Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Bonnie and Clyde
Productgroup: DVD
Bonnie and Clyde - movie DVD cover picture
A Perfect Ten

Even today there is no denying the power of 'Bonnie And Clyde'. At the time it was viewed as sensationilising violence, but whether it does or not doesn't take away from the fact that it's utterly amazing. It's about the infamous Barrow gang that terrorised America during the Depression era, focusing specifically on Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. She's just a waitress and he's just a petty thief but together they manage to pull off great bank robberies, with the aid of friend C.W and Clyde's brother and sister-in-law.
The movie's best feature is that it shows the allure of an exciting life whilst never shying away from the complexities of it. One scene where Bonnie gets to see her mother for one last time is expertly done, with the gang finally realising that they have passed the point of no return. In this sense if the movie does sensationalise violence - a slow motion showdown has in particular worried many people - then it does at least show the other side of it. No doubt the actual story of the couple's relationship is romanticised for the big screen, but even this is unconventional, and the sympathy given to the two criminals is well done.
The acting is sublime, especially the two leads, who pull off the two complicated characters with panache. This is a real landmark in cinema and still resonates today with its message of the power of violence and the allure of 'getting away from it all' at whatever cost.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Arthur Penn
Warren Beatty
Faye Dunaway

DVD title: National Lampoon's Animal House
Productgroup: DVD
National Lampoon's Animal House - movie DVD cover picture
palease 1 star raters, wake up!

This is the movie that made John Belushi a star and made this an instant favorite among many comedy fans including me, this is about a raunchy college fraternity named "Delta" who like to party down every night in the 60's and plans on getting even with their mean Dean named Dean Wormer ( John Vernon from Killer Klowns).
A brilliant and original comedy that is hilarious as heck, John Belushi is absoultely as funny as "Bluto" a lovable slob who does the classic mashpotato "Zit" impression and has a all star cast like Kevin Beacon, Tom Hulch from Disney's Hunchback, and Donald Sutherland as a hooked-on Drugs teacher. The acting and direction is great, not to mention this movie is also directed by John Landis ( Director of "An American Werewolf in London", " Kentucky Fried Movie" and " Blues Brothers), all in all this movie is a must see and those looking for a good laugh and time.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: John Landis
John Belushi
Karen Allen

DVD title: Taxi - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Taxi - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Great set, Misguided 'Reviewers'

I was editing for television in the mid 70s and into the late 80s and the idea that any network would allow a sitcom to run longer than 25 minutes back then is absolutely rediculous. Although I never personally worked on "Taxi" I can assure you that the episodes in both season collections are the full ep's. 27 minutes long? LOL! No way!

I love how these amazon "reviews" are supposed to inform other buyers about product, but end up getting used for various misguided rants by people who don't know what they're saying. I would bet dollars to donuts that the person who has gotten him or herself worked up believing that they've been ripped off from missing Louie DePalma dialogue is responsible for these multiple postings by allegedly different people warning the entire world that Jim's hat and 3 extra minutes have been snatched from us in some diabolical plot to rip off consumers.

Furthermore, not every series stuck to the "always must have a tag scene" rule. "Taxi" sometimes did and sometimes didn't have a tag scene before the closing credits. The Norman Lear shows were like that as well (had the pleasure of working for that crowd back in the day, incidentally). And sometimes shows had to be cut for time before they even aired for the first time. "Taxi" had a rough look to it and often in their first-run broadcasts the episodes WOULD look like something was cut. Well, that's because it WAS. But it landed on the cutting room floor long before the public had the pleasure of seeing it for the first time.

Don't know how much more plainly I can spell this out, but if CBS (or whoever) dictates that you can only run 24:35, for example, and you have a total running time of 26:17, then you won't be going home until you've shaved off a total of 1:48. And you weren't always blessed with the same amount of time each week. If ABC (or whoever) demands that you cut an extra minute off so they can promo something else, you do it. Whether or not any of that cut-before-it-could-air footage is salvaged was/is up to whoever was running the show, and it wasn't/isn't consistent from one guy to the next.
Leave it to someone who's obviously never worked in the industry to proclaim what the rules are.

Folks, I bought both "Taxi" sets. All are excellent, and all are about as complete as they could ever be. ABC, NBC and CBS were not letting half hour comedies run longer than 24:30 or 25:00 because ad time was - and still is - way too precious. If you're convinced that you should be seeing at least 27 minutes of material in each episode then you're kidding yourself.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Judd Hirsch

DVD title: Quiet Riot Live in The 21st Century
Productgroup: DVD
Quiet Riot Live in The 21st Century - movie DVD cover picture

First of all, I want to say that I love Quiet Riot, have bought ALL of their albums and was truly disappointed when I recently found out that they parted ways after over 20 years. I always felt that QR deserved much more than they got credit, but I gotta say, I'm a little disappointed with this DVD. I've seen QR several times (unfortunately not during their heyday). This takes me back to the 3 or so times I've seen them in clubs since '92 or so....and that's not necessarily a good thing...! I love Carlos and think he's a vastly under-rated player...but the!'s just WAY too fact,...I can't even hear any guitar...TONE... on this DVD...just a severely overdriven guitar GRIND. Rudy's bass is buried in the mix, which is unfortunate, 'cause he truly is one of the best bass players in rock. Kevin prods the audience on a couple of occassions to participate more; which I find a little sad...if a crowd loves the band, they DON'T NEED any prodding...(witness RUSH in RIO DVD...absolutely RABID fans with ZERO prodding!!!)The Randy Rhoads stuff on here is interesting to watch and AGAIN...I'm a huge Randy fan too,...met his mom...(an amazing,wonderful lady!!!)...but..dang!...some things are better left to memory. The QR material was weak; a statement oft echoed by Mrs. Rhoads herself and even Randy.Some Randy/Ozzy footage would be great, but this isn't an Ozzy DVD, is it?.... On the positive side...this IS a nice package...nice menus/presentation; I enjoyed the QR slide show the most, set to "Blast from the Past" from the "Guilty Pleasures" album. I've heard that Carlos is working on material with vocalist Oni Logan...I hope he does well; the guy and think he's a great talent...let's hope he varies his tone abit and gets some "brown" ...some his sound. Overall, I don't regret buying this, but just feel that my tastes have evolved, while QR never did...! But I always kept hoping...! A must for Hardcore QR fans, but if you've grown up musically, you may be a little disappointed.

Studio: Music Video Distribu

DVD title: Notting Hill (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Notting Hill (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
la meilleure comedie romantique de l'annee

Si comme moi vous etes un(e) romantique ne(e), vous appprecierez sans moderation ce film. La fraicheur et l'humour qui le caracterisent nous font oublier l'espace d'un instant la tristesse et la fadeur de nos vies. Pour certains adeptes des films americains a gros budgets dont le but est de faire l'apogee de la violence, certes, ceux-ci s'acheminent vers une grande deception. En revanche, pour ceux qui accordent une place primordiale a l'expression des sentiments du coeur, alors, ce dernier vous comblera. En cette periode de veille de noel, cette oeuvre ferait un excellent cadeau a l'etre aime voire aux grands-mere nostalgiques de la belle epoque du cinema romantique americain (Cary Grant, Clark Gable, ...). Bon film et bonnes fetes de fin d'annee

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Roger Michell
Julia Roberts
Hugh Grant

DVD title: Grateful Dead:Tie-Died - Rock 'n Roll's Most Deadicated Fans
Productgroup: DVD
Grateful Dead:Tie-Died - Rock 'n Roll's Most Deadicated Fans - movie DVD cover picture
What the Dead Heads Are all About

i bought this film on vhs over the summer. i'm not really a dead head, but this movie really makes me want to check out the greatful dead. i loved the unity of everyone one tour. some people tour just to hang out with the fans in the parking lot. this film also clears up some misconceptions about these hipppies/dead heads. this is definitely worth getting. it was extremely close-up and personal. many stories from the fans. it's far out.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Andrew Behar

DVD title: The 6th Day
Productgroup: DVD
The 6th Day - movie DVD cover picture
Typical Arnold=You get your moneys worth

Even though the movie didn't quit live up to its potential at the box office, If you're an Arnold fan you won't be dissatisfied with this movie. He maybe older, but he can still pump out the good movies. Any time you mix Arnold and good special effects you have got good chemistry. This is a must for you DVD collection.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Michael Rapaport

DVD title: Alexander Nevsky
Productgroup: DVD
Alexander Nevsky - movie DVD cover picture
A classic but try to find the LaserDisc version

Although the film-to-DVD transfer was excellent, the rendering of Prokofiev's score suffers due to the limitations of 1930's sound track technology.
BMG produced a restgored version on laserdisc with the score re-recorded in stunning, state-of-the art sound. If you can find it, this is the one to have.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Nikolai Cherkasov
Nikolai Okhlopkov

DVD title: Independence Day (Single Disc Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Independence Day (Single Disc Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The only real way to see this film.

A great set with all the extras that you could want from a DVD special edition - directors' commentary and special effects supervisors'. Behind the scenes and other goodies. The movie is as always great with the spectacular scenes only improved with 5.1 sound.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Roland Emmerich
Bill Pullman
Jeff Goldblum
Will Smith

DVD title: The Shipping News
Productgroup: DVD
The Shipping News - movie DVD cover picture
How to rewrite your life--with help from friends.

This film is a small, quirky character study with not much plot. This is my favorite kind of movie, but if it's not yours, you may hate this film.
The acting here is all first rate. Kevin Spacey's character is more subdued but less bleak than the one he played in "American Beauty." Quoyle (Spacey) comes into adulthood a beaten-down, invisible lump, but life gives him a daughter to love, a job he becomes good at, a woman he can relate to as a friend (Julianne Moore), a family member (Judi Dench) who is encouraging to him, and a place to belong (Newfoundland). He is not so broken that he can't appreciate all this, so his transformation from lump to human being is believable, not schmaltzy or feel-good miraculous. I particularly enjoyed Quoyle's interior headline-writing as commentary on his life. It added a touch of ironic humor to the film.
Julianne Moore is brilliant and very different than I've seen her before. Here, she is strong, but sensitive and a little scared of another relationship with a man. She and Spacey stumble believably and amusingly in getting to know each other. Her affection for his daughter is an important element in his transformation.
Dench plays Spacey's aunt, one of the supporting characters, and does not dominate on screen as she usually does. This is okay because this is not her story, it's Quoyle's (Spacey's). However, the aunt is important in giving Quoyle a sense of family history and a connection to Newfoundland, where the aunt, Quoyle and his daughter go to live.
Cate Blanchett undoubtedly had fun playing Quoyle's bad girl wife and the mother of his child. She has more range and screen presence than any actress of her generation. Her place in this story is as a harmful influence on Quoyle and his daughter, badly twisting both of their self-images, but her impact is believable and pivotal to their (the father and daughter's) relationship.
The other supporting characters, his daughter and the men at the newspaper office where Quoyle works, are all fine. Rhys Ifans (Hugh Grant's roommate in "Nottinghill") is warm and funny as Quoyle's buddy at the paper.
The scenery of Newfoundland very much controls the mood of the film. It's beautiful, but scary and daunting. So is life. Both can be appreciated and enjoyed if you accept what is and build on that for the future.
It's a wonderful movie. I highly recommend it.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Lasse Hallström
Kevin Spacey
Julianne Moore
Judi Dench

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