary Poppins looks great on dvd. The images are sharp and clear. Please don't miss this one. Make sure our see it with your children. Pass it down to the next generation.



The Celluloid Closet (Special Edition) (1996) Review

The Dvd extras alone are worth the $25.00 Made in 1995 just shortly after Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for Philadelphia (playing a gay man ). The hero of this production however is Lily Tomlin! This movie documentary was finaly made after the wirters & producers got in touch with her. Lily loved this project and got HBO to fund this movie! The basic theme in this movie is to show us how gay people have been portrade in the movies! Gay themes were Taboo! They were always taboo until the late 1960's. (However All movies were made to a strict code up to that point). So all gay themes (during the era of the Code) were between the lines! (This is the humor) After the code was lifted gays were shown mostly as the villians! ( This is the drama) This documentary was one of the best movies of that year!
Is it dated? Not by much! It has been ALMOST 10 years since this was first released! Now we now have on TV "Will and Grace" (but after 7 years and no boyfriend give me a break). The big break in Hollywood was "The Birdcage". The next year was "My Best Friends Wedding" and "In and Out". (all money makers) Earlier that year "ellen" came out on TV but her show was cancelled a year later. In 2004 "The Stepford Wives" remake hade a gay couple. Although gays are more visable now than ever in the movies most of the time they are regulated to the "best friend" for comic relief! Not much of a change! Would I like a gay movie hero? Of course! I would also like to see hollywood remake movies that had they had gay stories to begin with! "The Lost Weekend" "Gentelman's Agreement" "The Childrens Hour" all had gay themes but were rewriiten for straight story lines or toned down! Yes "Fried Green Tomatoe's" is another but there was a kiss!

After YOU VIEW "The Celluloid Closet" watch "Rebecca" "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Some Like it Hot"! You will be laughing!



Firefly - The Complete Series Review

I'm always amazed at how easily the networks will dismiss a quality program. Any glimmer of wit or creativity and the axe falls. Thanks to those responsible for making this series availble to us on DVD. I found it to be fresh, funny, and cutting edge. Looking forward to the upcoming feature film...



Walt Disney Treasures - Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Volume Two Review

The second volume in the Mickey in Black & white from the Disney Treasures collection picks up where volume one left off and gives us all 40 of the remaining mickey mouse shorts.

I'm guessing most of these shorts have not been seen in ages. I personally have always preferred the old style, black-eye only look of mickey to the more modern look of today.

And of course, nothing beats the classic animation from the 30's and 40's before studios started doing things on the cheap.

Among my favorites in this collection are:

"Mickey's Mechanical Man" - Mickey's built a robot named Champ who's going to win Mickey a prize by fighting Beppo the Gorilla, the Kongo Killer, in a boxing ring.

"The Haunted House"

"Mickey's Pal, Pluto"

"traffic Troubles" - Mickey is a taxi driver. He takes Percy Pig to an appointment, but loses him on the way. His next fare doesn't fare much better; Minnie must go to her music lesson, but a detour through a barnyard and an encounter with a snake-oil salesman ruin that plan, too.

Well...there's lots more. This is just fantastic stuff. It's animation the way it isn't done anymore.

Add to that a whole host of extras: Leonard Maltin introductions, "Mickey's Mania: Collecting Mickey Merchandise", "Mickey's Portrait Artist: John Hench", "Mickey's Sunday Funnies: A Virtual Comic Strip", Still Frame Galleries, etc.

Great stuff and highly recommended.






Hedwig and the Angry Inch (New Line Platinum Series) (2001) Review

Great story, well acted, but it all could've been rendered cheesey with anything less than the perfect music here, played better than any similar effort up until now. I saw it on cable, and noticed that -Bob Mould- is mentioned in the credits; I didn't notice for what, it must've been guitar, because it's -that- good. In spite of the purposeful references to what might be considered out of date music, the songs and arrangements are fresh, and as cliche'-free as rock can be.



L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) (2002) Review

In the movie, L'auberge espagnol (The Spanish Apartment) is translated as "European pudding" - an apt description of the movie it titles. The plot? Xavier, 24, out of school and unsure of his prospects spends a year in Barcelona. Why? He's studying economics and learning Spanish so he can get a job in stocks back in his native Paris. After three weeks of living on the couch of an acquaintance he met at the airport, our man finds a place with a group of European students in the same exchange program, and the eurpoean mixing commences. The players? Spanish, Belgian, English, Swedish, Italian, French, and German. All are equally chill in a generic, college aged, exchange student way. The story follows everyone as they work, study, play, fall in and out of love, and generally amuse us with their mistakes and foibles. Though fitting seven strangers in one small apartment seems like a Real World setup (with arguments and sex to follow) the players all seem extremely mellow. If there are fights, they're about the obnoxious houseguests...but even this can be either appreciated or ignored. Perhaps it's all the pot smoking they're doing, but the roommates really did get along, and while they were at it they made me believe that anyone could live and play in Spain, even neurotic old me.

L'auberge espagnol is a coming-of-age fable set in modern day Barcelona, where the players are hip and the Bohemian rules. The movie is like a piece of cake (or pudding?): fluffy, sweet, and makes you feel good without weighing you down. It's on the edge of being a chick-flick but doesn't have the happy ending you might expect. It's a good film...and even better if you're going on an exchange program and want a morale boost. The whimsical filming and editing smooth the icing quite nicely, and the beautiful locations don't hurt, either.



The Man From Laramie (1955) Review

James Stewart and Mann invented the " adult" western with films such as " Winchester 73" and others. This is also a fine film that benefits from a fine performances by Donald Crisp, Aline McMahon, Alex Nicol and one of the best ...Arthur Kennedy.

The plot of this film does resemble" Duel In the Sun" Two Brothers, Big Ranch...etc....Today..westerns are made to show off (fake) cowboy hats...and absurd macho entendres..with special effects of course...all this junk is needed you see because these "NEW" films have hackneyed screenplays..idiot directors who think they are the second coming of John Ford and A. Mann..0..and blaring high decibel film scores....

All this mayhen is needed today to cover up the fact that these NEW westerns...are pure junk..."The Man From Laramie" will be worth seeing decades from now...when todays westerns...have been relegated to Gilligan,s Island...



The Complete Monterey Pop Festival - Criterion Collection (1967) Review

The wonders of modern technology! Take a concert from 1967 and turn it into something that looks like it was filmed yesterday. How they do that? The video and audio restoration here is just incredible. Anyone with a high quality tv will be amazed. The sound quality is outstanding. The first disc is the documentary and it's a great time capsule of 60's music. The second disc is just Hendrix and Otis Redding. This is worth the price of the dvd all by itself. Without question the greatest pair of performances by ever. And just a few years before their untimely deaths, which makes it even more special. Hendrix was and may forever be the best guitarist and stage performer combined of all time. Otis R was perhaps the best soul singer and performer of all time. This captures them at their prime. The third disc is out-takes, which has some good performances too. But make no mistake, this is Jimi and Otis show. Their likes may never be seen again. An essential dvd!



Battle of Britain (1969) Review

This movie has zero entertainment value. You have only to admire the producers efforts in terms of obtaining real World War II equipment for the movie. But, as far as the screenplay goes, it's so utterly bad, so boring, so tedious (and I'm a big war movie fan!). Some people say the director tried to say it like "it really was". But here was no need to have that slow pace, that ridiculous dialogues, characters that disappear without a trace, love plots that goes absolutely nowhere, tension close to zero! If it was not for the aerial battle scenes, one would not notice that Britain was in real danger!!



Friends - The Complete Eighth Season (2001) Review

Lets face it, there are two kinds of people in the world, those who like Friends and those who hate it. I have grown up with this series on TV and have remained loyal even through the most mediocre of seasons (6,9 and parts of 10 spring to mind) but after watching the finale of season 8, I was just floored by how good the season had been. It was funny again, not just the kind of funny that makes you smile but makes you laugh out loud. My favorite episode from this season, other than the finale, has to be the one where Ross and Rachel pretend to be married. It not only provided us with some of the funniest moments of the season, but this episode like most others really delved into the relationship between Ross and Rachel. I think that relationship was the key ingredient to the season and it was really bittersweet. All that 'we were on a break' stuff was water under the bridge and all was good in Ross and Rachel Land again.
I will be at the store when it opens on Nov. 9 to buy this classic season. Could I be more into this show?



Michael (1996) Review

No one is perfect, however, we here may try to be too perfect.
An angel on Earth is all they can be with love, hope, and charity. The movie MICHAEL shows us that even an angel does NOT
need to be Perfect. God and Love and Respect can cover a lot of
ground even here on Earth.

Thanks.
Amen



Enter the Dragon (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1973) Review

Talk about martial arts and you are sure to hear Bruce Lee's name mentioned. The 20th century icon so tragically cut down before his true potential was realized (and even before this movie was released) has gained almost immortal status, over the last 30 years. This movie was the jewel in his filmaking crown, and paved the way for countless stars since. What I liked particularly however was the number of indepth and interesting extra's on the DVD set. There is some cross referring, as a lot of these documentaries and commentaries have been individually released previously but this is a great complete package. Often referred to as "one of a kind" in his area of expertise, for me at least he will always be - often imitated, never equalled. 5 Stars all the way.



Cyclo (1996) Review

I've been working with "Cyclo" the last three weeks - for my exam at University - and I think it's funny to see how different people have reacted to the movie.

I'm a bit shocked by people dismissing "Cyclo" because it doesn't give a realistic view of Vietnam - and these people point out "The smell of the green Papaya" as realistic? WAKE UP! Both movies are movies of the mind, "The smell of the green Papaya" is a nostalgic, romanticed picture of Vietnam, "Cyclo" is Vietnam as Hung experienced it upon returning - but still a Vietnam of his Mind.

The movie is great - the characters are great, their missing expressions are intentional, the distance between the viewer and them intentional as well. The violence is sweet and horrifying. It's surreal - and realistic in its own way.

Definately see it - but don't believe it. AND DON'T BELIEVE "THE SMELL OF THE GREEN PAPAYA" either - Vietnam is so much more!



Diana Krall - Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2004) Review

I love Diana Krall and own every CD, VHS, and DVD she ever made BUT, this one is not up to her usual standards. Very boreing and found myself 'fast forwarding' to find something of interest. Sorry Diana. But will be looking forward to your next try.



Doobie Brothers: Live at the Wolf Trap Review

The sound quality of this concert is outstanding as well as all the extras. Ive never gone to one of their concerts but certainly would as a result of seeing this. It is even better than I expected the band is tight, the vocals crisp all said this is a gem of a bargin!



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