Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Last Exile:Vol 1-7 Complete Box Set
Productgroup: DVD
Last Exile:Vol 1-7 Complete Box Set - movie DVD cover picture
Amazing series that non-anime fans would enjoy


I discovered this wonderful anime series by accident. I was watching TV at my sister's house flipping the channels when on Tech TV I saw this anime show with flying battleships and characters wearing 19th century uniforms. After a few minutes I was drawn into this imaginary world, whether its a alternative universe or the future, is left up to the viewer. I am not a big fan of Japanese anime but I found the world being portrayed fascinating. I made the investment in purchasing the whole DVD collection, 26 episodes. This was one of my best purchases ever made. Last Exile takes place in an world divided between two human kingdoms, Anatoray and Disith, which are at war. The society and technology portrayed is a mish mash of different periods of the past. Most people seem to exist in a late 19th/early 20th century existence with hints of industrialization. The political system is an aristocracy with a Emperor ruling Anatoray with feudal lords, dukes, princes, etc. controlling territory and serving as leaders of the military. One of the creators, in an interview in the first DVD, mentioned how he was inspired by Weimar Germany period, 1919-1933. The movie does has a European feel to it. The aristocratic women dress in Renaissance outfits with the puffed out skirts and bodices while the aristocratic men and soldiers dress in military style 19th century uniforms. The nobility place great emphasis on honor and chivalry. But on this primitive foundation the people of this world called Prestar can fly in the skies using some type of magnetic levitation technology and its in the skies that the war between Anatoray and Disith is fought. The Anatoray ships are similar to Dreadnaught or pre-Dreadnaught style battleships, the type that fought at Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War and Jutland during WWI with their drab color, steel armor, masts, and turrets with cannons. Ship to ship communication is done with signal flares and Morse code light beacons. Also all the instruments are analog, no fancy digital displays. The land dwellers are not alone and are dominated by the Guild. The Guild are a race of highly develop humans who are much more technologically advanced and provide the land dwellers the technology to fly their massive ships in the sky. The Guild seems to decide what technology the human population have access to so they have some electricity but no radios. The Guild reside in the Grand Stream, a region of high speed winds that serve as a barrier between Anatoray and Disith. The Guild sets the rules of the war and are suppose to serve as impartial arbiters but as can be seen in the first episode they decide to change the rules. In this interesting world are Claus Vlaca and Lavie Head, both 15 years old life long friends and orphans, who scratch out a living serving as couriers flying a Van Ship. Van Ships are small personal flying craft that look like roadsters from the 1920/30s with the elongated front section housing the engine, with hood ornaments, and open cockpits. Claus and Lavie dream of crossing the Grand Stream to complete the mission that killed their fathers who tried to cross the Stream to deliver a message from Anatoray to Disith. They lives are fundamentally changes when the meet up with Alvis (Al) Hamilton, an 11 year old girl, who holds the key to Exile although its not clear what exactly Exile is until well into the story. Claus and Lavie deliver Al to the warship Silvana a free agent ship both feared by Disith and Anatoray where they meet up with the enigmatic brooding captain Alex Rowe who has a tortured past and his XO the beautiful intelligent Sophia Forrester who has her own secrets. Chess plays an important role in the story and we see many of the characters play it and the title of the episodes are based on chess and give an indication as to what is going on in the story.
The animation is gorgeous using a combination of traditional hand drawing and CGI. The battle scenes, the scenery, the skies are pure eye candy. The music is great and the sound is wonderful and realistic. The plot is interesting with many elements that all come together in the end. I enjoyed the character development. Most of the main characters are teenagers so issues that young people face at that age are brought up, including loss of innocence especially during a time of war, love and romance, following ones own destiny versus what's expected of you from your family or because of ones social position. The story has a lot of action and adventure but also some nice intimate human elements. Even if you are not a fan of Japanese anime but like a good adventure story with elements of sci-fi and fantasy I would highly recommend this. This series is better than 99% of what Hollywood puts out in terms of creativity, plot, and characters. I find myself caring more for the characters in this anime series than supposedly live actors in a movie or TV show. Perhaps you can rent the first episode on DVD and see if you like it.
Each DVD has some extras although it consists mainly of an art gallery and non-text opening and closing credits. There is an interesting interview with the creative director on the first DVD, First Move.
The sound is Dolby 2.0 which is a bit disappointing although I was able to use all the speakers in my entry level home theater system by switching to the analog input.
The series is rated PG-13. The rating reflects violence during a time of war, you see people getting shot, stabbed, and an strangulation. The language is clean and there is no nudity, scantily clad women or overt sexual references. Except for a few scenes you can probably watch this in front of kids although someone under 13 will probably not understand the plot.


Studio: Geneon Entertainment



DVD title: Spongebob SquarePants - Tales From the Deep
Productgroup: DVD
Spongebob SquarePants - Tales From the Deep - movie DVD cover picture
Best cartoon ever!


This is a must have! It's SO funny! It's not just for kids, either: my mom and dad watch it whenever they have the chance. I wouldn't strongly recommend this to younger kids, however. There's more humor in the words than in what they see, so they probably wouldn't get it.My favorite episodes are "The Paper" and "Just One Bite". In "The Paper", Spongebob finds a piece of paper that Squidward dropped, and askes Squidward if he wants it back. After Squidward says "just take that stupid paper, it's yours forever and ever," many times, Spongebob begins to play with "Mr. Paper" for hours, creating shrieks of laughter that Squidward hears from his house. Squidward begins to get really annoyed and then he becomes desprate; HE wants to play with the paper.In the end, Squidward trades everything he owns(even all his clothes) for that one scrap of paper, then finds out he can't have as much fun with it as Spongbob had. Oops!And in "Just One Bite" Squidward says to Spongebob that he's never had a Kabby Patty. Spongebob keeps pestering him to try one, so, just to get rid of him, Squidward trys a tiny bit of it. He says he hates it, but really he loves it, so he goes out to the Patty Vault one night in the Krusty Crab and eats tons of Krabby Patties and ends up exploding. The end shows his head in an ambulance with a docter next to him saying, "Yeah, I remember my first Krabby Patty,".This DVD is so funny and it's great for the whole family! You've got to get it!

Studio: Paramount Home Video



DVD title: MTV - Viva La Bam - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
MTV - Viva La Bam - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Cool Show, But I Want Something Else....


Enjoyed the show immensely, but there's something else I'd like. If Bam, any of his crew or the Amazon reviewer known as "Rock Quarry" are reading this, then check this idea out: cellular phone ring tones of April screaming (call'em "scream tones"). Am I alone when I say that she has a really sexy scream?

Studio: Paramount Home Video



DVD title: Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers - Supertroopers
Productgroup: DVD
Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers - Supertroopers - movie DVD cover picture
At last real science fiction animation


Reasons to buy this DVD: The animation is awesome, this was one of the first animation shows who use CGI with the classic style, but at the same time(second reason) with great scripts and good music. The background story is simple: years after the first contact with an alien species, in the new frontier is created some kind of police organization to keep the order in the galaxy, four enhanced beings everyone with an special power. Zachary Fox the leader, a lonely man (with a mechanical left arm)who tries to make his work at the same looking for a way to recover the cristal with the mind of his wife from the claws of the evil Queen of Crown who is always trying to break the balance of the species to conquer the Earth and other worlds. Shane Goose: the classic good looking ranger with the ability to change his body to survive in extreme situations, Nikko a psychic girl and Walther "Doc" Halford a computer genius. As I say the art is incredible every place is something unique, the music is wonderfull. I hope the day when hollywood put the eyes in this great show to make a movie with real actors, there's a whole universe rich in good stories and characters, elements of true and pure science fiction.

Studio: Koch Vision



DVD title: Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust
Productgroup: DVD
Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust - movie DVD cover picture
This was the best anima I have ever seen!!


You like animation? if so you will love this one. this is a great movie

Studio: Urban Vision Enterta



DVD title: Dawn of the Dead (Ultimate Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Dawn of the Dead (Ultimate Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The greatest!


You will not be disappointed by this film! George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" was released in 1979. Will please any gore hound and\or a plot seeker. I saw this film three years ago, and it's still my favorite! Nothing compares to Dawn!

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain



DVD title: Inu-Yasha - Wind & Void (Vol. 14)
Productgroup: DVD
Inu-Yasha - Wind & Void (Vol. 14) - movie DVD cover picture
Wind & Void


This is a great anime series with something for nearly everyone. Action, horror, romance, comedy. The characters are almost without exception captivating, even minor ones. Hence, another five-star rating!
These three episodes pit the heroes (Inu Yasha, Kagome, and friends) against two new villians, created by the master arch-villian Naraku. The results are very exciting, with some very dramatic, nearly cinematic moments, like when Inu-Yasha attempts to use the power of his sword to defeat the Wind Sorceress Kagura, only to see the "wind scar" reversed and hurtled back at him.
As the Amazon review indicates, the DVD is not without its flaws. If you only get to see these episodes when they air on television, the recaps and flashbacks to previous episodes are helpful and satisfying (they also allow the animators to produce a new episode with less new material). But on a DVD disk - where you can watch three episodes, without commercials, in about an hour, the "padding" this entails becomes much more obvious, and even annoying. It is particularly true on this DVD. Near the end of the second episode (and seemingly out of nowhere) highlights of the Inu Yasha/Kikyo/Naraku feud, shown many times previously, are shown yet again (narrated by Kagome). It disrupts the entire otherwise excellent episode. Then the *exact* same material is repeated AGAIN at the beginning of the third episode, with a different background music.
It should also be mentioned that, in addition to demons (and half-demons), soul-sucking mirrors, and the like, there is also feudal-era misery and exploitation (four men pursue a runaway female servant, who has refused sexual advances by the lord's son, with the intent of beating her and bringing her back), and Moroku's on-going lechery (humorous in the context of his curse and the fact he is from the feudal era, when the age of consent was much lower than today, but certainly off-putting to many).

Studio: VIZ VIDEO



DVD title: Vision Quest
Productgroup: DVD
Vision Quest - movie DVD cover picture
Great Wrestling Movie


In two hours, this movie shows the true dangers in high school wrestling. It is a great movie, Modine is excellent. Buy it and watch it.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Harold Becker
Actors:
Matthew Modine
Linda Fiorentino




DVD title: Clueless
Productgroup: DVD
Clueless - movie DVD cover picture
Totally Clueless


In Amy Heckerling's adaption of Emma, written by Jane Austen, we get a firsthand look at the lives of a group of affluent youths living in southern California in the 90's. The film, Clueless, is centralized around Cher, who in all reality is totally clueless about the world around her. She is so wrapped up in material things and appearances that she fails to see what is going on right under her nose. The movie begins with Cher showing the audience around her so called "stomping grounds" while introducing us to her other affluent friends. In the first scene we get to meet Dionne (played by Stacey Dash) who is Cher's best friend. The relationship between the two best friends was extremely believable because everyone has a friend to talk to when you are happy, sad, or upset. In the next few scenes we meet the rest of the crew that the movie virtually revolves around which includes Murray (Dionne's fun loving boyfriend), Josh (Cher's ex-step brother), Elton (one of the most popular guys in school), Amber (Cruella Deville like) and are later introduced to Tai(new kid from the east coast), and Christian(the mysterious new kid). If you like the movie Emma, or even thought it was a little dry, you will really like Clueless. It is the same matchmaking story with a 90's twist. Instead of Gwyenth Paltrow dressed in clothes adapted from the 1800's you get to watch the same basic story with Alicia Silverstone set in the here and now. No stuffy old language and English accents to sift through. In CluelessCher goes through the same situations as the average teenager, for the most part, and that is what makes it really relatable. She ends up getting bad grades on her report card and her, along with best friend sidekick Dionne, hatch a plan to raise not only their grades, but the grades of the entire student body. After her success (and after being told by Josh she is selfish) Cher decides that she needs to find a new project... help Tai become a total betty. The rest of the movie takes the audience through the ins and outs of high school and will have the whole audience remembering their high school days in no time. Overall I thought the movie was really well done. Even though some say that Cher came off as being ditzy, I thought that she was rather smart and often clever. This can be seen in the scene where Josh is giving Cher and his girlfriend a ride home. The whole ride his girlfriend is constantly talking, during the incessant ramble she says that Hamlet says a quote that he really doesn't and Cher corrects her on it. Sure, she learned the quote from the movie with Mel Gibson, but that doesn't take away from the fact that she knew that. It doesn't matter where you get your information through, as long as you get it and retain it. Clueless is a good movie, so check it out... but a helpful hint to all- skip the television series.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Amy Heckerling
Actors:
Alicia Silverstone
Stacey Dash
Brittany Murphy
Paul Rudd




DVD title: The King's Whore
Productgroup: DVD
The King's Whore - movie DVD cover picture
Shocking yet Engrossing


As a Timothy Dalton fan, I had to watch "The King's Whore" just to see a new side of my favourite actor, and I was completely drawn into it. There is a lot of fighting and it is rather risque at times, but the plot is memorable. I loved the costumes and the scenery of Europe--this is a period piece about a king who falls desperately in love with a young married woman. She feels trapped because every single person she knows and trusts blames her for not agreeing to serve her king--by becoming his mistress. It takes her own husband disbelieving that she has not yet gone to the king for her to succumb to the pressure, yet she never enjoys his presence at all. A war erupts with France and she becomes ill, and because of the king's love for her, he cannot concentrate on fighting a war and instead heals her himself. I won't give away the ending, but it's a superb film with excellent acting. I definitely recommend it, but caution everyone that it deserves it's 'R' rating.

Studio: Platinum Disc Corp
Director: Axel Corti



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