Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Five Senses
Productgroup: DVD
The Five Senses - movie DVD cover picture
Beautiful Film

In some ways this film explores the same territory as such recent works as 'Magnolia' and 'Beautiful People' but it does so with more subtlty and nuance, never resorting to either grand tragedy or pat resolution. The acting is superb throughout, the entire cast is flawless. The cinematography is lush and appropriately intimate, the pacing deliberate and graceful. How this film escaped my notice during theatrical release I'll never know.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Jeremy Podeswa

DVD title: The Gary Cooper Collection (Design for Living / The Lives of a Bengal Lancer / Peter Ibbetson / The General Died at Dawn / Beau Geste)
Productgroup: DVD
The Gary Cooper Collection (Design for Living / The Lives of a Bengal Lancer / Peter Ibbetson / The General Died at Dawn / Beau Geste) - movie DVD cover picture
More clarification

Just wanted to echo "Fedo's" 5-star review of this upcoming DVD collection. All five films are indeed superb and worth a blind buy at the price. Let's just hope Universal gives them a good transfer. I understand that Universal will be following the format of their Monster Legacy collections (Dracula, Wolf Man, etc.), so these will be two-sided discs, with one or two films on each side.

Fans should note that "Design for Living" was directed by the great Ernst Lubitsch -- as if you needed any more incentive to buy this set.

Also, in response to "Joel's" review, I have to say that it's pretty unfair to give this unreleased set a low rating just because it doesn't include a specific movie. I'd love to see "Sergeant York" on DVD, too, but Universal can't be held responsible for that. Warner Home Video owns "York," and I've heard rumors that they're at work on a future release.

Update: I've taken a quick look at the transfers for these films, and they're pretty decent. "Beau Geste" looks the best, and "Lives of a Bengal Lancer" fares the worst, though it's still acceptable after the first reel (about 12-15 minutes in). Still, I'd say that Universal has done about as good a job as Warner does with their 1-disc releases of older films. Certainly, "Lives of a Bengal Lancer" isn't significantly worse than Warner's "Gunga Din." Both exhibit graininess (which can be distracting to people who are used to the clinical cleanliness of DVD releases of new movies) and some occasional damage (which is acceptable in films over 65 years old). Equally disappointing for many will be the lack of extras -- nothing but trailers for three of the five movies. Considering Cooper's continued popularity, I'd have expected to see at least one of those A&E Biography shows on the actor.

All in all, my only major criticism is that I simply do not like two-sided discs. I find that they are easy to scratch. But it keeps the price down, and this collection is a real bargain. If you're thinking about picking up this set, don't hesitate. It's not Criterion quality, but you won't be unduly disappointed for the price.

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Gary Cooper

DVD title: Arrested Development - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Arrested Development - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
I would give it a gazillion stars!

Just when I had lost all hope with tv shows and sitcoms, amidst the endless sea of crap that is American Idol, Friends, Bachelorette, Joey etc, comes this small, quiet, witty remarkably funny-as-hell show. Though I never really watched this show when it first came out , a friend got this DVD set and made me watch it - i was instantly hooked.. i think the problem why this show isnt doing well in the ratings is because 1) most Americans are too stupid to get the humor and appreciate the wit and 2) it's one of those shows where you need to watch it from the beginning to realize the scope and idiosyncracies of the characters. And for basically under $30 this disc is a steal (that's $10 a disc chokeful of wit!)

It will be shame when this show gets cancelled since rumors have surrounded it for a while because Fox cant seem to promote it properly. i saw more promotion for "Who's Your Daddy" than for this show!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Jason Bateman

DVD title: If a Man Answers
Productgroup: DVD
If a Man Answers - movie DVD cover picture
That sly little french thing!

This is a wonderful movie!
Starring Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin, Micheline Presle, John Lund, and more!
This movie begins with Chantel (Dee) she is a girl who likes men, probably inherited from her very french mother who was in show business in Paris.
She knows all the secrets to a happy marriage, sly tricks, and everything. So when the whole family is suddenly transfered to New York for the fathers (Lund) job. There Chantel meets Eugene (Darin) the photographer, who has his own "views" on marriage. And he loves being a bachelor, that is until Chantel slyly changes all thise views, with her mothers help, of course.

So, the couple are married. But now Chantel has to keep Gene interested.
Which she has trouble with at first, that is until Chantels mother gives her the 'giude to a happy marriage' which she says worked wonderfully with her father! And when Chantel looks down she is horrified that the book is called How to Train a Man's Best Friend!!
She is disgusted!
Until she starts to use it, and finds out iy works wonderfully!
And everything goes wonderfully until...
This is a GREAT movie! Henry Levin does a completely wonderful job, and I advise you not to waste a minute in seeing it!!

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Henry Levin

DVD title: Leave It to Beaver
Productgroup: DVD
Leave It to Beaver - movie DVD cover picture
If you enjoy clean family entertainment, you will love it.

I enjoyed this movie more than I expected to. There were two reasons I wanted to see this film: 1. Leave it to Beaver has always been one of the best shows on television. 2. (I must confess) I have never seen a more beautiful lady in TV or movies than Janine Turner (who also played Maggie O'Connell on TV's Northern Exposure). On neither count was I disappointed. I thought it was a very good adaptation of the TV series, and I especially enjoyed the cameo appearances by Barbara Billingsly and Ken Osmond (June Cleaver and Eddie Haskell in the original series). Do you want a break from the rapid-fire sensationalism in most modern movies? Do you enjoy clean family entertainment? Then you will love this movie.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Andy Cadiff
Christopher McDonald
Janine Turner

DVD title: The Usual Suspects
Productgroup: DVD
The Usual Suspects - movie DVD cover picture
Very possibly the best movie you will see in years

I was skeptical of this movie at first. I was a little unsure of the timeline. Many movies get you lost jumping back and forth between times. The Usual Suspects gives you the time line quickly and with little wasted time. The story is a masterpiece and the acting is spectacular. The ending is the absolute best. Bottom line: watch it.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Bryan Singer
Gabriel Byrne
Kevin Spacey
Chazz Palminteri

DVD title: Let It Be
Productgroup: DVD
Let It Be - movie DVD cover picture
The long and winding road

I hope that this film gets released on dvd soon, as it is one of my favorites. Let it be is special because it shows the Beatles in their most un-polished best, Paul teaching the rest of the band the chords to "Maxwell's silver hammer" is reason enough to get this movie, also you get to see the break-up of the best band that ever existed, but with all the fighting and snickering going on in the movie, there are times while they are jamming, that you can see that they truly loved each other, and in the deplorable conditions of that studio, they could still create magic.

Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
Absolutely stunning!

At a time when Hong Kong has forgotten what made their films great, Hollywood thought they'd try to remind them with The Matrix. Anyone who's seen Iceman Cometh, Dragon From Russia, Saviour of the Soul or countless other Hong Kong classics will be able to pick out scenes re-created in The Matrix. One of the kings of Hong Kong, Yuen Woo Ping, does a good job with the action and the effects are excellent. However, what the film lacks is the real core that made films like Saviour of the Soul great. The mixture of humour, action, suspense and romance simply doesn't click in The Matrix. Everyone is applauding Carrie Ann Moss's character, but Michelle Yeoh combined fighting ability and femininity far better in Royal Warriors or Project S. The Matrix is visually terrific, but as cold as ice.

Studio: Warner Studios
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss

DVD title: Ginger Snaps
Productgroup: DVD
Ginger Snaps - movie DVD cover picture
I loved this movie.

As stated above I absolutely loved this movie. Definetly one of the best horror movies to come out in the last 10 years. I saw it recommmended in a book and decided to check it out. So glad that I did. Way underappreciated. Pick this up when you get a chance.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: John Fawcett
Emily Perkins
Katharine Isabelle

DVD title: Angel - Season Four
Productgroup: DVD
Angel - Season Four - movie DVD cover picture
Epic, Expansive and Brilliant

Season Four of, as Tim Minear puts it, TV's Angel, is an exercise of brilliance as the result of necessity. Sometime before or during the beginning of Season Four, Charisma Carpenter came to the writers with some news that undoubtedly threw a wrench in their plans for the season: she was pregnant. After the intense events depicted the season before, what were the writers supposed to do? This was the season where Angel had to be brought back from his ocean-depth tomb, as well paying off Cordelia's "ascension" as a higher being. The results should be taught to aspiring students in film school as a how to on contigency planning. Season Four was action-packed. It was hair raising, suprising, edge-of-your-seat television. If Season Three was Angel's perfectly structured high point, then Season Four was the go for broke roller coaster ride. Joss Whedon shows are full of surprises but Season Four takes the metaphorical "holy crap I can't wait for next week!" cake. I know that "the couple" (that's all I'm gonna say, I don't want to be a spoiler for potential buyers) turned many stomachs, but the actors who played the roles were just brilliant. "She" showed a darkness that rivaled Alyson Hannigan's Darlene-a-thon in Season Six of Buffy, while "he" is often unfairly maligned but is really a great actor, giving us a complex, nuanced performace. The DVDs themselves are quite good, with a transfer that is lush and full-looking. And the extras are plentiful, with commentaries by both Alexis Denisof and Andy Hallett (that's more than Buffy's actor commentary count of one, ironically courtesy of the exited Seth Green). There are many other commentaries by the staff, including the always entertaining Steven S. DeKnight and Tim Minear (and, obviously, Joss). There a lot of information to digest this season for newbies, but if you're hungry for truly epic television, it's worth it to do the homework.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
David Boreanaz

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