Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Cindy Crawford - Next Challenge Workout
Productgroup: DVD
Cindy Crawford - Next Challenge Workout - movie DVD cover picture
5 Stars

Finally my very favorite workout has been released on DVD!! It's about time! In this Cindy workout follow up, Cindy has left her Hollywood glam behind and is showing us the real deal. She has very little makeup and her hair is pulled back plainly and she looks like the rest of us during a workout. I like that. The non -nonsense, straight shooting workout will leave you sore and breathless. Her trainer Radu is the mastermind behind all the exercises and coaches her as she does them. My videotape copy finally broke from too much play! I used it right after I had my twins, and it was the only one I could stick with. Interesting sets, music and writing. There's a comprehensive, well-paced selection of weight training, conditioning, aerobics and stretching. It will take you about an hour and a half to do the whole thing. I can't recommend it highly enough. Thanks for bringing it out on DVD. I have pre-ordered it and have sent the link to all my friends who are still using the video.

Studio: Good Times Home Vide
Cindy Crawford

DVD title: Freaks
Productgroup: DVD
Freaks - movie DVD cover picture
A cinematic masterpiece

This film about the lives of circus sideshow "freaks" was considered too horrific to view in its day, but it is a true must-see for all. There was a time in the past of the west, in the present of many places elsewhere in the world, when those born into bodies that were not "right" in some way were left to the elements, killed, or in cases as portrayed in this movie -- left to a life in circus sideshows. This movie shows a small glimpse into a world where the "freaks" are outcast even by many of the circus folks that they travel with. For those that keep track of the more famous sideshow members, they will see some familiar faces like Schlitze and Johnny Eck. For those who have never paid much attention to such matters, it is an enlightening movie about how different things are now for those in the world of western medicine compared to "back then".While there are a few romantic subplots surrounding the central tale of Hans and his love for Cleopatra "Peacock of the Air", and her plans of deceit and coniving in regard to him -- the main focal point of the movie is the "code of the freaks". Such codes exist in just about any subculture that must defend itself when forced to interact with a host culture that views it as abhorrent.While many a piece has been written and even committed to film about the humanity of "freaks" and "monsters", such as the legendary tales of the hunchback of Notre Dame or of Frankenstien, none can show the true human beauty within as well as the real-life sideshow "freaks" themselves. Beauty truely is in the eye of the beholder.It is not surprising that people left the theaters screaming when this movie was first released, as they were indeed contemporary to the woman in the opening scene of the movie who screams and swoons. While the members of the human genome project look forward to the promising end of various genetic abnormalities, they still pull their hair out as to how much tampering is ethical and humane.We live in a time where outward physical beauty is objectified and pursued at all costs by society at large, but if one has also seen movies the likes of "Gattica" -- one has to ask themselves in light of *this* movie -- what means and what ends are reasonable and ethical? Even if one is born in a less than "perfect" body, it does not mean that they are not beautiful or human. They feel and they bleed red just like the rest of us. Tod Browning's masterpiece "Freaks" captures these points quite succinctly. As to the technical side of the movie -- while current-day viewers may say that the actors seem to be overacting or underacting in various places, one must remember that the style of acting itself has changed greatly since the days when people would run screaming from the sight of a sideshow "freak" regardless of whether they were 5 feet away or portrayed on film.There isn't a terrible amount of makeup in this movie, and special effects are quite limited indeed, but when you have over a dozen real live sideshow folk who indeed perform their "abilities" throughout the course of the scenes they appear within -- any more special effects than were actually used would have detracted too much from the movie.

Studio: MGM
Director: Tod Browning
Wallace Ford
Leila Hyams
Olga Baclanova

DVD title: Vive l'Amour
Productgroup: DVD
Vive l'Amour - movie DVD cover picture
Tragic-Comedy at its Best

Ming-Liang Tsai has never failed to deliver the goods when it comes to describing our postmodern existence in an Asian city. Vive L'amour tells a story of three persons in an empty studio apartment in Taipei. It is a manage-a-trois that never happened. This movie is not for the faint-hearted. Its poetry lies in its sparseness. Imagine, there's only about 30 mins of dialogue in the 150-min movie! Watch the pivotal 10-min scene at the end of the movie where the female protagonist walks round a park, sits down and cry, all in one take. Vive L'amour shows us all the things a good movie should be, what Hollywood films have consistently failed to do.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Ming-liang Tsai

DVD title: Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration
Productgroup: DVD
Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Royal Albert Hall Celebration - movie DVD cover picture
Simply fabulous!

<p align=center> Wow! I absolutely loved this video!
<p align=left> I absolutely loved Sarah Brightman in Requiem! Although her voice is WAAAAAAAAY too mature for the POTO theme song, but I love how she does the opera at the end of the song..She could still hit the high E, which proves that she is the ULTIMATE CHRISTINE! She hits that note with ease...I really like Tina Arena at the beginning too, and loved All I Ask of You... To my dismay, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again was TAKEN OUT! I love how Sarah does this.. I know everyone says this, but, I'll say it anyway : I wish MC was there! He would've done great!
<p align=right> I loved Elaine Paige's MEMORY, and wished they would have had little kittens running around for the Jellicle Ball.. But, I definetly give everyone a high 5!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: David Mallet

DVD title: The Mists of Avalon
Productgroup: DVD
The Mists of Avalon - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Story

Fabulous performances especially from Julianna Margulies, Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond and a excellent score from Lee Holdrige make this a wonderful retelling of the king Arthur legend with all it's Myth and magic. Although it was made for television on DVD it looks and sounds superb and is told far more convincingly than the larger budgeted and more celebrated "Excalibur" .And that scene stealer Merlin is kept under control too, making this a far more believable version of the Arthur story, from the womans point of view by the way,and based on the book by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Studio: Turner Home Video
Director: Uli Edel

DVD title: Gods and Generals
Productgroup: DVD
Gods and Generals - movie DVD cover picture
gods and generals

One of the best pictures that I have ever seen, tears flowed from my eyes most of the time, the only thing that they should have left out is the interview with Abernathy, pictures of M.L.K., etc. was not in good taste. The War of Northern Aggression was not about freeing the slaves it was about STATES RIGHTS which is a problem to this day. On my copy I would like to find out how to delete the Abernathy interview.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Jeff Daniels
Stephen Lang
Robert Duvall

DVD title: Excalibur
Productgroup: DVD
Excalibur - movie DVD cover picture
Superb and erotic! Another masterpiece by John Boorman!

Excalibur left me speechless. It portrays the legend of King Arthur in masterful detail and erotic sensation. The love triangle of Artrhur, Lancelot, and Gwenevier is illustrated in great drama. The vindictiveness of Morgana and the mystery of the great wizard Merlin enhance the movie's fantastic plot. The only fault with the film was its confusing conclusion. Perhaps Boorman will one day do a remake and create an improved conclusion. However, the film was still excellent through and through.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Boorman
Nigel Terry
Helen Mirren

DVD title: Tommy Boy
Productgroup: DVD
Tommy Boy - movie DVD cover picture
A lot of fun, a lot of heart

While Chris Farley's work was admittedly up and down over the course of his career, "Tommy Boy" is the perfect example of what we are missing because of his untimely passing. Yes, it is hysterically funny, but it also has a lot of heart; without even trying, it is a great movie about friendship and overcoming tragedy.
Of course, that's not why you should watch it. You should watch "Tommy Boy" because I have seen it at least a dozen times, and yet I still end up with tears rolling down my face at least once during the movie because I'm laughing so hard. Farley was an absolute master of physical comedy, and "Tommy Boy" is loaded with great slapstick. However, it's his give and take with the supremely sarcastic David Spade that provides some of the film's funniest moments.
In addition, Bo Derek, Brian Dennehy and Rob Lowe are all great in their supporting roles. Lowe, was particularly impressive as Tommy's sleazy step-brother; somehow he manages to play it straight the whole movie without ever being dull. Finally, Dan Akroyd is great in his extended cameo.
If you're looking for Oscar worthy performances, or you don't appreciate physical humor, skip this one, you won't like it. However, if you're just looking for a ridiculous romp that make you roll with laughter and leave you feeling good, this is the movie for you.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Peter Segal
Chris Farley
David Spade
Brian Dennehy
Bo Derek

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Best Movie Ever!

I love the books by Tolkien, and all I can say is finally somebody did it right! After waiting years for this, I was worried that something in the treatment of the movie would bother me. Instead, all I've been able to do since seeing it is listen to the sound track, and try to figure out when I can see it again.
When it was over, I didn't want to leave the theatre. I could have gladly sat through 12 hours of this quality of movie. While that only speaks of myself, I can say that nobody...and I mean NOBODY in the theatre left their seats at any time during the course of the movie and previews.
This movie is absolutely true to Tolkien's vision of the Lord of the Rings! Everything that is important to the story happens. All the great lines are in there. And some things are improved upon in a logical manner in keeping with the universe created by Tolkien. For example, the expansions of the Arwen character were entirely appropriate, given that Tolkien's use of this character was rather anemic.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Mona Lisa Smile
Productgroup: DVD
Mona Lisa Smile - movie DVD cover picture
Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst--Outstanding Performances

Can two actors command a film? In this creation, Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst prove it can be done. Strong will personalities are portrayed by these two wonderfully convincing ladies. From the beginning, we are all introduced to Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson, a woman who plans on challenging the way life is at Wellesley, an all female school. Life is about education, ettiquette, and preparing for marriage. Katherine wants to change their outlook, their frame of minds, and their goals. In her quest in this, she sees that her goals will not be easy to come by.
Then there is Kirsten Dunst as Betty who strongly believes in what she was taught in Wellesley, and overall is set against Katherine Watson. These actors' exchange is convincing and it draws you into their worlds and their two different beliefs in what women should do.
There are other plots that are connected to the other characters, but overall, Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst carries the film with superb acting.
The scenes are refreshing, showing campus life set amoung sweeping rivers, rustic landscape, wonderful skies and changing seasons. Even inside the buildings you were captured by the set up and some of the art.
In conclusion, Julia Roberts was excellent, and Kirsten Dunst was amazing. They were very convincing and strong. I really enjoyed it. Maybe, you will, too.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Mike Newell
Julia Roberts
Kirsten Dunst
Julia Stiles
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Marcia Gay Harden

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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