Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: War and Remembrance - The Final Chapter
Productgroup: DVD
War and Remembrance - The Final Chapter - movie DVD cover picture
A small correction to the previous review

Like the other two reviewers of this mini-series, I found this to be an excellent, moving, gripping history of World War II. This series, as well as the previous series, Winds of War, should almost be required viewing for today's generation of high schoolers. I would also like to point out a mistake in the otherwise fine review by the fan from Brockport, NY.: Ali McGraw is not dead! The actress who played the first Natalie is very much alive. I will refrain from making a joke about Ali McGraw's character dying in "Love Story," because how can anyone mention "Love Story" and "War and Remembrance" in the same sentence?

Studio: Mpi Media Group
Robert Mitchum

DVD title: On Golden Pond
Productgroup: DVD
On Golden Pond - movie DVD cover picture
An All-Star Cast for a 5 Star Movie

On Golden Pond is a movie that speaks about many things: the anger an older person feels at growing old and becoming forgetful, the feelings that can be carried around from childhood, the love between a husband and wife, the connections to be made through age and youth, and reconciliation.
Henry Fonda stars as the aging Norman Thayer. With age, Norman has begun to experience forgetfulness and heart angina. Competent of the fact that he's becoming slower and more forgetful, Norman is can come across as an irritable, jaded, and sarcastic man. This is his defense mechanism to overcome the frustration he's feeling. Norman has a loving wife Ethyl who is patient with him but also isn't afraid to rebuke him when he's out of line.
At the request of their daughter, Norman and Ethyl allow a young boy to stay with them (the boy of their daughter's new boyfriend) for the summer. This turns into an experience where an old and young man connect and develop a friendship that helps Norman. Through their experiences together, Norman gets to see how his actions have begun to affect people and you start to see a different person emerge.
The story is dramatic, powerful, touching, and beautiful. Movies like this are indeed rare and should be treasured. It's great that this is finally available on DVD. The clarity is excellent as well as the sound. Buy this movie, and remind yourself of some of the wonderful things in life---and don't hold back the's pointless.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Mark Rydell
Katharine Hepburn
Henry Fonda
Jane Fonda

DVD title: The Ghost Breakers
Productgroup: DVD
The Ghost Breakers - movie DVD cover picture
Hilarious Hope Haunted House Hijinx!

"The Ghost Breakers" is an excellent comedy
Paulette Goddard is lovely, the young Anthony Quinn is menacing, the mystery is valid, and the sets are wonderfully spooky. Hope is even somewhat heroic in this one, a bit of a change of pace from his usual, comedically cowardly characters. A dash of film noir even shows up early on as a power outage hits New York during a storm (dig that lightning!).
Crime reporter Hope flees to Cuba with Goddard after he mistakenly believes he shot a gangster's henchman in Goddard's hotel. Goddard has inherited a spooky old castle just offshore the island nation, and has received death threats from a mysterious villain. Taking up her cause, the suspicious Hope (and his unwilling servant), sets out to solve the mystery and bust the ghosts. Along the way, the rest of us are busting out laughing.
The thin-skinned among us may not care for some of the pre-PC dialog, but those with intellect enough to put things in context will not be upset by some of the more dated wisecracks.
Also included on the disc is "Hollywood Victory Caravan", a war bond short that is kind of a condensed version of "Star-Spangled Rhythm", another Hope film available in this DVD series. A young lady needs to get to Washington to see her wounded brother just back from the battlefield, but the only train that can take her is tied up with a War Bond rally. Naturally she has to sneak into the Paramount lot and ask Bing Crosby for help. As she wanders about the lot trying to avoid a security guard (William Demerest), she runs into such notables as Barbara Stanwyck and Alan Ladd. When she meets with the sympathetic Bing (after enjoying a Gershwin number performed by Carmen Cavallero and His Orchestra), Crosby and Hope get things worked out for sister and brother. The short also features a patriotic speech by Humphrey Bogart, and a wrap-up number by Crosby.
A second inclusion is a condensed and edited-down edition of "Command Performance" with Judy Garland and Lana Turner doing walk-ons (Lana gets in a good zinger on Hope that leads to some ad-libbing by the comedian).
To round things out the disc includes a short documentary on Hope's USO work ("Entertaining the Troops"), production notes, bios, and the film's trailer.
An excellent all-around package for Hope fans!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: George Marshall
Bob Hope
Paulette Goddard

DVD title: Hensley & Wetton: More Than Conquerors
Productgroup: DVD
Hensley & Wetton: More Than Conquerors - movie DVD cover picture
A must-have for any Heep, Hensley, or Wetton fan.

While the production is not nearly as slick as the other recent Uriah Heep DVD releases, this is still worth having because it is so much fun to see Ken Hensley and John Wetton performing together. Recorded at the London Forum December 2001 during the same weekend as the recording of the Uriah Heep "Magician's Birthday Party" DVD (another must-have if you can find it). As I said, other Heep DVDs have much better production, but this DVD is no slouch either. It looks and sounds quite decent, if a bit amateurishly filmed. But hey, where else are gonna see these two guys (and their band) like this?
Track listing: Overture, A Minor Life, Easy Livin', One Way Or Another, Return to Fantasy, July Morning, Battle Lines, Confession, Emma, Hold Me Now, After All, The Wizard, I Don't Wanna Wait, Out Of My Control, Tell Me, Lady In Black, Heat Of The Moment.

Studio: Wave Imports
John Wetton

DVD title: The Matrix Reloaded (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix Reloaded (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Matrix Magnificent

The 2nd chapter of the greatest meta-physical puzzle ever put on film.
"See ya tomorrow." The first words that hint at the finale awaiting us.
"Oh my God." Enter Trinity flying on a cycle to her fate.
Beautifully filmed without flinching from its purpose. The Matrix scenes remain green tinged contrasted against the warm hues of Zion. Cool consumerism against fellowship. The quest of Neo and now Smith. Their strength grows but their balance remains.
Simply the best effects on celluiod. Where LOTR the ring fails with its flat predictable imagery, Matrix challenges all directions of space. LOTR and the Two Towers all have deep endless backgrounds over and over like the old movie matte paintings. Flat boring predictable duds fill the LOTR imagery. That eyeball is so flat it looks like a flag caught in a breeze. It is without menace. Matrix flies up down and on an angle. Motorcycle jumps, flying with air drag, distance, black on black. It is so lush you could easily be seduced by the Matrix. We are humbled by the Brothers W.'s greatness. Thank you.....

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Punch-Drunk Love (Two Disc Special Edition) (Superbit Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Another Masterpiece

Punch Drunk Love is like every other piece of art worth it's salt..... Most people will hate it. This is the least accessible of PTAnderson's films, but perhaps his best. It is a great ombination of his unique style of speed and intensity in a film, whil also bringing a new emphasis on his characters and less on events. It is tighter and more succinct that Magnolia, and sufficiently darker than Boogie Nights. And PTAnderson again puts brilliant actors (Hoffman and Guzman)in his supporting roles. The only bad thing abut his movies is that it takes him two years to put another one out. Enjoy!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Adam Sandler
Emily Watson
Philip Seymour Hoffman

DVD title: Dogma
Productgroup: DVD
Dogma - movie DVD cover picture
Why Smith is A Great Writer of our Generation...

...and why most of it sits on a cutting room floor.
On the Special Edition DVD, there is a scene where Bethany, who works in a Planned Parenthood clinic, discusses her past with a young woman who is prepared for her third abortion. This is a scene where the most skilled and political writer tempts violent retribution from the masses on either side of the abortion issue. Bethany, played by Linda Fiorentino, describes in visual imagery most suited for a novel, her own back story or reason for being in her particular line of work. In this 3 minute speech, you see the power of Kevin Smith as a writer. It may not be best suited for the big screen where we now expect million dollar variations of explosions and intercourse every Memorial Day weekend, but it is a bit of Hollywood driftwood preserved for us backwater types who don't get to screen View Askew movies at parties or film festivals before they are cut to commercial specs.
Had this scene taken the Dragnet "I've been down that road and you just don't know" approach it wouldn't have worked. Had it been forced and ditatched, it would have been artificial...but this one scene, a minor part of the 2-disk set, proves that Smith is destined for greatness, perhaps he is the one of our generation who can turn his skill to the printed page to create that mythological Great American Novel that has baffled and eluded the Gen X ilk of the early 90s.
As Smith and Co. restate in their introduction of each deleted scene, most of what was cut from the philosophical/religious treatise "Dogma" was because it added too much info to already established scenes. This is true and reminds me that Smith could be a great novelist should the urge strike. He has a gift for narrative and could write a vivid first-person novel without fear of being pretentious.
If you hated Dogma, or have a religious bias against it, these words won't mean anything anyway. But "Dogma" is more about faith and love of God than most so-called "christian" movies out there. Its about Ideas and faith and renewing our relationship with God than about obeying and swearing our oath to the ancient, faceless patriarch. This is the only DVD version of the film you should own and only because it does justice both to the film and to the reasons behinds its production.
Nice work, Kevin and Scott. Keep it coming. You're both ready for much more.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Kevin Smith
Matt Damon
Ben Affleck
Linda Fiorentino

DVD title: The Dish
Productgroup: DVD
The Dish - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic! Was rolling on the floor laughing!

This movie is hilariously funny... BUT A WORD OF WARNING: we Australians are stange creatures. This is NOT American humour (EG: Seinfeld or the like...). Australian humour is much more clever and subtle... some of the other reviewers were puzzled because they loved it but didn't think it was funny... It is very funny i promise you... You just might not get it... (but it is still very much worth a try!!)

Invite an Australian friend over to watch it with you... He/she will love it!!!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Rob Sitch
Sam Neill

DVD title: Muppet Treasure Island
Productgroup: DVD
Muppet Treasure Island - movie DVD cover picture
Step aside Charlton Heston...

This is the greatest story ever told.
What is not to love about this movie. The tunes are great. The writing is truely amazing.
My kid's love this movie. My wife loves it, too.
We watch this a lot, and hear some subtle (and not so subtle) new joke in it everytime.
If you are looking for some cerebral art house film, like 'Mindwalk', you really botched your search. Miss Piggy is no Liv Ullmann.
If you want to laugh, just because, then this is a great movie for you.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Brian Henson
Tim Curry

DVD title: Mahoromatic - Automatic Maiden - Something More Beautiful - All Good Things (Vol. 3)
Productgroup: DVD
Mahoromatic - Automatic Maiden - Something More Beautiful - All Good Things (Vol. 3) - movie DVD cover picture
Time to clear up the ending

I really enjoyed this whole series, regardless of all the sexual referances and lot of nudity. I read alot of reviews that said the ending is incrediblely sad. it is sad but not as bad as a lot of the endings I seen. Don't read on if you haven't seen the ending. In the end that girly looking cyborg from managment is sent to kill Suguru. Mahoro and Suguru run away to try and escape while Slash and Suguru's grandfather kill all of Managment. The girly cyborg find Mahoro and Suguru but Mahoro self destructs to kill him and save Suguru. With Managment dead peace is made between Humans and Saint but Suguru is thrown into a depression because everyone he has ever loved has died. He moves to a neutral colony and becomes a half human half machine Managment cyborg hunter who greatly resembles Gene Starwind from Outlaw Star. Saint reserects Mahoro to finally make Suguru happy and he moves back to earth to see all his friends again. This is a somewhat good ending but i would love another season where everyone is an adult.

Studio: Geneon Entertainment
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga

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