Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Baraka
Productgroup: DVD
Baraka - movie DVD cover picture
70mm Lifescape

Imagine all of the places you'd like to go, but will likely never make it to. Now film it in brilliant 70mm with a soundtrack that sounds like Dead Can Dance or a Bulgarian choir. Imagine no dialogue. Voila, you have "Baraka". Amazing.

Studio: Mpi Home Video
Director: Ron Fricke

DVD title: Sleeper
Productgroup: DVD
Sleeper - movie DVD cover picture
Amazingly funny and entertaining ****1/2

Although no Aniie Hall (I haven't seen Manhattan), Woody Allen's film Sleeper is still great. Yes, Woody is the usual nervous guy who has gone through relationships with enough puns and one-liners to keep you laughing for well over the running time. But instead of the usual, Woody is accidentally frozen for 200 years. When he wakes up, he must convince (who else?) Diane Keaton that he's not an alien. Although somewhat shallow, plotless, and outdated, I was engaged with this film the whole way. An excellent film to rent on dvd or tape, and possibly watch again (but I wouldn't buy this film). Great. Thank you for taking the time to read my review and feel free to leave me a helpful/not helpful feedback. God Bless America!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Diane Keaton

DVD title: Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete Sixth Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek The Next Generation - The Complete Sixth Season - movie DVD cover picture
Outstanding season from TNG crew

Usually most television series are on their last legs by their next to last season. This wasn't the case with TNG. In fact, the writing/producing/directing/performing team seemed to have caught their second wind by season six--certainly one of their finest offerings.
I've read lots of complains about Time's Arrow (part 2). I found it to be a refreshing episode of the series--it did recall the flavor of Harlan Ellison's City on the Edge of Forever (more than the Roddenberry-Coon-Fontana rewrite). Adding Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) to the mix was inspired.
While True Q didn't have the bite of most episodes involving Q, it still gave John De Lancie a chance to shine. It really wasn't about Q per se anyway. He was just a bystander in this case witnessing someone else's use of their Q power.
The real stand out episodes was the two part Chain of Command. The interaction between Patrick Stewart as Picard and David Warner as his torturer was riveting. One of Stewart's finest performances is featured in this great episode. In reality, it would actually have been a better season cliff hanger than Descent. I'd also like to praise Ronnie Cox and Jonathan Frakes for their performances as well; the two stories were well tailored and paralleled the changes within each character.
Quality of Life, Aquiel, Face of the Enemy, Ship in a Bottle (which resurrects Dr. Morarity from season 2), Tapestry and The Chase are all stand out episodes. Aquiel is a brilliant character study as well as a look at the effects of loss on the individual. It's a stunning episode that reaches to the heart of humanity--even in a powerful alien spieces. The Chase is particularly interesting as it looks at the road not chosen by Picard as well as providing an interesting explaination as to why there are so many humanoid species populating the universe.
The extras are very nice. There's a profile of Data as well as a preview trailer for Deep Space Nine (which is finally coming to DVD!). Deep Space Nine was the only series spin off from TNG that expanded on the storytelling arcs and scope of the original series. It's one of the finest written of the Trek series and Avery Brooks is very under rated in his role as Sisko.
The picture quality is very good to excellent on most of the discs. There are no analog artifacts although there are a few digital ones from the compression technology of DVD; for example there's one scene where the background behind Riker appears to be a projection simply because the pixels don't change at a very high rate.
The sound quality is stunning. The remix to 5.1 brings a new depth (and appreciation) to the sound effects layered on the soundtrack. It's obvious someone was thinking ahead when they added all the background sounds. The music sounds quite good--not quite to SACD or even DVD-Audio standards--but very good nonetheless. There's a bit of compression but it's hardly noticable.
The extras have been improving with each additional year of the series (likewise the picture and sound quality). The only area for improvement is in the booklet. It's less than informative with a couple of paragraphs about the season and highlighting one or two episodes. It would be helpful to have a brief synopsis of each episode as well as guest stars (if any) and writer/director credits. All we get is the episode name, when it originally aired and what disc it's featured on (and this is alphabetical vs. airdate).
The other area that could use improvement is commentary from a key cast member, director or writer for a handful of pivotal episodes. The Babylon 5 box set Signs and Portents offers three episodes with interesting and enlightening commentaries by writer/creator/producer/director J. Michael Straczinski. It would have served Paramount well to do the same thing while the actors were shooting Nemesis. It's unlikely Paramount will be able to get the cast together again for a commentary given that Nemesis is likely the last TNG feature to be produced.
On the whole, Paramount has finally done well by Star Trek. The original series never received this much TLC (and since the market is smaller for it, their probably unlikely to do so).

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Patrick Stewart

DVD title: Down from the Mountain (The "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Concert)
Productgroup: DVD
Down from the Mountain (The "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Concert) - movie DVD cover picture
In Praise of Bluegrass and the Blues Too

This DVD of the concert by the singers and other musicians from the Coen Brothers' movie O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU will bring you pure joy. Some of the songs gave me goose bumps as well-- Emmylou Harris' rendition of "Green Pastures" and The Cox Family singing "Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown?" to name just two. There was not a pretentious singer on stage; and with the exception of David Rawlings, everyone seemed to be having a great time. After all, isn't that what "making music" should be about anyway? (Mr. Rawlings' facial grimaces defy description.) It's easy to see the appeal that bluegrass has for a wide audience and why it should never be compared with the generic music that calls itself "country" now. If there were any bouffants and cowboy hats, they were on members of the audience, not the performers.

There's a good chance one of your favorite singers may sing one of your favorite songs here with the likes of the Fairfield Four, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, The Cox Family, the Whites, Gillian Welch, Chris Thomas King and Colin Linden et al singing. While some of the music from the Coen Brothers movie is included here, there are several different cuts included as well.

The senior statesman Ralph Stanley sang "O Death" a capella, another goose bump maker, and closed the concert singing the verses solo of "O Come Angel Band" and joined by the entire group on the choruses.

John Hartford was the MC. Sadly Death that Stanley sang about did not spare Mr. Hartford for long since he died of cancer soon after this concert.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Emmylou Harris

DVD title: The Road Warrior
Productgroup: DVD
The Road Warrior - movie DVD cover picture
Great action flik!!!

Hard to believe this film is over 20 years old. I recently watched it again on DVD, and although certain aspects of it seem a little bit dated given the movie technology of today...still the chase scenes are the finest ever put the film. Whenever someone goes flying in the air, or a vehicle crashes head on with another, it's ALL REAL!!! No computer graphics in this one, this is the way it's supposed to be. I can spot a digitally altered scene a mile away and this pure action film making at it's best!!! A true cult classic that deserves it's admiration and respect.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: George Miller (II)
Mel Gibson

DVD title: Drive Me Crazy
Productgroup: DVD
Drive Me Crazy - movie DVD cover picture
TotallyMelissa Joan Hart!!!!!!!

This movie starts out just like any other teen movie, loud music and a school with all sorts of people. The story goes like this, a girl gets dumped and so does her nextdoor neighbor. So what can they do? They decide to get back at their crushes by pulling off that they are dating. What they didn't plan on was falling for each other. Teen witch superstar Melissa Joan Hart(Sabrina the teenage witch) and Adrian Grenier(the adventures of sabastian cole) do ok jobs at this movie, but it lacks the potential teen movies that were funny in the past (ten things i hate about you, she's all that,never been kissed). See the movie for yourself, maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't but i hope you got something out of my review. Thanks

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: John Schultz
Melissa Joan Hart
Adrian Grenier

DVD title: All About Eve
Productgroup: DVD
All About Eve - movie DVD cover picture
The Movie the Eats Like a Meal!

I think Bette Davis would appreciate my review title in the spirit in which it is offered. After more that a dozen viewings of this movie I continue to pick up things that I had missed or, depending on my frame of mind at the time, overlooked. There are so many layers to this film that it's like opening up a gift over and over. Bravo!
Favorite Lines:
"Why do they always look like nappy rabbits?" "It was a drizzly night. I remember I asked the taxi to wait." "I'll admit I've seen better days but I'm not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut!" "I'm so happy you're happy.""How nice for you, how nice for Eve, how nice for everybody!""What a story. Everything but the blood hounds snappin' at her rear end.""Here you are, Max. One burp and you'll be all rid of that Miss Caswell.""I wouldn't like!""It has everything a dressing room needs except a basketball hoop.""It's about time that the piano learned that it has not written the concerto!"

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Bette Davis
Anne Baxter

DVD title: The 10th Kingdom
Productgroup: DVD
The 10th Kingdom - movie DVD cover picture
I LOVED it! it is sooooooooooooooo good!

This movie was woderful. It was so full of fairytales we all know and love. Cinderella, Snow White, and even Red Riding Hood! The actors are great esspecially the one who played Wolf. He was so funny. For anyone who loves to imagine and loves fairytales brought to life through action and not words this movie is for you. Some may not agree and i know that for a fact but hey give it a chance it is a GREAT movie. If u think so please please email me cause i want to talk about it with someone. email me at: Im 15.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Kimberly Williams

DVD title: Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Productgroup: DVD
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - movie DVD cover picture
"Blonde Leading the Blonde"--Fun Film with Great 80s Music!

I'm not a fan of movies, normally, but this film just grabbed me and will not let go. It's probably the only film I've seen more than three times (I think I'm up to seven) and I am not even close to tiring of it. It's just hilarious with wonderful acting (Lisa Kudrow in her usual air-head role, Mira Sorvina as the serious and sensible Romy, Janeane Garofalo as the surly, cynical Heather Mooney, Julia Campbell as the stuck-up Christy Masters, Vincent Ventresca as the "dumb jock" Billy Christianson, Alan Cumming as nerd Sandy Frink, etc.). The cliques of the high school class are so typical and help the viewer really relate to this film. Whose class didn't have their "preppy" group, nerd group, jock group, etc.? The early 80s music makes the film even more wonderful; however, the choice of tracks indicates a high school class of '84 rather than of '88. Don't try to analyze this film or search for deeper meaning, just sit back and enjoy again and again. I only wish there was a sequel: "Romy and Michele Go To College"!! Perfect!!

Studio: Touchstone Video
Director: David Mirkin
Mira Sorvino
Lisa Kudrow

DVD title: Wallace & Gromit: The First Three Adventures (1990-1995)
Productgroup: DVD
Wallace & Gromit: The First Three Adventures (1990-1995) - movie DVD cover picture
Love it!...and you will too!

This set includes all three Wallace And Gromit films, which have won a slew of well-deserved awards. The animation is charming, and the attention to detail is impressive. As you watch the videos again and again you keep noticing more little details you missed before--most are witty or inside jokes or references that you'll catch if you pay attention. The characters are beloved for a reason--Wallace is neurotic and obsessive in charming Brit style, and Gromit is brilliant, sarcastic, and parental. 'The Wrong Trousers' and 'A Close Shave' are my favorites--these two have the best plots, the funniest twists, and the best character development (the evil penguin and bully bulldog had me rolling!). You can't help but fall in love with Wallace And Gromit, and you'll probably join the rest of us addicts begging for another installment and buying up every piece of witty merchandise you can get!
If you do end up liking these videos, you should definitely get 'Creature Comforts' by Aardman productions--it's got a great Nick Park short, and three other great pieces. Plus, Chicken Run was great, too (though it was no Wallace and Gromit!)

Studio: Audrey L Ward
Director: Nick Park

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