Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Puccini - Manon Lescaut / Levine, Scotto, Domingo, Metropolitan Opera
Productgroup: DVD
Puccini - Manon Lescaut / Levine, Scotto, Domingo, Metropolitan Opera - movie DVD cover picture
5 stars but 2nd Best Manon L.


This is well done and I have had in my collection for years along with Domingo and Kiri in Covent Garden production. I love them both but prefer Covent Garden just a little over this one due to the chemistry of Domingo and TeKanawa who's singing is better than Scotto's as she was beginning to dim vocally. However, the two productions are so different that they are both required for any opera collection. Domingo fans will just love him in what he used to say was his "favorite role". I recommend both versions!

Studio: Pioneer Video
Actors:
Pablo Elvira
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Renato Capecchi
James Levine
Renata Scotto
Placido Domingo




DVD title: Irreversible
Productgroup: DVD
Irreversible - movie DVD cover picture
SFX


The more I watch "Irreversible" the more I like it. Just a quick note here, the DVD issued in the states has a glaring omission, the making of the SFX featurette is not viewable, but is currently available for download on the film's U.S. website. The featurette is only 7:13 but provides very deep insight into Gaspar Noe's creativity and explains with dazzling clarity the way the head-bashing was achieved in all it's gruesome glory! While many are still too sensitive to this kind of violence and may find it sickening I say, grow up! It's a brilliant film that will reward any viewer with the guts to watch it all and see it for what it truly is; a modern masterpiece.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Gaspar NoƩ
Actors:
Monica Bellucci
Vincent Cassel
Albert Dupontel




DVD title: The Return of the Living Dead
Productgroup: DVD
The Return of the Living Dead - movie DVD cover picture
A ZOMBIE CLASSIC


I absolutely LOVE 'The Return Of The Living Dead'. Now this is a classic, one of the best zombie films right along with George Romero's Night,Dawn, and Day of the Dead Trilogy films. From start to finish does a film really get any better than this classic does. Not only is it dark with lots of scares but it's funny. It delivers in all aspects. I adore the settings and locations of where it takes place- the cemetary. I love the old D.C Comics style of the zombies. All the dialogue in the film is hilerious, the actors are superb in their roles. Well done to Dan O'Bannon for this classic. The extras on the DVD are really good, if your a die-hard fan you should be happy with the commentary and the designing the dead featurette. By Justine Ryan

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Dan O'Bannon
Actors:
Clu Gulager
James Karen




DVD title: Big Fish
Productgroup: DVD
Big Fish - movie DVD cover picture
It's all true . . . really, it is . . .


This movie, by Tim Burton is by far one of his best. I have enjoyed most of Tim Burton's movies in the past such as, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Edward Scissorhands; so when I saw the commercials for Big Fish I was instantly drawn in. Not to mention, Ewan McGregor is in it, so I was in love instantly! When I saw this movie, I was not disappointed and that is obvious because I saw Big Fish in theatres three times while it was there and the day it came out on DVD, I bought it. The movie is the story of a young man named Will (Billy Crudup) whose father Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) is dying. They had not spoke for a few years after Will's father took the spotlight at his wedding telling one of his outrageous tales. Now, while is father is lying in bed at home, Will who has grown up being told the many miraculous stories and tales of his fathers life, wants to find out the truth about all of the stories. Will does not believe that any of the stories that his father told him throughout his whole life are true and he feels he does not know who is father really is. As the stories and the movie unfold, Will learns more about his father and himself, as well as the reasons for the stories that his father told. The movie goes back and forth between the present, and the stories being told as back-flashes. Young Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) is the center of all the tall tales that include a witch with a glass eye that shows how people die, a perfect little town called Spectre with no road to it and even a giant named Karl. Each story is told with Tim Burton's usual sense of imagination, sensational imagery and darkness. The stories all revolve around events that happened in Edward Bloom's life, but each tale in the movie reflect a real tall tale.
The actor's in this movie are all wonderful at the parts they portray. Ewan McGregor is excellent as the young, charismatic Edward Bloom. Albert Finney makes the old Edward Bloom glow, even though he is sick in bed most of the time. The contrast between the two actors as young and old is perfect. Jessica Lange as Will's mother and Alison Lohman as a young Sandra Bloom are also wonderful in this movie. The casting in this movie was amazing and adds a lot to the rest of the movie as a whole. Although Big Fish is a wonderful spectacle to see, I don't recommend watching it while you are tired because then it will seem a little slow. Believe it or not, I watched it once when I was tired and actually fell asleep. Every once in awhile there are parts that seem to kind of drag. That is made up for, however, in the great storyline and the colorful imagination and display of each story. I recommend this movie to be seen by everyone at least once and bring a box of Kleenex for the first time. Big Fish is a movie that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. Since there is very little profanity and slight, but tasteful, nudity, this is a good family film and one that I even thought was appropriate to watch at a church youth group event. If you love Tim Burton's older movies, you will definitely love this one. Even if you didn't love his other movies, I still recommend everyone to rent this movie and see this outstanding spectacle at least once.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Tim Burton
Actors:
Ewan McGregor
Albert Finney
Billy Crudup




DVD title: Bridget Jones's Diary (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Bridget Jones's Diary (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Bestill my beating heart


Bridget Jones is indeed one on the luckiest women in the world for having Hugh Grant and Colin Firth after her. I love the story line. I love, the sarcasm. I love the men! Definitely a great movie for the lonely hearts club.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Sharon Maguire
Actors:
Renée Zellweger
Colin Firth




DVD title: The Ref
Productgroup: DVD
The Ref - movie DVD cover picture
My favorite Christmas movie


It's true. This is my favorite Christmas movie. Now, be warned, you have to be a fan of smart, talky movies (think of comedies from the thirties and forties). The uniting of Judy Davis, Denis Leary, and Kevin Spacey was inspired, and Christine Baranski and Glynis Johns (one of my favorite stars when I was a kid) provide extra pith to an already pith-laden production.
Now you know, of course, that whenever you get Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary in one film there's going to a lot of talking and a lot of ranting, and the rants are truly delicious, topped off with Spacey's line: "The corpse has the floor!"
Judy Davis more than holds her own with Spacey and Leary, and B. D. Wong is delightful as the overwhelmed psychotherapist. As everyone gets a number in a musical, everyone gets a rant in The Ref, reminding us again of why two people argue: because they're both right.
Give yourself a treat and don't wait for Christmas to watch this one.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Ted Demme
Actors:
Denis Leary
Judy Davis
Kevin Spacey




DVD title: Lone Star
Productgroup: DVD
Lone Star - movie DVD cover picture
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS


John Sayles LONE STAR is a complex mixture of mystery, betrayal and family values; it is a powerful work, rich in characterization. Although at times a little talky and preachy, the movie nonetheless is a potent vision of filmmaking. Chris Cooper is brilliant as the sheriff confronted with the discovery of a skeleton felt to be about 40 years dead. Sayles uses smoothly meshed flashback transitions to spin his tale of a corrupt sheriff (played with malicious fervor by Kris Kristofferson), and the honest deputy (Matthew McConaughey, very good in a small role) who vows to stop Kristofferson's corruption. Ethnic values are intertwined in the tale of a lovely young schoolteacher (Elizabeth Pena in a well fleshed out performance) who was once Cooper's lover. Cooper is also by the way, the son of McConaughey. Also mixed in is the story of an African-American colonel (the marvelous Joe Morton) who comes home to confront the father who deserted him (Ron Canada, also very good). Frances McDormand has a brilliant cameo as Cooper's disturbed ex-wife, Bunny.
The film takes all these subplots and brings them together for a riveting ending. A highly effective film.

Studio: Castle Rock
Director: John Sayles
Actors:
Chris Cooper
Elizabeth Peña




DVD title: Fleetwood Mac - The Dance
Productgroup: DVD
Fleetwood Mac - The Dance - movie DVD cover picture
An Instant Classic!!!!


Im a 19 year-old college student and I saw "The Dance" for first time in April on PBS and became an instant fan that night. I went right out and bought "Tango in the Night" and "Rumours". I never enjoyed classic rock until I watched this concert. The DVD's sound quality and the performance are nearly flawless.
My picks of the night included "Everywhere", "Gypsy", "Go Insane" and "You Make Loving Fun". Stevie's vocals on "Gold Dust Woman" and "Silver Springs" are intense and give me chills every time I hear them. Lyndsay's guitar work is spectacular (his solo on "Gypsy" is perfect) and Mick and John's driving pulse equally infectious. Christine is still my favorite and even though her stage presence is somewhat lacking, she is a briliant song-writer and musician whose voice is is in top form, "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii".
The new material was outstanding, with the exception of "My Little Demon" (I just don't get it!). "Sweet Girl" and "Temporary One" could have been on any of the classic albums.
I only wish that there had been room for a few more songs. Why wasn't "Sara" in the set list. My personal requests would have been to ditch "Demon" and "I'm so Afraid" in favor of "Monday Morning" and "Second Hand News". It would be nice if Christine would have done "Little Lies" and "Hold Me" and Stevie could have added in "Sara" and "Seven Wonders". Even though their "classic" material is mostly associated with the seventies, it would have been nice to see their 80's pop gems get their due.
This DVD showcases the band in top form; expert performers finely tuned in their craft. The piano in "Rhiannon" and the banjo on "Say You Love Me" were perfect touches for the night. Stevie's expressions during "Landslide" timeless, "I'm getting older, too....." makes you realize that they are all in their fifties now. John and Mick prove once again that that they are perhaps the premier bass line of the past quarter-century. I suggest getting "The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac" and giving "Say You Will" a shot. Some of the material is pretty good (listen to "Steal Your Heart Away"). That being said, this DVD is a treasure you need to buy and share.

Studio: Wea/Warner Bros.
Director: Bruce Gowers
Actors:
Lindsey Buckingham
Christine McVie
John McVie
Stevie Nicks
Mick Fleetwood
Lenny Castro
Brett Tuggle
Neale Heywood
Sharon Celani
Mindy Stein




DVD title: White Chicks (PG-13 Rated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
White Chicks (PG-13 Rated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic


THis movie was fantastic. Two thumbs up and a hillarious comedy. shawn and marlon waynes are hystarical. see it again and again. one of the years best comedy! overall its a 5 out of 5 stars!

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Actors:
Shawn Wayans
Marlon Wayans
Busy Philipps
Maitland Ward




DVD title: Baby Boom
Productgroup: DVD
Baby Boom - movie DVD cover picture
A guilty pleasure..


It's silly, it's sentimental, it's not a "great" film, but it'll charm the pants off you. Ten years after "Annie Hall" Keaton hits her prime playing a force of nature transformed by a three-year-old and Sam Shepard's gentle country vet. This is a spartan DVD with few frills--just the original trailer and the choice of English or French soundtracks and French/Spanish/English subtitles.
On my "Rent," "Buy," or "Don't Bother" scale this is a definite "Buy."

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Charles Shyer
Actors:
Diane Keaton
Sam Shepard




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