Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Escaflowne - The Series (Limited Edition Boxed Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Escaflowne - The Series (Limited Edition Boxed Set) - movie DVD cover picture
5 Stars ++++++ A Must See!!!

B.F.D. Escaflowne! are right when they say that Escaflowne could only be loved by an Otaku. This series plods from beginning to end, and is so fat and sprawling that by the time an episode ends it does not know where it began or where it is going. The ending itself is contrived, not to mention the fact that it's so rushed they have to end while running the credits. The acting is horrible. Maaya Sakamoto is about as weak and Pollyannish an actor as you could ever find. There is not one emotion that she is capable of beyond cowardice. Minami Takayami is ridiculously butch. Van, Dornkirk, and Folken all sound as if they haven't logged off in 20 years or so. No wonder they are always gutteral speakers-they need ex-lax. Yoko Konno's score is below her standards. Compared to what she did with "Please Save My Planet", "Cowboy Bebop", and "Macross Plus", this repeats itself. The score comes off as manufactured and lifeless. Ah yes, the animation. All I need to say about Nobuteru Yuuki is that he also did "Chrono Cross". In this case, however, every character looks as if they were ripped out of the pages of Doonesbury. What a waste of time to watch thirteen hours of the same episode in different settings!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Kazuki Akane

DVD title: The Children of Heaven
Productgroup: DVD
The Children of Heaven - movie DVD cover picture
A Profoundly Honest, Simple Story

Majid Majidi is a master craftsman. In CHILDREN OF HEAVEN he has written and directed a story so delicate and so genuinely human that it has few peers as a piece of filmmaking. He is able to see, and allow us to see, the world through the eyes of children. And as if that weren't enough, he has chosen the filial relationship between a brother and a sister that demonstrates just how profound love can be. Ali and Zahra are youngsters who maintain their family duties (living in a poverty section outside the city), serving their ill mother and overworked father and their infant sibling while continuing their education in their separate schools. The family is so poor that each member has only one pair of shoes and when Ali inadvertently loses Zahra's newly 'repaired' old shoes, he makes a pact with her that the two will share Ali's sneakers to spare the grief that the father would feel should he discover the truth - that no further shoes were affordable for Zahra. The two swallow pride, make sacrifices, and depend on each other as the one pair of old sneakers plays double duty. Each child attends a unisex school and these microcosms afford the study of the interplay of the two children as a metaphor for Iran society. Ultimately Ali finds a solution to gain a new pair of shoes for his sister by attempting to place THIRD in a long distance running race. The way that race plays out offers a somewhat surprise ending. This story is simple on the surface, but the insights into the poverty of Iran against the wealth in the major cities, the ability for a family to not only survive but make a family relationship so dear - these are the portions of magic that make this beautiful movie an experience that will please almost every viewer. The 'actors' will remain with you both as characters and as spirits long after the film is over. In Farsi with English subtitles.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Majid Majidi

DVD title: Scary Movie 3 (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Scary Movie 3 (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Well, now I feel bad foe only giving it 5 stars!!

Ok, Scary Movie 3 is hilarious but has some off cliche Airplane jokes which makes the Wayans a must. In Scary Movie-they spoof Scream, I Know What..., Blair Witch, Matrix, Sixth Sense, Scream 2, Budweiser commercial, etc. Scary Movie 2 spoofs House on Haunted Hill, Exorcist, Hannibal, Little Shop of Horrors, Nike commercial, Charlie's Angels, Crouching tiger, It, etc. Now Scary Movie 3 spoofs the Ring, Signs, 8 Mile, Final Destination, Independence Day, The Matrix, Verizon Wireless commercial, etc. You'd have to see all these films to understand the twister humor Zucker fairly and poorly produces. What happened to Ray and Brenda's relationship-and cindy and Buddy;s? Not that the drama matters but it would help. It is funny and I enjoyed Anna Faris' acting and hopes she'll return for the 4th and spoof like final Destination 2, Identity, etc. Just go see it IT IS AWESOME!!!!1

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: David Zucker
Charlie Sheen
Anna Faris
Regina Hall

DVD title: K-PAX
Productgroup: DVD
K-PAX - movie DVD cover picture
Really Amazing

K-PAX is an interesting movie--not quite an alien movie, not quite a mystery movie. It's a mix of lots of different ideas and sub-plots, but it all comes together in the end in a feel-good sort of way, while still not tying up all the knots and answering all of your questions.
The story basically boils down to a man (or alien?)called Prot, played by Kevin Spacey, who says he is from a distant planet called K-PAX. A psychiatrist (Bridges) works with him, trying to both understand him and make him well. Although his co-workers ridicule him for it, Bridges' character finds himself almost believing Prot's very convincing story.
How Prot affects the lives of all the people he meets is both amazing and wonderful to behold. The surprising, disturbing twist of an ending will leave you stunned. Lastly, the mystery surrounding Prot's fate will leave you pondering for days, even weeks afterward.
I laughed, I cried, I was amazed. I really enjoyed this movie. I recommend it highly.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Iain Softley
Kevin Spacey
Jeff Bridges

DVD title: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 18, Episodes 35 & 36: The Doomsday Machine/ Wolf in the Fold
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 18, Episodes 35 & 36: The Doomsday Machine/ Wolf in the Fold - movie DVD cover picture
TOS---The Doomsday Machine

One of the best stories in TOS the second season!
A planet killer (AKA The Doomsday Machine) is chopping up planets in the galaxy and there seems no way to stop it. Sol Kaplan's soundtrack during the last ditch effort to destroy the machine is priceless and unforgettable. No matter how many times you see it, it'll leave you on the edge of your seat wondering if Kirk will survive the suicide mission.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Star Trek Original Series
William Shatner

DVD title: The Shadow
Productgroup: DVD
The Shadow - movie DVD cover picture
Where's the widescreen version

This is one of my favourite movies (see my earlier review below), but I must ask, why, oh why is there no widescreen version?

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Alec Baldwin
John Lone
Penelope Ann Miller

DVD title: Casablanca
Productgroup: DVD
Casablanca - movie DVD cover picture
So Many Awards and So Many Memorable Lines

CASABLANCA is the favorite movie of many fans for good reasons. They can really be summed up in the numerous Academy Awards and Academy Award nominations given to the film. The combination of superior direction, acting, cinematography and a superb screenplay doesn't come together in one package too often.
Bogart, Bergman and Paul Henreid work together beautifully. The supporting cast is incredibly deep in talent. S.Z. Sakal, Madeleine LeBeau and Leonid Kinsky are tough to beat. Is it possible that this is only Dooley Wilson's first film? Added to this mix is the veteran star quality of Claude Rains, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet.
Few movies leave us with so many memorable lines such as "We'll always have Paris" or "Round up the usual suspects" or "Here's looking at you - kid." In this respect CASABLANCA is reminiscent of THE MALTESE FALCON and GONE WITH THE WIND.
For the record the Academy Awards were for best picture, best director (Michael Curtiz) and best screenplay (Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch).
The Academy Award nominations were for best actor (Humphrey Bogart), best supporting actor (Claude Rains) and best cinematography (Arthur Edeson).

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Michael Curtiz
Humphrey Bogart
Ingrid Bergman

DVD title: The Outsiders
Productgroup: DVD
The Outsiders - movie DVD cover picture
Just as GREAT as the Book!!!

One of the best adaptations of a book I have ever seen. This movie brings everyone to life from the book. For me, this movie is a classic!!! This movie takes place in Tulsa,OK in 1966. All of the characters fit the description in the book for me. They all look like the typical greasers. I bought this movie without even seeing it and I was tremendously blown away. This is a great movie for the whole family to enjoy.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Matt Dillon
Ralph Macchio
C. Thomas Howell
Patrick Swayze
Rob Lowe
Emilio Estevez
Tom Cruise

DVD title: Rain Man
Productgroup: DVD
Rain Man - movie DVD cover picture
very good film

The reason why I found this film is so enormously moving and tremendously satisfying is that at one moment Dustin Hoffman's behavior pulled out laughter from me, and at the next moment, or even the same moment, my awareness of his mental illness pulled out tears. There is not one unenjoyable scene in this movie. See it!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Barry Levinson
Dustin Hoffman
Tom Cruise

DVD title: 8 1/2 (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
8 1/2 (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
One of the greatest achievements in cinema's history

Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 is mesmerizing in it's tone, style and technique all the while telling a coherent story of the inner depression of a director. It can be somewhat obvious that Fellini used a lot of his personal experience after the success of his film La Dolce Vita and how most likely he was under the gun to make another success. It is also one of the testaments to his imagination and creative flair of film that he decided to use this problem to his advantage. By combining many of his deep, joyful, though troublesome memories with strange and interesting detail around the picture world in Italy, he has crafted a masterpiece about film.
Marcello Mastroianni, who also played the lead in La Dolce Vita and a number of other Fellini movies, takes on playing a verion of Fellini- Guido Orefice is fourty-three, somewhat sick, pulled in several directions at numerous times, the director with little time is assigned to pump out new ideas for his new movie and get the right actors for the job. Mastroianni projects a splendid performance of his version of Fellini (his version by the way, not an exact replica) since he conveys all the sorrow right in his eyes, within at a lot of moments. This is a good mood motivator.
Overall what makes 8 1/2 unique are the numerous sequences where Guido escapes in his dreamworld of women, memories, and the fancy free-flight. Most memorable (indeed one of the most memorable of all time from my standpoint) scenes is the first of the movie, where he is stuck in traffic, surrounded by a many lot of odd looking people, and getting exasperated when some type of gas fumes into the unopenable car. Then he finally reaches his abscond- getting out through the roof of the car and flying away in the sky; only to get tugged at by a counselor while floating without moving in the sky to the words- Down, definitely down. The fact that this scene is only the first in a line of others that ring surreal simplicity while is just one of the many triumphs present here. The last scene is also one for the books if only for it's cheery lunacy.
(By the way, this critertion DVD is also worth 5 stars. There is no English dubbing, but in a way that's a good thing since dubbing is the last thing this movie needs. Terry Gilliam makes a nice intro segment as well on disc 1).

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Federico Fellini
Marcello Mastroianni
Anouk Aimée

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