Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Even Stevens Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Even Stevens Movie - movie DVD cover picture
3 star movie for a 5 star show

Even Stevens is what 'Arrested Development' would be if it were meant for kids. I have watched this show since I was 10 years old, I have seen every single episode tons of times, and they are all great. The show is smart and very funny. This movie doesn't live up to the show though. You can tell it was put together in a very short amount of time to silence the fans upset of the show's cancellation. It doesn't at all have the style of the show and if it weren't for the title and the cast it would be anything but similar to the show.
HOWEVER! BUY THIS DVD IF A FAN OF THE SHOW! DISNEY CHANNEL WILL MORE THAN LIKELY SEND THE SHOW TO DVD IF THIS HAS GOOD SALES! But whenever I say good sales I don't mean Top 20, Top 100, or even Top 1000, but anywhere over 5000 in rank and the show coming to DVD is probably competely out of question. So every fan should buy this nonetheless.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Sean McNamara

DVD title: Tomorrow Never Dies (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Tomorrow Never Dies (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
"Bond! You know the rest!"

Although Pierce Brosnan rocks, the movie does nothing for him. What happened to plots? Acting? Good dialogue? I suppose it is all a thing of the past. But in all fairness, I didn't epect "Tomorrow. . ." to be the second "Casblanca", they could of tried a bit harder.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Pierce Brosnan
Jonathan Pryce
Michelle Yeoh
Teri Hatcher

DVD title: Dead Man
Productgroup: DVD
Dead Man - movie DVD cover picture
sTrAnGe MaSterPeiCe about death. For the open minded.

This anti-western has become my favorite western of all time. The only other movie that comes close to were this movie stands in my mind about the old west is "The Unforgiven". However if your expecting something like the guy gose after the bad guy. Kills him, and takes the girl off into the sunset. You will not find it here. Jim Jarmucsh has proved you can make a creative western that means so much more then your avarage reused ideas. Sadly some people hated this movie for being so different. A blend of perfound sadness mixed with truly funny and creative hummor is the best I can think to put this.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Johnny Depp
Gary Farmer

DVD title: Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack (Three Smart Girls / Something In the Wind / First Love / It Started with Eve / Can't Help Singing / Lady on a Train)
Productgroup: DVD
Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack (Three Smart Girls / Something In the Wind / First Love / It Started with Eve / Can't Help Singing / Lady on a Train) - movie DVD cover picture
Deanna Durbin is great

First of all I have to admit that although I'm an ardent "classics" movie buff, I had never seen any of Deanna Durbin's movies, mainly because they were never shown on TV, at least in my country. Since I had read a lot about her persona, amazing voice, her status as Universal's prime superstar, etc., I was eager to watch her on film.

I got this wonderful package last year as a gift and sincerely, after watching the first of six feature films, I had to watch them all, as soon as possible, because I fell completely under the spell of Durbin's lovely screen persona: unaffected, sincere, pretty, down-to-earth, sweet, etc.

The films included in this collection are at least good and most of them very good. In spite of what I've read from other customers, I have to say that almost all the copies of the films are in very good condition, with the only exception perhaps, of "Three Smart Girls", which is somewhat grainy and not so sharp as the others, but then, it is the oldest of the lot (1936), and anyway is in pretty decent conditions.

"Three Smart Girls" is her best known film included here, because it was her breakthrough film, the one which made her a star, as a young girl-she is not even top billed here- who helps her elder sisters to try to bring their estranged parents together. There's some fine comedy, nice songs and expert supporting players.

In my humble opinion, the best films of the bunch are "First Love" (1939) and "It Started with Eve" (1941), both lovely Cinderella-type tales in which her natural talent and unaffected acting shine thoroughly.

There's also a "whodunit"-mystery film, "Lady On a Train" (1945), directed by her second husband, French director Charles-David, a fine and absorbing movie. On the other hand, "Can't Help Singing" is a glorious Technicolor musical with a score by the legendary Jerome Kern, with Deanna looking ravishingly beautiful in period costume, surrounded by "western" outdoors.

"Something in the Wind" (1947), maybe the weakest of the films which belong to this pack, but is a nice, engaging, mistaken-identity-comedy with Deanna as a discjockey.

In these films she acts with and is supported by some of the finest actors in Hollywood, such as Mischa Auer, Robert Cummings, Robert Stack, Charles Laughton, Donald O'Connor, Guy Kibbee, Akim Tamiroff, Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger, Alice Brady, Ray Milland, Eugene Pallette, Kathleeen Howard, Ralph Bellamy and Edward Everett Horton.

Since I only saw Deanna on film for the first time last year, for me she was really Hollywood's best kept secret! Enjoy!

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Henry Koster
Deanna Durbin

DVD title: Alien
Productgroup: DVD
Alien - movie DVD cover picture
A masterful blend of science-fiction and horror

Okay, this is R rated and not for kids who will undoubtedly find it too frightening. But it is no less than a classic. There is obvious derivation. IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE was the B movie inspiration. The original was a very stylish low budget movie in itself, but hardly matches Ridley Scott's treatment.
I know of no other movie made before or since that has matched this film both for the science fictional impact and for sheer horror. The mood is set from the beginning, and you know in your heart that this sure isn't STAR WARS! In fact, one could consider this an antithesis to the Lucas films. This is absolutely the dark side of science fiction.
This is not for the extreme sensitive, but there is a depth to this movie. No, it's sure not a "feel good" movie, but those who like an occasional trip to the dark side will find this rewarding.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Ridley Scott
Tom Skerritt
Sigourney Weaver
John Hurt

DVD title: Ghost in the Shell
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost in the Shell - movie DVD cover picture
A delicate balance of blood n' guts and *gasp* a real story!

Not your typical anime. GITS focuses more on a solid (and torturously complicated) plotline sprinkled with some of the best animation and action sequences available. Due to complexity, you'll have to watch it a few times to fully absorb the story, but don't hold that aginst the movie! It is a pleasure to watch GITS multiple times (it's what DVD's are for!).
If you like anime and love a compelling story, this is a sure winner. If your strictly into destruction and *read* comic books for the pretty pictures, you may want to rent the movie first.

Studio: Palm Pictures/Manga Video
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Atsuko Tanaka
Iemasa Kayumi

DVD title: Cardcaptor Sakura - Trust (Vol. 11)
Productgroup: DVD
Cardcaptor Sakura - Trust (Vol. 11) - movie DVD cover picture
calm before the storm

In this 11th volume of Cardcaptor Sakura, the Clow Saga of the show is drawing to a close with 4 great episodes. The Disc feature her pinkish-black outfit from Ep. 43 against a yellow background. Features Pioneer's standard Limited Edition postcard and probably (though not sure at the moment) contains the 2nd creditless ending. Remember, don't read if you don't want spoilers!
*Sakura and Sakura from the dream - Sakura and the others' outing is cut short by the dream card. Tomoyo begins seeing multiple Sakuras while Sakura confronts the form of herself that she has been seeing in her dreams. What does it have to say? Rather what shocking revelations does the Dream Card reveal to Shoaran?
*Sakura, Shaoran, and a sea of sand - The class decides to perform the play of Sleeping Beauty. Everyone randomly gets a role with Li and Sakura as the opposite gender roles! Li is embarrased as he and Sakura practice lines one day before school, but the magical moment is halted by a sand storm!
*Sakura and the Pitch-dark Litery fest - It's finally the night of the play and everything goes accroding to plan (with the exception of Shaoran's bad acting) until every thing goes black. Sakura must seal the mystery card before it engulfs even herself.
*Meilin gets a phone call from her mother ordering her to return home. Shaoran later upsets her and ends up spending the night at Sakura's house. Their childhood and the nature of the Meilins feelings are revealed as she and Sakura become closer. Something tthen begins cloning everything and everyone in town and must be sstopped, but in a bizzare way. Will Meilin and Shaoran make-up? Better yet, who can stop this card?
One more disc before the Final Judgement and the end of season 2. Until November, Release!

Studio: Geneon Entertainment
Director: Morio Asaka

DVD title: Wild Style
Productgroup: DVD
Wild Style - movie DVD cover picture
The truest film reflection of Hip Hop

Wild Style was created by independent New York filmmaker Charlie Ahearn with the help of Fred Braithwaite (aka Fab Five Freddy). The first movie to depict the elements of hip hop, it became an underground hit. It featured well-known graffiti writers Lee and Lady Pink as "Zoro" and "Ladybug", and included performances by Grandmaster Flash (in his own kitchen!), Grand Wizard Theodore, Busy Bee Starski, The Cold Crush Brothers, and b-boy champions the Rock Steady Crew. Lee admits, "It didn't really have a script, but we didn't have a script in real life. The film didn't call for acting because we were being ourselves. There's no Hollywood thing about it" (from the excellent book Yes Yes Ya'll, 2002). This lack of a "Hollywood thing" is precisely what made Wild Style so popular among the people who lived hip hop. Writers were played by writers, DJs were played by DJs, and the breakers were real b-boys.
Fab 5 Freddy wanted the film to tie together the elements of hip hop, and show the rest of the nation that graffiti, breaking, and DJing and MCing came out of the same place, and often the same people. The result is the most accurate depiction of hip hop in film. Lingering shots of boarded up buildings, junk yards, and filthy subway stops portrayed the Bronx for what it was. Zoro tries to balance street credibility with commissions to do pieces on canvas from wealthy art collectors. He is a young man trying to find his place in a difficult world. Blondie's Chris Stein describes it, "Wild Style was just so ahead of its time. I remember telling Charlie Ahearn, `As soon as this thing comes out, mark my words, Hollywood will eat it.' And Beat Street came out... which was a sappy, watered-down version".

Studio: Wea Corp
Director: Charlie Ahearn

DVD title: Africa - The Serengeti (Large Format)
Productgroup: DVD
Africa - The Serengeti (Large Format) - movie DVD cover picture
Must have DVD!

This is one of the DVDs in my collection that gets played over and over again. It is such a wonderful film. If you have a large screen television or better yet, a front projector, this is a must have. It is so beautiful. The narration, the cinematography, the music, the story, the nature are wonderful.

Studio: Sling Shot
Director: George Casey
James Earl Jones

DVD title: Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

I don't see why everyone is so unhappy about this. I love these movies and own them on VHS, but for years I have been wishing that they would come out on DVD and here they are!! A great story, great characters, and great effects all make these movies the classics they are. I especially love Return of the Jedi, because the Eewoks and the entire concept of Endor are priceless. Only $40 for all three is very cheap, and well worth it.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Harrison Ford

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