Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Broadway Melody of 1940
Productgroup: DVD
Broadway Melody of 1940 - movie DVD cover picture
Astaire and Powell together!


I've always loved this movie. True it's one of the MGM Broadway Melody series of films but, in my humble opinion, it is the best one and that's because of one ingredient that was missing from the others - Mr. Astaire.

He and Powell work magic as they dance together. Needless to say, the Begin the Beguine number is the absolute ultimate, with its mirror and lights and perfect syncopation. If you're a tap dancer, you have to see it. If you're not, you'll love it anyway!

But another gem that's overlooked far too often is the Jukebox Dance - Fred and Ellie at the sidewalk cafe. Now that had to have been a hard number to do - take it from a tap dancer. And yet it came off beautifully and looked like they had a lot of fun doing it.

Beyond the dancing, the film has the wonderful Frank Morgan ("...the great and powerful Wizard of Oz..." and the engaging George Murphy in it. With a supporting cast like this, it doesn't miss. It's a silly and fun MGM movie musical - pure entertainment, which is what we go to the movies for, isn't it?

Check this one out! You'll enjoy yourself - maybe even as much as I did!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Norman Taurog
Actors:
Fred Astaire
Eleanor Powell




DVD title: Grateful Dead - The Closing of Winterland
Productgroup: DVD
Grateful Dead - The Closing of Winterland - movie DVD cover picture
applaud GDP for creating with what they had to work with


As a tape trader, I can tell you this show is in the top ten most requested of all in the Dead's performance catalog. After reading some of the critiques posted, I need to defend Grateful Dead Productions for doing with what they had to work with. I feel the package they put together is WORTH YOUR MONEY.
Why? For starters: this is video of one of the top ten Dead shows of all time. The music speaks for itself. The video is a clean feed of the KQED broadcast from that night. David Lemieux talked about the work that went into fixing up the original tapes on an interview you'll find here. (hint: working with 1978 video technology isn't easy)Two, there's a very good documentary piece on the history of Winterland itself, one of rock n roll's epic venues (Frampton Comes Alive was recorded here, also the site of the Sex Pistols Last Concert)Third: never before seen footage of The Blues Brothers (the opening act)Fourth: interviews with Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, and Steve Parish (Garcia's roadie) on their reflections of that night.Fifth: any GD Tape trader will tell you that there's no circulating copy of "And We Bid You Goodnight" from this show, until now. If you need any more reasons, you don't appreciate rock history, or you're just too picky a DeadHead.

Studio: Monterey Home Video



DVD title: The Gristle
Productgroup: DVD
The Gristle - movie DVD cover picture
Offbeat Sense of Humor Required


I loved this movie from the start, but I think it takes a rather odd sense of humor to truly appreciate it.

The characters are all walking cliches, say the most outrageous things, and end up in the oddest circumstances. But, suspend a bit of reality and just enjoy.

The characters are hillariously drawn, the dialog full of funny one-liners, and the hotel slash bar scene where they all hook up must be seen to be appreciated.

I rented it and enjoyed it so much, bought it the next day.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: David Portlock



DVD title: The Haunting
Productgroup: DVD
The Haunting - movie DVD cover picture
Oh my god!!!


This is one of those films that can scare the poo out of me. No blood, no gore. Just a total mind game. I slept with the lights on for a week after this flick. It doesn't need the usuall things that follow a horror picture now, it messes with you the way it should. Way better than the remake, even without Zeta-Jones eye candy. Get this DVD and be prepared to have some bad dreams.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Robert Wise
Actors:
Julie Harris
Claire Bloom
Richard Johnson




DVD title: 24 - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
24 - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
THE BEST SEASON OF 24 THERE EVER IS!


I just started getting into 24 not too long ago since it comes paired with the other show I watched on Mondays in the 2004-05 season FEAR FACTOR. Anyway Season 1 of 24 is by far the best season simply because of Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland does his best to desperately try to save the US from a terrorist attack and also saves his daugther Kim and later tries to save his wife Teri but dies at the end of the season. I personally like the fact that the episodes go by the 24 hour period with each episode being 12-1 AM, 1-2 AM, 2-3 AM etc. 24 is by far the best show on TV and also by far the next best thing to the CSI franchise!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Actors:
Kiefer Sutherland



DVD title: Orca - The Killer Whale
Productgroup: DVD
Orca - The Killer Whale - movie DVD cover picture
This is actually quite a good movie.


Well I just saw Orca; The Killer Whale again recently and it's amazing how well this movie has aged. The movie has perhaps been over looked by other late 70's movies such as Jaws, and due to the fact that it was made by the same producer and production company that made the 1976 awful remake of King Kong, by contrast, Orca is a rather exceptional movie in that they tried to keep it more honest in what science knew about whales at that time. By 1977, it was a growing fact that whales and dolphins did have a complex communication system of clicks, sounds, and songs that many scientists (among them Dr. Roger Payne) were recording and cataloging them. The lecture done by the Charlote Ramping character at the start of the movie was the most up to date science data on whales that was avalable then and it still is fairly accurate even after 30 years of even more research done on the behavoir of whales. So the idea that a whale has an intelligence and has feelings that are similar to a human is not far removed. In terms of the effects footage, they used a trained Orca for almost all of the close up action sequences that they could, a few mock ups of a whale's head and tail were used here and there, but just about all the footage you see of the Orca in this movie is an actual trained Orca. I wish Paramount had put some bonus features on this disk and an audio commentery, like wise the film print is grainy and you may want to wait until Paramount gets wise and re-releases this movie on DVD in a better disk.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Michael Anderson
Actors:
Richard Harris
Charlotte Rampling




DVD title: The Straight Story
Productgroup: DVD
The Straight Story - movie DVD cover picture
STRAIGHT TO THE HEART.


ITS A WONDER MOVIES LIKE THIS EVEN GET MADE. THEY HAVE NO EXPLOSIONS, NO PERVERSE SEXUAL CONTENT, NO SURREAL VIOLENCE AND NO PROFANITY. A FILM YOU CAN WATCH WITH YOUR KIDS, YOUR PARENTS AND YOUR MINISTER.THE ACTOR RICHARD FARNSWORTH COMITTED SUICIDE SHORTLY AFTER WORKING ON THIS FILM. HE WAS TERMINALLY ILL AND TIRED OF THE PAIN. THATS SAD, BUT THE MAN WHO STARTED OUT AS A COWBOY HORSE WRANGLER ON OLD WESTERNS LEFT US WITH SOME MAGIC AND THIS, HIS FINAL FILM IS A SMALL PART OF IT.PROBABLY ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THIS IS THE BEST PRODUCT TO COME OUT OF HOLLYWIERD IN THIRTY YEARS.FARNSWORTH PLAYS ALVIN STRAIGHT, A MEDICALLY CHALLENGED SENIOR WHO WANTS TO GO VISIT HIS AILING BROTHER IN A BORDERING STATE AND MAKE AMMENDS. HIS ONLY MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, A RIDING LAWNMOWER. HE SETS OFF ON HIS PILGRAMAGE WITH WORRYING DAUGHTER BEGGING HIM NOT TO GO.SISSY SPACEK PORTRAYS THE DIFFERENT DAUGHTER. SPACEK IS THE BEST ACTRESS ALIVE AND TURNS IN YET ANOTHER ASTOUNDING PERFORMANCE, MUST HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT SHE HAILS FROM TEXAS.STRAIGHT ENCOUNTERS VARIOUS TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS ON HIS JOURNEY AND INTERSECTS WITH SOME INTERESTING PEOPLE.HIS HOME SPUN ADVICE HELPS A YOUNG RUNAWAY FIND HER WAY AND STRAIGHT HIMSELF IS ASSISTED BY GOOD SAMARITANS.THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT A SIMPLE TRIP FOR THE GOOD OF TWO BROTHERS THAT INSPIRES A HOST OF OTHERS TO HELP EACH OTHER AND THEMSELVES IN THE BARGAIN.IT IS A WELL DIRECTED, WELL ACTED MORALISTIC STORY ABOUT REAL FOLKS IN THE REAL WORLD.
IT WILL GIVE YOU THAT WARM COZY FEELING THAT MOVIES USED TOO, BACK BEFORE HOLLYWOOD WENT TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET.

Studio: Disney Studios
Director: David Lynch
Actors:
Sissy Spacek
Richard Farnsworth




DVD title: Meet Joe Black
Productgroup: DVD
Meet Joe Black - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best movies I've ever seen.


I went to see this movie four times when it was out in the theaters and was shocked to hear it got bad reviews and low viewership. Well, each of the four times the show was pretty crowded, do how do you explain low attendance? Total captivation and the fastest 3 hours of my life each time I saw it. Tremendous acting by all!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Martin Brest
Actors:
Brad Pitt
Anthony Hopkins




DVD title: What a Girl Wants (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
What a Girl Wants (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful Movie!


Okay, I'm a Colin Firth fan. I went to this movie simply because he was in it and I didn't expect to enjoy it all that much. From the trailers I thought it would be a stupid adolescent flick. What it turned out to be was a great "old fashion" movie. Wonderful/good acting, a lot of romance, and yes... predictable. If you like old romantic movies I highly suggest it! I had many moments with teary eyes, and even a full tear running down my cheek by the end.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Dennie Gordon
Actors:
Amanda Bynes
Colin Firth
Kelly Preston




DVD title: The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection - movie DVD cover picture
A spooky good time!


A great collection for a teenage sleepover! Guaranteed to make you scream!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Actors:
Robert Englund



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