Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Productgroup: DVD
A Midsummer Night's Dream - movie DVD cover picture
Balanchine's, A Midsummer Night's Dream


A Midsummer Night's Dream, with music by Felix Mendelssohn, is George Balanchine's story-ballet masterpiece based on Shakespeare's play. The Pacific Northwest Ballet's full-length production was performed and videotaped before a live audience at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre in February 1999. Critics lavishly praised this outstanding presentation. PNB artistic directors Francia Russell and Kent Stowell have trained and coached their dancers to a very high level of artistic excellence. The corps de ballet exhibits technical prowess, evident in every dance sequence. The women in the corps de ballet do pas de bourree courus, pirouettes, and various poses all in perfect unison. The ensemble dancing is precise and seamless. What you will not see in this ballet are maneges of coupe-jete turns, grands pirouettes, or multiple tours en l'air. Balanchine does not have his ballerinas do excessive fouettes rond de jambe en tournant. He is reported to have said that two or three revolutions in succession were enough (after that, he notes, the audience starts counting). His choreography calls for dancers to perform subtle moves and changes in direction. His is a lyrical ballet, not one of brute force and athletic bravura. As you view this ballet, take note of the well-mannered, courteous audience. British audiences are not clap-happy. American audiences, by contrast, often interrupt the music with unnecessary, inappropriate, and annoying applause (or frenzied screaming and whistling). (I think many balletgoers confuse ballet with figure skating competitions.) This audience applauds only after the music has stopped, allowing us to experience the emotional impact of ballet by witnessing bodily movement with the accompaniment of music.

Principal ballerina, Patricia Barker as Titania, shows why ballet audiences and critics alike so highly regard her. The steps she executes and poses she takes are done with ease and grace. Her deep arabesques- and attitudes-penchees exude elegance. Paul Gibson (Oberon) glides across the stage, turns suavely, and does some very nice batterie, while Charles Newton (Titania's Cavalier) shows that he too can move with agility and finesse. Hippolyta (Ariana Lallone) does a variety of jetes and turns. Three very fine grands jetes pas de chat in a row punctuate a sequence of turns, steps, and postures. The crowd pleaser, however, is Seth Belliston (Puck). He is a very expressive mime. His movements all over the floor are dazzling: He runs; he jumps; he spins with esprit and verve. Act II, a divertissement, features Louise Nadeau and Olivier Wevers in a pas de deux so sensuous it's impossible not to be filled with joy having witnessed their passion provoking dancing. Ms. Nadeau displays perfect line and musicality. Mr. Wevers lifts her effortlessly. Notice how adept he is as a Cavalier as he lowers her on pointe to the floor with delicate, and seemingly effortless, control. His turns and leaps are clean and sharp. Lisa Apple, Julie Tobiason, Ross Yearsley, and Jeffrey Stanton (the two sets of lovers) and Kaori Nakamura (Butterfly) turn in solid performances. Timothy Lynch (Bottom) makes a fine "ass."

The BBC Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Stewart Kershaw, gives a polished and sonorous performance of the Overture and Incidental Music To A Midsummer Night's Dream (augmented with other delightful music of Mendelssohn). Three vocal accompaniments, liltingly sung by soprano Libby Crabtree, mezzo-soprano Judith Harris, and a small chorus include: 1) the "Fairies Song" (No. 3, Op. 61) set to Shakespeare's "Fairies Song" (Act II, Scene 2); 2) an excerpt from Mendelssohn's The First Walpurgis Night for voices and orchestra (Op. 60); and 3) the "Finale" (No. 13, Op. 61) with portions of Oberon's and Titania's speeches at the end of Scene 1, Act V. (The booklet included with the DVD does not provide the texts of the vocals.) This is a "must-have" DVD.



Studio: BBC/Opus Arte Dvd
Actors:
F. Mendelssohn



DVD title: The Count of Monte Cristo Collection (Miniseries)
Productgroup: DVD
The Count of Monte Cristo Collection (Miniseries) - movie DVD cover picture
An Excellent Story Of Seeing Justice Served


This version of The Count Of Monte Cristo is my absolute favourite. It is completely in the French language, stars Gerard Depardieu and Ornella Muti and is eight hours long.A perfect movie to watch if you're planning to stay up all night long. The DVD version is a 2-disc set, with two 2-hour long segments on each disc. The basic plot is that of Alexandre Dumas' novel of the same name, however the movie starts out with Edmond Dantes in the Chateau d'If and having been there for 18 years.
As the story unfolds, we meet the character of Abbe Faria, who teaches Edmond facts about many things and reveals that he was imprisioned by Villefort's father.Villefort had imprisioned Edmond for the possibility of reading a letter and carring out the motions to get Napoleon back on the French throne.Wanting to protect his father, Villefort has no qualms about throwing Dantes into prison and letting him rot. What he wasn't counting on was that Dantes would come back and give out swift justice. However, there were two other people who wanted Dantes out of the way. One was Ferdnand Mondego and the other was Eugene Danglars. Mondego wanted the girl that Edmond was going to marry and Danglars wanted something else, I'm not exactly sure what it was but I think it had something to do with being the Captain of a ship.
To get rid of Edmond Dantes, Mondego and Danglars wrote an anynomos letter denouncing Dantes and claiming him to be a traitor.
Therefore, Dantes gets thrown in prison, Mondego gets the girl, Danglars gets what he wanted, Villefort gets promoted to head gazeek of the French justice system of the early 1800's, and Dantes comes back for revenge and makes them all pay for what they did nearly 20 years before. And then he gets to be with the girl he was going to marry.

Studio: Fox Lorber
Director: Josée Dayan



DVD title: Mariah Carey - Around the World
Productgroup: DVD
Mariah Carey - Around the World - movie DVD cover picture
Extrmely Brilliant


The thing that sucks about this DVD is how it's cut, I mean it will cut off right in the middle of the song. It gets really annoying...but it does have the videos of "Breakdown" and "The Roof" 2 of Mariah's best videos.

Studio: Sony/Columbia



DVD title: Karaoke: Country, Vol. 5 - The Ladies of Country
Productgroup: DVD
Karaoke: Country, Vol. 5 - The Ladies of Country - movie DVD cover picture
Country is Country and this is tops


What I need is a good supply of Country DVD's supplied to me on a COD basis. Please, please help me??????

Studio: Pioneer Video
Actors:
Va-Ladies of Country



DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Fellowship of the Ring is Awesome!


I noted another reviewer commented on Frodo's wimpiness.
Let me say #1. Who cares - look at him, he is adorable. And #2 c'mon, he's a hobbit. What? They're supposed to be brave?
This movie really transports the viewer there. I found myself not wanting it to end. And that is where the Platinum Series Extended Edition was perfect. Not only was the movie that much more long and enjoyable, but important parts left out of the original motion picture could be seen. This really helped me understand the story and get to know and love the quirkiness of each character. The cast and crew commentaries were insightful and interesting.
If you like pure entertainment and can appreciate it for being just that - then run (with your fingers and keyboard), don't walk to Amazon.com and buy this gem for your DVD library.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Ian McKellen



DVD title: Bloodsucking Freaks
Productgroup: DVD
Bloodsucking Freaks - movie DVD cover picture
The best fun you'll ever be ashamed to have!


This film is definately more than worthy of its' cult status. The best thing this "epic of sleaze" has going for it is its' unflinching lack of irony. This film is well worth a look.(Then tell your friends.)

Studio: Troma
Director: Joel M. Reed
Actors:
Seamus O'Brien
Viju Krem




DVD title: Monty Python's Life of Brian - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Monty Python's Life of Brian - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Lend me you rears!


Who else but Python could poke so much fun at organized religion an generally twist history. For any one who wants to tweek their religous zealot friends this is a must. I highly recommend it for everyone.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Terry Jones
Actors:
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Michael Palin




DVD title: The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful...amazing story of friendship and reality


This movie is amazing, not because this man was such a revolutionary, but even before that, he learned how to see the beauty of a person. This movie shows the intense drama of human desire first to help another and then to be loved. I would say it is important to see this movie because it is an adventure, but more than that, it is a lesson on life!

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Walter Salles
Actors:
Gael García Bernal
Rodrigo De la Serna




DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Amazing


I had not read the Lord of the Ring's trilogy until the summer before this movie was released in the theatres. I went through the books quickly and found myself at the theatre four times to watch this film. I have never spent so much time in a movie theatre for one film in my life! Plus I've watched the DVD 3 times at home.I love this film. Each time I watch it I truly escape to another world. Although Tolkiens books do have more wonderful detail, the movies do them excellent justice. You get emotionally attached to the characters and follow it as if you were in the movie yourself. Even my fianc?e loves this film and has sat through it at home a couple times herself. The cinematography, the special effects and the amazing actions and battle scenes. Unlike anything else ever seen. The DVD is worth every penny and these books should be a standard for every 8-9 year old to get them hooked don reading.Amazing film, looking forward to the next.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Actors:
Ian McKellen



DVD title: Rounders
Productgroup: DVD
Rounders - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent Movie.


This is an excellent movie with great performances by the actors. It is not the dirty gambling that everybody knows, it is a movie of the clean way of gambling. Honesty and friendship are two messages conveyed by the director in a very clever way. Look specificaly in the scene where John Malkovich pays him all the money Matt made just because he won playing clean with no cheats, this is honesty. One could not beleive that a mafia man could pay after that incredible gambling night! You can see friendship expressed clearly when Matt always helped Edward with his problems. This is a movie that deservers two thumbs up (I wished I had more).

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: John Dahl
Actors:
Matt Damon
Edward Norton




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