Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Zachariah
Productgroup: DVD
Zachariah - movie DVD cover picture
31 Years Later - Still a Great Movie!


Despite all the "first electric western" hoopla, there is an eerie truth about awakening conveyed throughout this eccentric, eclectic, perverse adaptation of Herman Hesse's novel "Siddhartha." The characters are all there Siddhartha, Govinda, Kamala (Bell Starr!), the Old Ferryman, and more.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: George Englund



DVD title: The Dick Van Dyke Show - Season Three
Productgroup: DVD
The Dick Van Dyke Show - Season Three - movie DVD cover picture
Keep 'em coming!


If this box set is like the first two, we're in for more treats. Season three and four of this series were the best in my opinion. Spreading the seasons over five discs sure improves the quality, and if the extras are as extensive as the others, this becomes one the best DVD buys you'll find. Now lets get the rest of the Mary Tyler Moore series out.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Actors:
Dick Van Dyke



DVD title: The Bourne Supremacy (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Bourne Supremacy (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Bourne is back and he blows Bond out of the water


A film by Paul Greengrass

"The Bourne Supremacy" is the sequel to the 2002 film "The Bourne Identity". Both films are adaptations of Robert Ludlum novels, but this adaptation may be a bit looser than the first film because it has to maintain any plot and story changes that were first introduced in the first film. A film has to be able to stand on its own, separate from the book, and since I have not read "The Bourne Supremacy", I can only judge the film on its own merits. There are quite a few.

In "The Bourne Identity", Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) was shot and left for dead. When he awoke, he found that he could not remember anything about himself or his past. The film became his quest to find out who he is, and why people are still trying to kill him. What he discovers is that he was a former agent of the CIA, a trained killer, but that is who he was, not who he is. All of that training was imprinted so deeply in him that even though he couldn't remember who he was, he was able to call on that training when the situation required, and it was required often. By the end of the film, Bourne had made his break from the CIA and warned them to leave him alone, because even a hint of the CIA on his trail would bring the wrath of Bourne upon them.

The story picks up in "The Bourne Supremacy" a couple of year later in Goa, India. Bourne is living with Marie (Franka Potente), the woman from the first film, on the seashore. He still can't remember much of his past life, though he has nightmares that gives him hints that there is something more, something deeper that he is missing. That something starts creeping up on him when he spots a man in the marketplace who shouldn't be there. The man is nobody that Bourne recognizes, but Bourne knows that his cover is blown and that he is in danger again. Bourne's assumption: The CIA is after him again, and this means that Bourne is going to take the fight to the people responsible.

What the viewer knows, and Bourne does not, is that the CIA is not after him, at least not yet. Somebody else is targeting Jason Bourne, and that same somebody else is also targeting the CIA by framing Bourne for a double murder of two CIA agents. This adds an additional layer onto the story because as both Bourne and senior CIA operative Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) are in the midst of a potentially deadly "dance" with each other, the viewer knows that something else is in play.

For those tired of how tedious the James Bond franchise has become, may I suggest the Jason Bourne franchise. The series is going in a completely different direction than James Bond, as Bourne wants nothing more than to be left alone with his fractured memories, but as an entry into the genre of the "spy/espionage" film, the two Bourne films are a breath of fresh air. Why are they a breath of fresh air? Because they are both exciting and interesting movies.

Not having to spend as much time setting up the story as its predecessor did, "The Bourne Supremacy" is an extremely fast paced, exciting movie. This time Jason Bourne is the one driving the story as he tries to get to Pamela Landy and the CIA and stop them from going after him. This time it is self-preservation that drives Bourne, rather than self-discovery. Bourne is pushed back into a life that he wants no part of, but he is prepared to do what it takes to be able to put the life behind him.

Matt Damon embodies Jason Bourne seamlessly. There is a palpable sense that Bourne is a dangerous man even when is sitting silently, or walking down a street. Damon would not have been an actor that I would have expecting this transformation from, but he works as an action star as well as a spy capable of such violence. This leads me into the style of the action itself. The camera work/editing is jolting and jerky. When Bourne fights, I got a sense of the speed and intensity of the fight, but I also felt jerked around too much by the camera. The cuts were too quick, and too glaring for my taste, but were still effective for the movie. It just made some sequences harder to follow than may have been necessary.

There is a frantic pace to the film that is appropriate to the type of story that is being told, but the best scenes are those were the characters are standing around talking. Scenes with the CIA agents, or between Bourne and the CIA, are what the story is built on and do not slow down the pace or the tension in "The Bourne Supremacy". There is still one more Jason Bourne novel written by Robert Ludlum, so perhaps we can expect one more movie (two more if we count the Bourne novel written by Eric Van Lustbader). I can only hope, because the Bourne franchise has proven to be an intelligent, exciting action franchise. That's a good thing.

-Joe Sherry

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Paul Greengrass
Actors:
Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Brian Cox
Julia Stiles
Joan Allen




DVD title: X2 - X-Men United (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
X2 - X-Men United (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
X2 Exceeds X1


X2. WOW!!! What can I say? From the very beginning of Nightcrawler's attack on the White House, to the Surprise Ending. X2 is the complete formula for what a Summer Blockbuster should be all about!
The movie is great! All of the original cast of X1 (except the deceased) returns in the sequel. Which was great to see, because if even one person was missing from the movie, this film would not have been as great. We also have some new characters in the group, both good and bad such as: Nightcrawler, Lady Deathstrike and Colossus just to name a few.
With a bigger budget and a bigger cast, the FX of X2 is completely out there. As I said, the first 10 minutes of the movie is very intense and left me speechless. It was Awesome. I was also very impressed at the story of this second movie. Waiting 3 years, everyone has changed and are all evololving differently, from looks to powers. But, what really got to me was how strong and mature X2 is. The characters are equally put forward, which was good to see since this is a big cast with many things going on at once, everyone is well organised and is put on the screen equally (sometimes). But, overall X2 has everything I wanted that X1 didn't.
X1 was more of an introduction for the audiences to get to know what these characters are dealing with in society (it also lacked a bit on the action). As for X2, it showed that, with way more punches to keep the audiences involved. Bryan Singer, directs the film, once again, with complete honesty and respect for each character and really empathises with them. He shows that he has a certain connetion with this movie and Is really trying to be faithful to the comic book series. Overall an Excellent Achivement. Good Work Bryan!
The ending was very emotional and unexpected. The performances are great! With Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart being the best as always. Brian Cox is a great addition, to the talented cast, as the mean villain Stryker, ready to get revenge. Halle Berry, fresh from her Academy win, is showing off her best talent. So is Famke Jansen, James Marsden, Anna Pacquin and the incredible Hugh Jackman.
Overall, X2 is a cool and fun film. While it is a more serious story that the first, it also has some major jokes to keep the audiences laughing. So Go see X2 and see what has evolved in the evolution.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors:
Patrick Stewart
Hugh Jackman
Ian McKellen
Halle Berry
Anna Paquin
Brian Cox




DVD title: Shadowbuilder
Productgroup: DVD
Shadowbuilder - movie DVD cover picture
Great DVD


Great DVD, excellent actors. Just watch it.

Studio: Studio Home Entertainment
Director: Jamie Dixon



DVD title: The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
On my list of favorite overlooked films.


April 16, 2002
Yeah, that's right, 'The Third Man' is on my personal list of favorites that are commonly overlooked.
Okay, so maybe this film isn't completely forgotten, but I have a buddy who cried bloody murder when he heard the American Film Institute ranked it in the forties on their list of all time movies, and I have to agree with him. In the shadow of Welles's own directorial efforts, 'The Third Man', sits sometimes like a red-headed stepchild.
It's no small trick making a movie that is quaint, charming,dramatic, and utterly perfect all at the same time. WriterGraham Greene provided the film that first quality, Orson Welles the second, and Sir Carol Reed the third. As for being utterly perfect, who or what in the heck can ever arrange for that last commodity to come to a film? It just happens.
Like 'Casablanca', 'Chinatown', 'The Godfather', 'Lawrence Of Arabia' . . .
. . . and 'The Third Man.'

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Carol Reed
Actors:
Joseph Cotten
Orson Welles




DVD title: Superman - The Movie (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Superman - The Movie (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Too spectacular for pan and scan!


I am writing this review to help bring the average rating of this movie up to five stars! When I first saw this movie at about 5 years old, some segmets of it scared me. Now that I am 16, this is one of my all time favorite movies! The cast does a great job, especially Christopher Reeve as Superman, and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. Not to mention John Williams' incredible music score! This is probably his best work, next to the Star Wars series. The print, however, is not looking good at all! I hope Warner Bros. decides to release it on DVD soon, restored, and in its original widescreen format! Long live Superman: The Movie!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Richard Donner
Actors:
Gene Hackman
Christopher Reeve
Margot Kidder




DVD title: Little Rascals, Vol. 1 & 2
Productgroup: DVD
Little Rascals, Vol. 1 & 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Little Rascals Fan Delighted!


This DVD is fabulous. I am ecstatic that Hallmark Entertainment decided to re-package the Cabin Fever Little Rascal's collection. The Cabin Fever series was a 20 volume VHS set of remastered Little Rascals classics hosted by Leonard Maltin. This set was only available to the public for a few years. Due to Hallmark's (the card company) change of ownership, this set was removed from the shelves. I have longed for a re-release of the set for a few years now. The only way to build the 20 piece video collection was to buy them seperately on internet-auction sites. I was pleasantly surprised to find it available on DVD at an excellent price. These are the ones you remember as a kid only better. I was raised on the re-runs that popped and hissed. These have been painstakingly restored. Bravo!

Studio: Hallmark Home Entertainment



DVD title: Walking with Dinosaurs
Productgroup: DVD
Walking with Dinosaurs - movie DVD cover picture
220 Million Years Ago


Great! Wow! Fantastic special effects! Combining puppets and animatronics is fascinating and well done. "Discovery Channel meets 'Jurassic Park.'" "I???m definitely more interested in dinosaurs since I watched this." Cool! "I know tons more about dinosaurs now." "I didn???t know there were no ice caps at the poles during the Jurassic period." "Some scenes depicting dinosaurs eating one another were gross." "I felt like I was there." Best for ages 12 to 18.

Studio: BBC Video



DVD title: Braveheart
Productgroup: DVD
Braveheart - movie DVD cover picture
"Go back to England and tell them Scotland is free!"


BRAVEHEART focuses on the historic tale of Sir William Wallace of Elerslie, Scotland's greatest hero and patriot. During the 12th century the brutal King Edward I of England, otherwise known as Longshanks, ruled Scotland. After returning to his childhood home William Wallace had simple plans of becoming a farmer and raising a family but after English soldiers have murdered his wife his attention has focused on the English's brutal occupation of Scotland. United together with other Scottish warriors, Wallace bypasses the traditional path of negotiations and fights the English on his own terms. What follows are several well-crafted battle scenes which reveal the cruelty of war before the invention of guns that are guaranteed to either make you cringe or fascinate you. Until the capture of Wallace and his public torture and beheading his lived and fought for his beliefs, a Scotland ruled by Scots.
The DVD special features succeed in adding supplemental knowledge to this historical narrative. There is no doubt that director and leading actor Mel Gibson took fictional liberties with this plot as admitted in his interview. While BRAVEHEART provides a service by bringing this story to a worldwide audience, it certainly should not be interpreted as 100% truth of the life of William Wallace and the Scottish battle against Longshanks.
I have been a big fan of BRAVEHEART since it's theatrical release eight years ago. Not only because it portrays a little known segment of history but also because of the splendid cinematography involved. It reminds me of the beautiful landscape of the Scottish Highlands I visited around the time of this movie's release and urges me to revisit each time I watch this film. BRAVEHEART is a wonderful addition to anyone's DVD collection.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Mel Gibson
Actors:
Mel Gibson
Sophie Marceau




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