Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Dora the Explorer - It's a Party
Productgroup: DVD
Dora the Explorer - It's a Party - movie DVD cover picture
Another great Dora video!

My son loves this! We are accumulating the Dora DVDs one at a time because I get tired of hearing the same ones over and over... But I must say that Dora is just about the only one that doesn't get on my nerves. I even catch myself WATCHING her from time to time.

This has some movement for the kids to participate in, some learning, and fun songs. An all around great DVD for the little ones.

Studio: Paramount Home Video

DVD title: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 3
Productgroup: DVD
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 3 - movie DVD cover picture
Another Indispensible Collection from Rhino and Best Brains

Rhino seems to be in somewhat of a hurry these days, releasing the latest MST3000 collection a scant two months after the release of the last collection. Usually they release new episodes at a leisurely pace, but who's complaining? Certainly not myself; I can't get enough of MST on DVD.
This collection contains nothing that was not previously released on video. As there still remain a few video "stragglers" out there, such as "The Gunslinger" and Shorts, Vol. 3," I would expect these to be part of the next collection.
Here is what you'll find in this volume:* Episode 202- THE SIDEHACKERS (a really lousy motorcycle actioner, made watchable only through the presence of Joel and company.) * Episode 320- THE UNEARTHLY (with shorts: Posture Pals and Appreciating Our Parents). John Carradine is an evil scientist. Tor Johnson is his helper. For all Tor Johnson fanatics everywhere. This contains Tor's memorable line, "Time for to go to bed." ? Episode 518- THE ATOMIC BRAIN (with short: What About Juvenile Delinquency?) Wonderful nonsense made even better by the MST crew. Imagine a mad scientist (no, not Dr. Forrester) placing the brain of a woman inside a cat. Has to bee sen to be fully appreciated.?MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER: THE SHORTS, VOLUME 2 (featuring Catching Trouble, What To Do On A Date, Last Clear Chance, A Day At The Fair, Keeping Clean & Neat and The Days of Our Years). I always loved the shorts, as there was far more funny wise cracking - being that the shorts only lasted 10-15 minutes, not enough time to wear the gang down. These are also included in their own volume as a subtle remainder that you won't see the accompanying feature film in a future collection, mostly due to rights disputes. Check your handy MST Episode Guide to see what you'll be missing.
Like the other collections, a bit pricey, but well worth it to avoid the agony when this goes out of print. I learneed my lesson when I didn't purchase "The Amazing Colossal Man." I could have gotten it when it contained "Mr. B Natural." Nope, I had to be cheap and wait around. I'll never make that mistake again, especially with something as valuable as this series.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Jane Austen's Emma
Productgroup: DVD
Jane Austen's Emma - movie DVD cover picture
Clueless in Old England

This movie (like the modern version called "Clueless" several years ago)was made from the book by the same title and remains pretty true to the book. It is extremely well done and has an excellant cast. There are many times in the book when Emma sits and daydreams about her schemes. These are handled wonderfully in the movie and make her actions much easier to understand. The story concerns a young woman of good (and wealthy) family in England in the early 1800's who spends her time making matches among her friends and manages to mess everything up thoroughly before she's finished. It all works out in the end and the telling of it is a delight. Her father, a hypochondriac in the extreme, is also a delight. The scene where he tells an elderly lady at great length that an egg will not harm her, yet won't give it to her to eat, is especially well done. Action lovers will not like this, but if you are a Jane Austin fan or like movies about old English society, you'll love it.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: Diarmuid Lawrence

DVD title: Zoids - The Battle Begins (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Zoids - The Battle Begins (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
zoids rule the galaxy!

It absoulutley rules.if you had it and watched it youll become a quick fan.cause you cant resist zoids.see yasusip.s:oh, and if its to much to ask for, for those zoid publishers ild like a character like me in there.this is a description of me:my names:susi mayerage:13colour hair:dark browncolour eyes:dark brownattitude:careing,loving,kind hearted.i where glasses too.nice purple/pink outline, oval shape.colour skin:olive(medium brown like moonbay)i wear a 'flikflak watch'.made in swissland.thanksp.s.s:and i know this is too much to ask for but PLEASE OH PLEASE make a new character like the description above.and if you do make my wish come true please send me a messege.and mabe ill be able to play that role of the character. :>my post address is:po box 305 Australia, QLD, gold coast, labrador,4215.or just give me a ring at:0411517288.thank younice speaking with youp.s.s.s:my friends are getting bored with the old and not so old characters.(i have 28 friends)sincerely yourssusi mayer

Studio: Ventura Distribution

DVD title: Rolie Polie Olie - The Great Defender of Fun
Productgroup: DVD
Rolie Polie Olie - The Great Defender of Fun - movie DVD cover picture
Luv it!

I disagree with the person who found the frames choppy. I found the animation somewhat smoother and the 3D rendering more developed than the TV version.We love Olie at our house. The characters are vivid and unique, the old-fashioned/futuristic style is great, and the music is terrific. Our daughter loves this and wants to see it every day. She's 2 and a half and hasn't been scared by "Gloomy" as she calls him. We think this film is excellent.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Ron Pitts (II)

DVD title: Black Hawk Down
Productgroup: DVD
Black Hawk Down - movie DVD cover picture
Accurately portrays what happened and follows the book

After getting the movie I bought the book on which it is based. This movie accurately depicts the American side, as written in the book. While some reviewers have complained about the chest beating bravado of the soldiers, their attitudes, right or wrong, is the way they were trained. This movie is very intense, and for all that it is even less intense than the book. I am astounded by the political situation, lack of our governments material support of Somalia (ie. the removing of the 2000 marines, not supplying tanks), the fog of war and what I consider command failures. These include the p-3 orion orbiting overhead and watching the convoy, but not being able to talk to convoy direct, directions had to go through 2-3 levels of command. What these men went through, why they went through it and what we thought we would achieve is dramatic. The innocent Somalians being caught in the gunfight, women and children shooting at the Americans, seeing your friends killed, all in a chaotic situation. Whether one questions are motives or right to be in Somalia, you can't help but admire the average soldier who followed orders. For a realistic depiction of what went on that day in Mogadishu for American soldiers fighting for their lives, watch this movie.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Ridley Scott
Josh Hartnett

DVD title: Event Horizon
Productgroup: DVD
Event Horizon - movie DVD cover picture

Ok I didn't give Event Horizon 5 stars because it was some great epic all time favorite like the Godfather, but in terms of the sci-fi/horror genre, this movie is tops. I am very hard to scare, and I have seen pretty much every horror film you can think of, but none of them really ever scare me. But Event Horizon really gets to me. For some reason it gets inside your head and totally just freaks you out. Not only did the movie have an engaging plot, but the acting was pretty well done, and the suspense was killer. The Scene in the vents where Dr. Weir is trying to fix the ship and his wife appears totally scared the hell out of me. Also, the message in latin. God, what a good movie.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Laurence Fishburne
Sam Neill

DVD title: Metallica: Cunning Stunts
Productgroup: DVD
Metallica: Cunning Stunts - movie DVD cover picture
Exceptional DVD.

Metallica, regardless what people may say, is the best band EVER. I can listen to every song they have put out. This DVD just shows how strong a presence they still hold on stage, where they make their home. James, Jason, Lars, and Kirk play harder than ever with each performance. Two hours into this concert these guys are still going stronger than ever.
This DVD just shows that Metallica is the best live band there is, and on Enter Sandman it shows Metallicas popularity as the crowd sings alnog word for word.
This will simply blow your mind away! The visuals are pure DVD quality and the 5.1 sound is mind boggling!

Studio: Wea/Elektra Entertainment
James Hetfield
Kirk Hammett
Jason Newsted
Lars Ulrich

DVD title: Death To Smoochy (Fullscreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Death To Smoochy (Fullscreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
underappreciated dark comedy with fantastic cast

Directed by Danny DeVito (War of the Roses) and written by Adam Resnick (Larry Sanders Show, Get a Life), Death of Smoochy tells the story of a homicidally bitter kids' show has-been, Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams), and the object of his loathing, Smoochy, a fuschia rhino played by genuinely nice Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton). Based on the premise that kid shows are run by greedy corporate marketers who don't care much about kids at all, this dark satire manages to throw barbs at the media, entertainers, executives, the mob, charities -- even ice shows!
The supporting cast is stellar -- Catherine Keener, Harvey Fierstein, Jon Stewart, Danny DeVito, Vincent Schiavelli, Pam Farris and more. Everyone does a GREAT job. I watched this despite horrid reviews because I really enjoy the work of so many of the participants, and upon viewing it I have to say that I think the critics were absolutely wrong. I kept waiting for the plot to fall apart, for the pacing to slow, some fatal flaw -- but it stayed funny throughout the film. Not every comedy makes me laugh out loud, but this did several times, and I wanted to watch it again the next day. The climactic ice show is surreal good time -- watch for the Chinese characters spelling out "dead rhino" on the ice! It's a shame that this gem didn't get the audiences it deserved. If you like satire, dark comedy, DeVito's previous work, an unrestrained Robin Williams, OR if you are suspicious of Barney and corporate media, you will probably get a real kick out of this film. Caveat: Inappropriate viewing for kids due to violence and foul language.
DVD extras are excellent and exemplary. There is a very good commentary track with DeVito and DP Michos; a largely unnarrated 7-1/2 minute behind-the-scenes documentary; 10 additional scenes; bloopers; 3 trailers; lots of stills, including Smoochy's post-production vacation; crew & cast info; and an interactive ice show, in which you can watch the film's ice show scene using 4 camera angles.
As with most satire, you may judge it by how offended the skewer-ees were, and these were plenty upset! Even though the critical buzz is bad, you should take a chance on this film. Essential for fans of comedic satire. Highest recommendation.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Danny DeVito
Robin Williams
Edward Norton

DVD title: Dream Theater - Live at Budokan
Productgroup: DVD
Dream Theater - Live at Budokan - movie DVD cover picture
Truly Incredible!

This DVD tops them all for a live concert release. I am a huge DT fan and this DVD truly blew me away. It is light years ahead of their previous DVD releases. The technical ability of the band just never stops getting more and more ridiculous. All five of the band members display on this concert that they are at the top of their respective musical classes. The song selection is excellent. The video quality is superb along with the sound quality. I have noticed that in the last year or two, James Labrie's voice has gotten much better. He seemed to get tired on the last few concert dvds and started missing a lot of high notes about half-way through the concert. At Budokan, his voice is actually better live than on some of the studio recordings! Very passionate singing, great range, and knows when not to overdo it. If you are even a quasi Dream Theater fan, you MUST get this DVD. I promise, it will blow you away. DT is at its zenith.

Studio: Wea Corp

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