Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Janácek - The Cunning Little Vixen / Nicholas Hytner · Sir Charles Mackerras · Thomas Allen · Eva Jenis · Tháâtre du Chatelet
Productgroup: DVD
Janácek - The Cunning Little Vixen / Nicholas Hytner · Sir Charles Mackerras · Thomas Allen · Eva Jenis · Tháâtre du Chatelet - movie DVD cover picture
A cunningly beautiful production

This opera is for those who are tired of the standard repertoire. I was attracted to the Decca recording of this opera on discs, with Lucia Popp, because it was so unusual (cartoon animal and human characters, episodic anti-romantic story). Even though I found it highly intriguing, I could not sustain my concentration beyond the first act. I was attracted to this DVD because I was curious how the animal roles could be staged. The real stars here are Director Nicholas Hytner and Bob Crowley's vividly colorful sets. Some scenes are genuinely funny (the vixen killing the chicken). Even though I sustained concentration through two acts out of three, this is a very unique (and rare) production, of the kind you will rarely see in any opera house. Technically excellent, a strong buy recommendation (only 4 stars out of caution - try any other piece by Janacek first to see if you warm up to it).

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Brian Large

DVD title: Twin Peaks - The First Season (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Twin Peaks - The First Season (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

THE PILOT - .... The pilot has been in stores (yes, on DVD) as an import for well over a month. Silver Platters, Tower, Scarecrow Video....
The Episodes - The sound is hypnotizing, the graphic clarity is unbelievable. There are some scenes with hints of grain, but even these scenes are far better than anything we've ever seen - even the original broadcast. The music is rich and deep, and the sounds are clean. The only real complaint I have is that the case doesn't hold the last (fourth) disc in; this may be a defect exclusive to my case, but I thought I'd mention it.
The Special Features - Some are fascinating, some are a drag. It's fun to dig through them, and you're sure to find something interesting, but you'll probably be left wanting more. Most disappointing was that I especially wanted to see cut scenes, outtakes, more pieces of the Twin Peaks world... maybe they'll come with the 2nd Season DVDs or Fire Walk With Me.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: David Lynch
Kyle Maclachlan

DVD title: Old School (Widescreen Unrated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Old School (Widescreen Unrated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Hilarious, didn't seem like it would be good at all

My first thought when mom and dad rented this was tiredness. They had started it, i missed the first 10 minutes, but right when I came in I was hooked. I haven't seen animal house, so I really cant compare them at all, but this movie does a really good job in entertainment.
It's basically about how Luke Wilson(Mitch) had his girlfriend doing nasty stuff when he wasn't around. He basically leaves and gets a new house. Here, he Vince, and Will all start a ferternity. Mitch isn't really into it, and Dean Pritcher trys to shut it down. The comedy is fresh though, and not moronic. The whole weddinggift/present thing I saw coming a mile away, still all 3 of the guys did an awesome job acting it out.
Will Farrel(Frank the Tank) does an awesome job. He portrays the crazy guy perfectly. He isn't too crazy, has his composure, but does crazy stuff. Anyways, he basically does mostly all of the comedy, and really makes the dvd a hilarious movie. Go buy it, there is some minor nudity, nothing too big though.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Todd Phillips
Luke Wilson
Will Ferrell
Vince Vaughn

DVD title: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
Productgroup: DVD
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert - movie DVD cover picture
Wish I had been there

While I realise that it seems I have missed half of this concert by not having the original VHS copy........I don"t care. Just to see Daltry do I Want It All, Seal air Who Wants To Live Forever? to 75000 captive hearts and to join in with Paul Young on the stadium-stopper Radio Ga Ga .......thats enough for me. Watching the late and absolute genius of Mick Ronson back alongside Bowie after so many years was worth the price of the DVD ALONE!!!! its a treat that I shall keep forever.....but Who Wants To Live Forever?

Studio: Emi Distribution
Director: David Mallet

DVD title: Henry Fielding's Tom Jones
Productgroup: DVD
Henry Fielding's Tom Jones - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best I've seen

So many times, videos of famous texts are so dry and dull, with stodgy stiff actors, cheap sets and costuming, and an overall bad effect. This production has a fabulous cast, beautiful costumes and sets, and it is very upbeat. My ENG 431G class at UK watched this video, and we were in stitches. I loved it, because it took a book that many people might not dare read and made it not only accessible, but enjoyable.

Studio: A & E Home Video
Director: Metin Hüseyin

DVD title: Charmed - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charmed - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
I am wishing it would come on dvd today!

This show can be a bit cheesy at times, but I love it. I also got my husband hooked. I wish they would put all the episodes on DVD. The show makes me wish there were a little witch in me.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Shannen Doherty
Alyssa Milano

DVD title: Baseball - A Film by Ken Burns
Productgroup: DVD
Baseball - A Film by Ken Burns - movie DVD cover picture

I wasn't so fortunate to see the series, but very much enjoyed this comprehensive and well-illustrated book. Ward does a great job of presenting America's favorite pastime down through the ages, from the early games in the polo grounds to the free agency disputes in the 70's. This book covers it all and is augmented by wonderful anecdotes and illustrations of some of the game's great players.
For afficianados of the game there will be many glaring omissions but for the general reader this book is all you need to get a handle on the history of the game, casting aside the Doubleday myth (Spalding's invention) and treating yourself to the early New York Knickerbockers who wrote the rules of the game, which have essentially stayed the same ever since. Ward has an eye for detail, noting that Cartwright took the game to Hawaii, from where it eventually spread to Asia.
Ward spends a great deal of time on the divisions in baseball, not just that between the American and National leagues, but black ball and white ball. He gives an engaging discription of the Negro leagues and the eventual integration of the game with the immortal Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. He also notes many of the other negro greats who weren't so fortunate to be called up to the big leagues.
He also gives a good look at the free agency disputes of the 70's, which opened the doors to the astronomical salaries players get today. There is also a requiem on Mr. Baseball, Pete Rose, and the gambling that has plagued the game throughout its history. The most notorious example being the Chicago "Black Sox." Despite these lapses, the game has not only managed to survive but flourish into quite possibly the world's greatest game.

Studio: PBS Home Video
Ken Burns

DVD title: Heartbreakers
Productgroup: DVD
Heartbreakers - movie DVD cover picture

Actually, I own this piece on VHS, which is sad because a couple of the deleted scenes are definitely worth watching, and it's debatable on why they were left out in the first place. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this movie, but with two witty, if not crazy women and some really ingenius writing it quickly became one of my favorites. And if witty women don't do it for you, then you should at least watch it once to see Gene Hackman in the funniest take on the Tobacco Industry, that I've ever seen.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: David Mirkin
Sigourney Weaver
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Gene Hackman

DVD title: Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Ahhh... Like A Dream Come True!

Welcome to Stars Hollow. A small, quaint town in New England. A town where everybody knows each other, and with people slightly eccentric living there, the place never gets boring.
Lorelai Gilmore moved to Stars Hollow one year after giving birth to her daughter Lorelai Leigh (Rory for short) at the sweet and very young age of sixteen. Being the strong, independent woman that she is, she refuses any help from her parents on raising Rory. Oh, did I mention that Lorelai and her mother do not get along at all? That is sort of the reason why she moved out.
The 21 great episodes are:01 Pilot : Rory (now 15) gets accepted to Chilton, and Lorelai asks her parents to help her out with Rory's tuition. Rory meets a boy named Dean and changes her mind about Chilton.02 The Lorelai's First Day At Chilton : Lorelai oversleeps on Rory's first day and to her dismay, all her good clothes are at the cleaners. Students at Chilton determine to make Rory's life miserable.03 Kill Me Now : Rory is required to take up a sport. Emily suggests Richard takes Rory golfing. Rory has a great time with her grandfather, and Lorelai gets upset.04 The Deer Hunters : Rory gets her first "D" in her life. Lorelai helps Rory study for her English test that is 20% of her grade. They oversleep and Rory gets into a car accident.05 Cinnamon's Wake : Rory's English teacher, Max Medina, asks Lorelai out. The town mourns Babbette and Mory's cat, Cinnamon.06 Rory's Birthday Parties : It's Rory's birthday and Emily and Lorelai both want to throw the teenager a birthday party.07 Kiss and Tell : Dean gives Rory her first kiss. Rory is afraid to tell her mom about it, and Lorelai ends up hearing about the kiss from Mrs. Kim, Lane's, Rory's bestfriend, mom.08 Love and War and Snow : A huge storm falls, Rory gets stuck at her grandparents, Lorelai runs into Max, who's car breaks down and he ends up staying at Lorelai's for the night.09 Rory's Dance : This is where Dean and Rory decide tha they are now a couple. They fall asleep reading poetry after the Chilton dance, and then chaos erupts.10 Forgiveness and Stuff : All fights are resloved when Richard is rushed to the hospital.11 Paris is Burning : Paris catches Max and Lorelai kissing in a Chilton classroom and starts gossiping about them to to deflect talk about her own parents' messy divorce.12 Double Date : Luke asks Lorelai out, Rory & Lane get into trouble when they go on a double date w/o telling their moms.13 Concert Interruptions : Trouble brews at a Bangles concert when Rory invites some of her classmates to go with her, Lorelai and Sookie when Lane wasn't allowed to go.14 That Damn Donna Reed : Rory dresses up like Donna to make Dean happy, since he long for the type of family the show represents. Christopher, Rory's dad makes a surprise visit.15 Christopher Returns : Christopher comes back, wanting to be a part of Rory's life. Christopher wants to marry Lorelai, she declines knowing that he isn't ready and he leaves to find a stable life.16 Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers : Rachel, Luke's ex-girlfriend comes to town. Things spark up between Lorelai, Luke and Rachel. Dean tells Rory that he loves her. Confused, Rory doesn't answer, then the upset Dean breaks up with her.17 The Break-Up Pt. 2 : Deciding not to wallow, against Lorelai's advice, Rory goes to a Chilton party and ends up kissing Tristen.18 The Third Lorelai : Emily's mother-in-law comes to town. Paris gets upset when she finds out Rory convinced Tristen to ask Paris out.19 Emily In Wonderland : Rory takes Emily on a tour of Stars Hollow, horrified when she sees the Lorelais' first home.20 P.S. I Lo... : Lorelai thinks she didn't teach Lorelai to commit to a relationship.21 Love, Daisies and Troubadours : Rory FINALLY tells Dean that she loves him. Max proposes to Lorelai with a thousand daisies.
Watch the show. Really. You'll have a good time.=)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Lauren Graham

DVD title: Piglet's Big Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Piglet's Big Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Best to the original

I beleive this movie is excellent. Animation is impecable and very close to original, voices are very close to original (except for Eyore) and a very good storyline. I beleive that Piglet's Big Movie is better than the Tigger Movie and Spring time with Roo, just because my daughter won't ask to watch the other ones (except of course, Winnie the Pooh).

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Director: Francis Glebas
John Fiedler
Jim Cummings
Peter Cullen
Ken Sansom

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