Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Smallville - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Smallville - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Best TV Show in Recent Memory

Before I watched "Smallville", I assumed there was no way for a WB made show to compete with the other aspects of the Superman franchise. Doubting "Smallville" was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. In my opinion, it is the best show on TV right now, and one of the best that I have ever seen. The reason the show works, is because it takes an interesting look at the legend of Superman. You bare witness to the human side of the character - Clark Kent, growing up as a teenager in Smallville Kansas. Clark must adjust to his different powers, the relationship between Lex Luthor and Clark develops, and you see the classic romance between Clark and Lana Lang, who are destined to be just friends. Watching the two fight their feelings for each other, really provides for a great romance side to the show.
The show works for both Superman loyalists like myself, as well as fans who are new to the character in general. For the loyalists, the show sticks very close to the original story, and the special effects are outstanding when it comes to Clark's powers. For the people who are just starting out with Smallville, it still works, because it offers fresh young actors, entertaining episodes, and current hit music. Tom Welling is absolutely outstanding as Clark Kent, not only because he looks the part, but also because he acts with such intense emotion. You come to feel for what the character is going through. Kristin Kreuk is great as Lana Lang and is absolutely gorgeous! I am very happy that the producers are sticking a Lois Lane type character into the picture with Allison Mack who plays Chloe - the skeptical and news hungry editor of the school paper. John Glover hits the bullseye with his portrayal of Lionel Luther. Michael Rosenbaum is a good actor but I am still torn on his role of Lex Luthor. It is frustrating to see Lex and Clark as friends, when the two are destined to be enemies. The most surprising performances come from Anette O Toole and John Schneider who play Clark's parents. They both do an extremely good job and really capture the true essence of John and Martha Kent.
Smallville remains basically flawless in my eyes, and gets better every single week. The actors, entertaining episodes, and great music really make it a treat to watch. If you are not already watching the show, do yourself a favor and start as soon as you can!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Tom Welling

DVD title: Caveman
Productgroup: DVD
Caveman - movie DVD cover picture
Five Stars? Yes...Just Because it's soooo Corny

Everyone has a favorite "stinker" in their home video collection, and this is mine. My girlfriend thinks I'm nuts. My friends cringe and turn the other way whenever I mention it. And my family offers me "special medication" if I try and get them to watch it...again.

But what can I say; I love this film. It's banality, shallowness, and out-and-out unscientific approach to modern man's changes and discoveries throughout the eons is just hilarious to watch. It's a ridiculous film, and so should be watched with that in mind. Why?

The story is about Atouk played by former Beatle master Ringo Starr, who is kicked out of his caveman tribe by the muscular and massive chief Tonda (probably lineman John Matuszak's only role on film, I'd guess) because he's in love with the chief's woman, Lana (a VERY busty Barbara Bach).

Once out on his own, Atouk begins to make new friends. They include Lar (Dennis Quaid), Tala (Shelley Long), Gog (Jack Gilford), Ta (Cork Hubbert), and a gazillion others. Among this rag-tag grouping comes the ability to stand up straight, how to cook a dinosaur egg, how to kill a rather large dragonfly by using someone's face (my favorite part in the film...but I felt bad for Dennis Quaid), the discovery of fire, music, drugs, homosexuality, and weapons, and just about a million years of evolution and discovery all wrapped up in one short, foolish film.

So call me a moron. Go ahead, it's okay. But this film is a great no-brainer, laugh-a-minute flick.

Now I'll go grunt in the corner for while...

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Carl Gottlieb

DVD title: Windtalkers
Productgroup: DVD
Windtalkers - movie DVD cover picture
The best war movie ever made! Much better than Pearl Harbor!

I came into the movie with high expectations. There was a good story-line, and some slightly-above actors to back it up. Toss in a (usually) great director, and you should get a half-decent movie. This is NOT the case.
Five minutes I found myself laughing hysterically at the shocking acting, and didn't stop until the credits started to roll. Ever see those B-grade action movies where the hero, impervious to bullets, mows down battalions of enemies with his trusty pistol?? This is much the same case as in Windtalkers.
Utilizing every war movie cliche known to man and shocking and thoroughly unbelievable acting, this is possibly the worst WWII movie in film history.
What could have been an interesting story (with the Navajo codetalkers) was barely touched on... we see the code being put to use hardly at all, and in moments when they could have more easily just used plain English (like when giving a battleship coordinates of a Japanese gun battery).
All in all, I would not reccomend this movie to buy. By all means, rent it for a night of comedic genius, but if you're looking for a good WWII movie, look elsewhere.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: John Woo
Nicolas Cage
Adam Beach

DVD title: The Maltese Falcon
Productgroup: DVD
The Maltese Falcon - movie DVD cover picture
Let's talk about the black bird

John Huston's 1941 remake of The Maltese Falcon became the definitive version as it opened the doors for the film noir genre. And noir movies opened up with The Glass Key, The Postman Rings Twice, Key Largo, and Dark Passage. The dark mood of these movies were put to best effect with black-and-white film, with dimly lighting in nighttime scenes reflecting the grimness of the genre.
Sam Spade becomes involved in the search for the title artifact with the introduction of three characters--Brigid O'Shaughnessy, Joel Cairo, and Kaspar Guttman. All three are involved in one way or another with the title object. The cynical Spade though, shows his loyalties to no one, but the one who pays him the most. He is also quick to strike out at anyone menacing him, such as a pistol-wielding Joel Cairo or Wilmer, a hired gun. His steel heart extends to his relationship with his partner, whose wife Iva he has an affair with, and even that is passionless. Only Ebbie, his loyal secretary with a nice personality who can handle Spade, gets the less hard part of his hard edge.
However, two murders entangled themselves in the web. The first is that of Spade's partner Miles Archer, who charmed by Brigid, offered to shadow a man she wanted followed. The second is Thursby, the object of his hunt. And Spade's caught up also because he is suspected of his partner's murder due to his affair with Iva, and he's got to fend off the police and D.A.'s office. Certain camera shots get great mention, such as the shadow of the "Spade and Archer" sign cast from the window to the floor. Another is the bright spotlight effect shown on Miles's surprised face as he gets shot. And the way the camera focuses on the Fat Man's belly shows the weight he has, both physically and in terms of power. The lights and shadows enhance the costumes as well. Most of the characters are dressed in black.
This was the film that pushed Bogart to film legend status, making it his biggest success since The Petrified Forest. Ahead of him lay greater roles such as Rick (Casablanca), Phil Marlowe (The Big Sleep), Allnutt (The African Queen), Queeg (The Caine Mutiny), and Linus Larrabee (Sabrina).
Mary Astor (Brigitte) needed this kind of film, especially to counter the 1936 headliner scandal made over her sexual exploits with playwright George Kaufman, made public with the splashing of her diary across newspapers. Sydney Greenstreet as the plummy but dangerous "Fat Man", i.e. Guttman, Peter Lorre as the slightly effeminate Cairo, and Ed Begley Jr. as the neurotic gunsel Wilmer all add to this classic. He speaks in a low but quivering and menacing tone: "Keep on riding me, they'll be picking iron out of your liver."
Cinematically, a classic, and remember that line, "the stuff that dreams are made of."

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Huston
Humphrey Bogart
Mary Astor

DVD title: Scary Movie 3 (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Scary Movie 3 (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

This movie didn't disappoint me. One complaint, they showed WAY too much in the ads done on this movie. The Michael Jackson thing wasn't funny at all in the movie because I had seen it a billion times in the commercial. But there were lots of other funny things. The spoof on "Signs" where they show footage of the aliens in the background ... Leslie Nielsen adds his comic genius and Simon Rex...well I guess he's done with his porn career. The "8-Mile" thing is really funny! Martha Stewart is his hero and Dr. Phil is his uncle. LOL! I had a really good time while watching this movie.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: David Zucker
Charlie Sheen
Anna Faris
Regina Hall

DVD title: The House of Mirth
Productgroup: DVD
The House of Mirth - movie DVD cover picture

An absolute travesity that this movie was overlooked come Oscar time. If Laura Linney could get a nomination for her breakout performance in YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (which she deserved), then Gillian Anderson deserved one as well. Boy, visions of Dana Scully were put aside in about five minutes. She was gorgeous and intelligent and glowing and handled the dialogue perfectly. I can't wait to see her do more juicy movie roles.
I won't rehash the plot, but suffice it to say this is a gripping, but slow-moving "romantic suspense story." Will she or won't she is putting it pretty simply. The social politics involved are foreign (somewhat) to us, but the screenplay keeps things simple and understandable. (Where was this screenplay's Oscar nod?) We are sucked into the movie as our heroine's plight gets more horrific. The women in this movie are all terrific. Eric Stoltz is even quite good.
The ending is devastating in its simplicity and tragedy. I highly recommend the movie for anyone who doesn't feel their movies need to move at the speed of a jet plane.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Terence Davies
Gillian Anderson
Dan Aykroyd

DVD title: Highlander The Series - Season 2
Productgroup: DVD
Highlander The Series - Season 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Action and Romance Through Time

Highlander Season Two, an 8-disc DVD Collection, collects the entire 22-episode second season (1993-1994) of the syndicated action series based on the cult-favorite film.
In Season 2 MacLeod and friends uncover a deadly plot against the Immortals in the form of a secret society who's recorded the Immortal game over the millennia. A renegade sect now seeks to destroy the Immortals at all costs. As the season progresses McLeod and company's lives change forever as a major character dies and revelations are made about another. Behind all this the Immortal's Game still continues...
Here are the contents of each DVD.
Disc 1:
Episode 1: "The Watchers" - Investigating Darius' murder, McLeod comes across the Watchers, a secret society that's observed and recorded the Immortal's Game for thousands of years.
Episode 2: "Studies in Light" - McLeod visits renowned photographer Linda Plager, an old flame from 50 years previous who is now terminally ill.
Episode 3: "Turnabout" - McLeod protects his friend, mild-mannered Immortal Michael Moore, from the Immortal psychopathic murderer Quentan Barnes. All is not what it seems though.
Disc 2:
Episode 4: "The Darkness" - LANDMARK EPISODE. McLeod and Richie's lives become changed forever!!! MacLeod saves Tessa from a renegade Watcher.
Episode 5: "An Eye for An Eye" - McLeod must train Richie in the Immortal arts after the Immortal terrorist whose husband he killed swears revenge.
Episode 6: "The Zone" - McLeod and Charlie take on Canaan, the ruthless OverLord of Charlie's boyhood neighborhood "The Zone."
Disc 3:
Episode 7: "The Return of Amanda" - Amanda and McLeod take on a corrupt FBI agent who's after Amanda.
Episode 8: "Revenge of the Sword" - McLeod and Charlie aid Jimmy Sang, the upcoming martial arts action star who's at odds with the Asian mob.
Episode 9: "Run For Your Life" - Carl Robinson, a former slave whom McLeod saved from the KKK 80 years ago, has written off the entire world as racist. McLeod helps him restore his faith in himself and the world while saving him from the Hunters.
Disc 4:
Episode 10: "Epitaph for Tommy" - When a bystander is killed during McLeod's battle against another Immortal, he sets out to find out more about the deceased man and discovers a high-level corporate scandal.
Episode 11: "The Fighter" - McLeod meets up with his old friend, Immortal boxing manager/fighter Tommy Sullivan. When Tommy's rivals start turning up dead Mac soon realizes his old friend is no longer the man he once knew.
Episode 12: "Under Color of Authority" - Against McLeod's advice Richie protects a woman on the run from an Immortal bounty hounter.
Disc 5:
Episode 13: "Bless The Child" - While camping in the mountains, McLeod and Charlie aid an Indian woman fleeing with a baby from a group of men.
Episode 14: "Unholy Alliance, Part I" - Xavier St. Cloud returns along with a group of mercenaries (led by Horton) who aid him in killing other Immortals. Their next target - Duncan McLeod.
Episode 15: "Unholy Alliance, Part II" - McLeod tracks Xavier back to Paris for a final showdown.
Disc 6:
Episode 16: "The Vampire" - McLeod takes on Nicholas Ward, an Immortal who once posed as a Vampire.
Episode 17: "The Warmonger" - Only McLeod can stop the Immortal Drakov, a political puppet master who ruthlessly runs an Eastern European country - but why does he choose not to?
Episode 18: "The Pharaoh's Daughter" - McLeod becomes caught in the middle of a 2000 year old grudge between Cleopatra's former handmaiden and the former Roman General who betrayed her.
Disc 7:
Episode 19 - "Legacy" - McLeod and Amanda avenge the death of her teacher Rebecca Horne and secure the mysterious stones she protected.
Episode 20 - "Prodigal Son" - Richie Ryan returns to McLeod for help after being pursued by an Immortal who refuses to face him.
Episode 21 - "Counterfeit, Part I" - Horton unleashes his master plot to kill McLeod once and for all. McLeod is wary of a motorcyclist who saves Richie from Horton's Hunters.
Episode 22 - "Counterfeit, Part II" - McLeod meets Lisa Millon, a woman who is a dead ringer for Tessa. Is it too good to be true?
Like the first season, this DVD set clearly has one of THE best DVD extras packages you'll ever see.
ALL EPISODES include commentary from producers Bill Panzer and David Abramowitz and "Watcher" notes. The commentaries provide great insight into each episode's production. The "Watcher" notes give more insight into "Highlander" canon with reference to events and characters. In addition, several episodes also include deleted scenes/blooper footage.
Disc 3's episodes also include audio and video commentary by series' star Adrian Paul. Decent stuff.
This DVD set includes a collector's edition Highlander medallion. You can mail away for a medallion holder that comes with Season One's medallion. Also included are entry forms for the Highlander sweepstakes contest.
Included on Disc 8 are:
Trivia Game: Test your Highlander knowledge (or pick up some).
Director and Actor Bios: Filmographies for ALL actors and directors who appeared in/worked on Season Two.
Scripts: Finalized shooting scripts for ALL 22 episodes in season two. A Highlander completist's dream as it includes all the lines and stage directions.
Shooting Schedules: Another nifty production document that details the shooting schedule for several episodes. More great insight to the film biz.
Lovers of action-adventure and romance are bound to fall in love with this series. The "historical" flashbacks to earlier time periods in the Immortal's lives are awe-inspiring. The martial arts and swashbuckling action will fix most people's action cravings and the countless romantic "love scenes" featured in the series will reel in the ladies too. If you've never been exposed to world of Highlander before check this series out and see what Highlander fans have known for years, "In The End, There Can Be Only One" -- and this series is it!!
Highest Recommendation

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Christopher Lambert

DVD title: Shakespeare in Love
Productgroup: DVD
Shakespeare in Love - movie DVD cover picture
What can I say?

This is the most touching movie I've ever seen! If you loved the movie that the romance is so intense that you have butterflies in your stomach and that you feel like crying this is a movie for YOU! It explain how Williwm Shakespeare wrote his play Romeo & Juliette inspirered by the woman of his dreams Viola. This movie is a great movie for those who loves passion and it's mysteries.
P.S. Those who usually cries at the end of movies, you will be served!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: John Madden
Geoffrey Rush
Joseph Fiennes
Gwyneth Paltrow

DVD title: Urban Legend
Productgroup: DVD
Urban Legend - movie DVD cover picture

...Because you're the only one's who'll think it's any good. A few tense moments don't make up for some of the worst writing and acting I've ever seen. Question: Why did so many people happen to A.) Own the same coat and B.) wear it with the hood up in hot weather? That's just dumb. And what's the deal with Gayheart's "psycho" acting all of a sudden at the end? Sure, the character was "psycho", but a piece of dancing feces could have done a less unintentionally-funny job. Don't waste your time on this garbage. Go rent the best: Scream. Try to cram it in your schedule between Dawson's Creek and Wasteland. Heh.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Jamie Blanks
Alicia Witt
Jared Leto

DVD title: Charmed - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charmed - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
A simple wish

This is my husband's favorite show and I have been trying for months to find it on DVD but to no avail. Please consider putting out the DVD for not just Season One but for every season. We would definitely be one of your biggest buyers. Thanks.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Shannen Doherty
Alyssa Milano

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