Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Beauty And The Beast - Belle's Magical World (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Beauty And The Beast - Belle's Magical World (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Walt Disney Home Video

DVD title: Short Circuit 2
Productgroup: DVD
Short Circuit 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Best movie ever!!!

I love this movie and I watch it at least once a week. This Movie is next best to owning Johnny 5. I wish I could own J-5, but do not have the Big Bucks to by him even if he is real. The only thing wrong with this movie is some of the bad language, so I just fast forward some of the scences. I wish they would make more movies using Johnny 5, I would like to see Ben & Sandy get married and J-5 as the Best Man. My Husband & I rent DVD's and have kept this Movie since Oct., so I thought I better buy it, so I can return the rental to get to watch other DVD's. Great Movie that could be even better without the bad language...

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Kenneth Johnson
Fisher Stevens
Michael McKean

DVD title: Angel - Season Two
Productgroup: DVD
Angel - Season Two - movie DVD cover picture
ANGEL puts it all together for a stellar season

Warning: Season Five spoilers do appear below.
Season One of ANGEL found the show trying to establish itself, its moods, its major characters, its bad guys, and its story arcs. For a first season, it was not at all a bad show; it was, in fact, quite good. But it didn't truly match the high standards set by BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. In Season Two, however, Angel Investigations truly came into its own. It moved from a spin off finding its own rhythm, to a truly superb show in its own right.
Season Two is somewhat unusual in that it actually features two major plot lines. First, there is the stunning revelation that Wolfram and Hart has managed to resurrect, in fully human form, Angel's old love and sire Darla. Her return, use, and abuse by Wolfram and Hart constitutes most of the season's episodes. She is not the only character we first met in Buffy to guest on the second season: Harmony, one of the original Cordettes, comes to LA to visit Cordy. The visit generates perhaps the funniest scene in the entire series, when Harmony, who unbeknownst to Cordelia is now a vampire, is barely able to resist feeding off her in her sleep. When Cordelia wakes up just in time, she wrongly thinks that Harmony was now gay. The ensuing conversation of errors is hysterical. As we approach Season Five, it has been disclosed that Harmony will be back in LA in Season Five, somehow or other working as Angel's secretary as he takes over as director of Wolfram and Hart. With Cordelia no longer a part of the show (in my opinion, the dumbest decision in the history of the show; Joss Whedon claims in interviews there is nothing more to do with her character on the show, but I think that is palpable hogwash), Harmony has the potential of bring a bit of whimsy to the show.
The Darla story line is a dark one, with tragic circumstances thwarting Angel's attempts to lead Darla to the path of righteousness, and seems to succeed, even when Darla learns that she is doomed to die as a mortal. His involvement with Darla leads to Angel breaking off his involvement with Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn. Much of the interpersonal dynamics of the entire season revolve around Angel's alienation from his friends, and his gradual restoration of their friendship.
The other major plot line of the second season involves first Cordelia and then the others traveling to the dimension of Pylea. Now, I liked these episodes myself, but there is little question that for a huge number of fans, these are among the least popular episodes in the history of the Buffyverse. For the series as a whole, the most important thing to come out of this arc is the rescue of Fred, a brilliant physics student who had been accidentally trapped there. Despite Cordy, the show had until them had an overwhelmingly male feel to it. In season three, as Fred becomes an integral part of Angel Investigations, she brings a crucial element to the show's chemistry.
Two other major developments take place in Season Two. First, the introduction of the character of The Host aka Lorne, a demon from another dimension (actually, Pylea, we later learn) who can read anyone's aura when they sing. Hence, he is the owner of a karaoke bar. Lorne would later be elevated from supporting character to a permanent character. The other major change, and one crucial to the ambiance of the series, was Angel Investigation's moving into an abandoned hotel. I liked this setting so much that I am going to miss it tremendously as we move into Season Five.
All in all, Season Two represents a major achievement by a team that seems to be incapable of producing a less than remarkable product. And, of course, the set is essential for any lover of things Buffy/Angel.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
David Boreanaz

DVD title: The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

This story of World War II, obviously filmed a few decades ago, is full of the right amounts of drama, action, and averall appeal. I highly reccommend it for a Father's Day Gift or for yourself.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Gregory Peck
David Niven
Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quayle

DVD title: The Insider
Productgroup: DVD
The Insider - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent docu-drama...90's "President's Men"

In 1999, with films pushing the envelope of storytelling(Blair Witch, Fight Club, Matrix) this compelling drama could be considered simple, but it is a remarkable feat of exposition and performance that was unsurpassed last year. Michael Mann has definitely made his best film to date, and it is a piece of storytelling that will go down with "All The President's Men" as a superior journalistic drama.
What can you say about Russell Crowe other than magnificent? The reason it is so amazing is to see the other work he has done. He is so effortless in this film that anyone not familiar with his work will not realize what a stretch this is.
Pacino is the anchor of this film, and he is, as always, wonderful. Ranging from funny to intense, he takes the audience through this journey and never lets us down as he tries to tell his story to the nation.
Christopher Plummer was absolutely robbed of a nomination for his portrayal of Mike Wallace, bringing the different shades of nobility and compromise that Wallace must have been feeling during the entire ordeal to light. He was awesome.
Final thought: Bravo to Mr Mann for putting Gary Sandy in this film. Sandy is known best as the lead in "WKRP in Cincinatti" and he plays a shady lawyer in the film. WE WANT MORE GARY SANDY!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Michael Mann
Al Pacino
Russell Crowe

DVD title: A Bug's Life (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
A Bug's Life (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Great humor for all ages

The entire movie is filled with humor appropriate for all ages. The retakes in the credits are hilaroius. Maybe the most humorous of all, is that the most humorous character is played by the same person who plays "Niles Crane" in "Fraiser".

Studio: Disney/Pixar
Dave Foley
Kevin Spacey

DVD title: Wild Wild West
Productgroup: DVD
Wild Wild West - movie DVD cover picture
Plays much better on DVD than it did in the theatre

WILD WILD WEST is a film that gets better each time you watch it. Will Smith and Kevin Kline are reluctant partners and their casting in these parts is effective. This is what director Barry Sonnenfeld envisioned. He wanted to make a film in the spirit of the original TV show but change the relationship of the two main characters to that of one-upmanship. Smith and Kline get a chance to show off their talents in a pseudo macho contest of wits and bravado as they each vie for the girl (Salma Hayek). One would think that Kenneth Branagh as Dr. Arliss Loveless would be out of his element here but he brilliantly plays the waist high diehard Confederate would-be Southern gentleman villain with great bravado and actually steals the film from Smith and Kline. The many CG effects work much better and look more realistic on the small screen. Composer Elmer Bernstein after many years got a chance to write a Western score once again in the vein of some of his great scores such as THE COMANCHEROS. The excellent and complete WILD WILD WEST music video is a highlight of this DVD.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Will Smith
Kevin Kline
Kenneth Branagh

DVD title: Hanover Street
Productgroup: DVD
Hanover Street - movie DVD cover picture
Consider the times

I've always loved this movie. Yes, the plot is a little over-used, but you can't beat it for early Harrison Ford. The bedroom scenes are done with the taste lacking in many of today's movies. Richard Masur is very funny as the nervous bomb spotter. Two thumbs and two big toes up!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Peter Hyams
Harrison Ford
Lesley-Anne Down

DVD title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Productgroup: DVD
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - movie DVD cover picture
the Bable Fish

The tele vision verion is not wht most hinl it is baed on. instead of being baed on the books, it was instead based on the radio show that both book and tv verions came out of wht is so intewr esting is that they ued new teniqes for the time, and after twenty years it still holds up.

Studio: BBC Video
Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Simon Jones
David Dixon

DVD title: L'Atalante
Productgroup: DVD
L'Atalante - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Perfect

Finally saw Vigo's L'Atalante, his only feature film, which he reportedly died before completing, and instantly its one of my top favourite movies and easily one of the best pictures ever made. L'Atalante has everything going for it: its sexy, romantic and incredibly funny. Its also immensely genuine - the performances are so good, you are completely drawn into the action. Which is not to say that L'Atalante isn't imbued with the sense of fun and visual fantasy which makes Vigo's Zero de Conduite so great, in fact, its much more developed here. Vigo gets to tell a complete story in L'Atalante, the only complete story he ever told, and it is wonderful. Aside from its great story and vivid, unique characters, the most remarkable thing about L'Atalante is the masterful way it is directed. Vigo had such an eye for what was cinematic - so much of his stuff is communicated through images, yet when he uses words he uses them well (and for comic purposes here). L'Atalante is simply a beautiful film to look at. It has so many beautifully filmed sequences and images (some favourites: the grammophone music scene, the street seller's scene, the swimming underwater scene, the drunk scene). Surely one of the best shot films ever. Watch where Vigo places his camera, and the multitude of exciting compositions here. L'Atalante is a movie buff's dream come true. I'm so glad i found it, and am eternally grateful to the art gallery for giving me the opportunity to see it. The audience i saw it with had a rollicking good time - we enjoyed it immensely. If you ever see it playing at a revival house, or at an art gallery, i thoroughly recommend you go there and discover Jean Vigo.
A perfect 10/10 - the only one i've ever given.

Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: Jean Vigo
Dita Parlo
Jean Dasté

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