Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The World At War - Complete Set
Productgroup: DVD
The World At War - Complete Set - movie DVD cover picture
Best documentary on World War II

This one stands out as the all-time best ever documentary on World War II. The combination of live black and white footage, indepth analysis of the events and circumstances, and the unparalleled narration by Sir Lawerance Olivier help to make this the definitive serious on the subject. The World At War was produced in the early Sixies, which helps add to the realism and timelessness of the interviews. For my money, the only other documentary series on war which comes close is the Civil War by Steve Burns. Otherwise, The World At War stands alone at the top.

Studio: HBO Home Video
World at War
Laurence Olivier

DVD title: Octopussy
Productgroup: DVD
Octopussy - movie DVD cover picture
Good Movie

Not only one of Roger Moore's greatest Bond films, but one of the best period. The film begins with one of the best action sequences ever, Bond outruns a heatseeker in an Acrostar jet an blows up the bad guys in return. The plots switches gear when a 009 is killed in East Germany. The death was lnked to a circus which is a coverup for a diamond smuggling ring. James Bond soon is surrounded by an island full of women, led by Octopussy( Maud Adams at her hottest) who is connected with the head villian Kamal Khan and his accomplice Russian General Orlov( Stephen Berkoff, one of films most underated villians). I don't want to spoil the film for people who have never seen it, but it is classic. I bought the film on VHS when i was 10 and still have the original cover. Other great factors about this film are: the title song , sung by Rita Coolidge. Great stunts including the climactic battle on the airplane. Not to mention many beautiful women and more great Bond toys. Octopussy is truly awesome, I consider it much better than For your Eyes, but that is just me.Octopussy is still great to watch today.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: John Glen (II)
Roger Moore
Maud Adams

DVD title: Contact
Productgroup: DVD
Contact - movie DVD cover picture
One of the all-time great science fiction movies

A film very much in the league of such sci-fi giants as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and E.T., director Robert Zemeckis' 1997 film CONNTACT is one of the genre's most stunningly intelligent films of all time. Clearly having learned much about displaying a sense of cinematic wonder from his mentor Steven Spielberg, Zemeckis has fashioned a film that, like "2001", has elements of spiritualism, mysticism, and child-like awe.
Jodie Foster is Dr. Eleanor Arroway, an ambitious radio astronomer who, ever since she was a young girl, has been dreaming of making contact with other beings from outer space. As her ambitions grow, there is, of course, plenty of resistance from other corners of the scientific community to her search--especially from her mentor (Tom Skerritt), who sees this as wasteful, pie-in-the-sky stuff. But when Foster and her team at New Mexico's Very Large Array radio telescope field in New Mexico detect an actual alien signal (represented in prime numbers) eminating from the star Vega, some twenty-six light years away, all bets are off. Despite the somewhat ominous beginning to this (the signal is eventually found to have been in response to the first-ever TV transmission on Earth, which were the opening ceremonies to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, presided over by Adolf Hitler), further research, funded by an eccentric engineer (John Hurt) reveals the desire on the part of the aliens for the human race to build a space pod that will hurl itself towards Vega at or near the speed of light.
Immediately, of course, there is a worldwide firestorm of controversy, and not just from the scientific community. The religious community, particularly America's religious right-wing, comes to attack Foster and her fellow scientists for wanting to contact aliens who might not believe in God (or their version of Him). Foster does, however, have one sympathetic friend in that community--Reverend Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey). When, during a test of the new pod, Skerritt is killed by a fanatic religious bomber, it is up to Foster to make that ultra-perilous journey to Vega.
When she does, she stunningly meets up with her father (David Morse), whom she lost at an early age. Her return to Earth and her story is met with unbridled incredulity and iron skepticism. But McConaughey chooses to take the high road in this case, stating that although the two of them operate under different covenants of thought, their goals are one and the same--the pursuit of truth.
Based on the only fictional novel written by the late Carl Sagan, creator of the legendary PBS-TV series "Cosmos", CONTACT is a very lengthy and extremely ambitious film that succeeds far more often than it slips (which is extremely rare here). As with any of the great science fiction movies, the special effects and the hardware are incredibly spectacular; but going hand in hand with all this are a highly credible story and some fine acting, particularly by Foster, whose performance here is as good as anything she has given us since THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
With newsreel references to the religious cult murders that occurred in San Diego shortly before the film's release, as well as video cameos by Geraldo Rivera, Geraldine Ferraro, and president Bill Clinton (some of them admittedly resembling humorous asides more than they do advancements in the story), CONTACT is also topical. By having McConaughey's character display a genuine sympathy towards Foster's approach to things, the film does not balance science over religion; but it also does not fail to condemn certain segments of the religious community for trying to force their values onto others. In essence, CONTACT is a plea for understanding among all the world's people, and bravely suceeds in telling us that ours is not the only intelligence that God may have bought forth.
For anyone interested in the science fiction genre, CONTACT is a must-have for your video or DVD collection.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Jodie Foster
Matthew McConaughey

DVD title: Troy (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Troy (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Exciting movie to watch....

Troy is a movie worth watching. Eric Bana does a great job on playing Hector, Prince of Troy. Hector is showed as a kind and decent man that loves his family and country. And with his performance, you will believe it. Peter O'Toole was a natural choice for playing Priam, King of Troy. The movie is centered around Achilles, Brad pits character. And he plays him well for the way the movie is written. He is shown as a self-centered man that fights for his own reasons, and does not care for the fate of Greace or their kings. What is important to Achilles, is that his name go down in history as great.

Pitt obviously did a lot of work to get in shape and learn the great choreography of the fights. Achilles fight scene with Hector is the real star of this movie. It is a very exciting fight, starting with his moving stride across the sand as he starts the attack. Pitt does makes us feel that Achillies is the greatest warrior on that battlefield.

Priam had negotiated a peace between Troy and Sparta's King Menelaus, played by Brendan Gleeson. But this peace is broken when Paris, played by Orlando Bloom, convinces Helen, played by Diane Kruger, to run away with him to Troy. The movie shows that Priam and Hector know that what Paris did was wrong, and yet they will risk the safety of Troy to keep Helen.

Seeing the large Greek army array itself before Troy is impressive. And the large battle scenes are exciting. Espcially when they try to show some of the manuevers in close ups. The rest seems to just be computer animation for the large scenes. Extras must cost too mch no a days. But still fun to watch.

The film is not true to the epic poem. But then, what movie is true to the written medium. You can not show all the true dynamics of the poem. After all the war lasted ten years. And the fact tha tthe real reason for the Greek alliance was not political as the movie shows, but it was rather a part of an oath sworn by all the princes who were suitors for Helen. And the film does take liberty not only with when certin people died during the war, like Achilles himself, but as to who even actually died. Forgetting all that, I loved this move for entertainment, but not as a history lesson.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Brad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom

DVD title: The Final Countdown (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Final Countdown (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Saw this at the drive-in as the second feature as a 12yr old. Can't even remember the first movie, but boy did I stay awake for this one! Time travel and history and adventure. This one has it all. It frequently will run on TV around December 3rd and I suggest you don't miss it. With a fine cast of characters including Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, and Katherine Ross.
The USS Nimitz gets sucked into a timewarp and goes back in time right before the attack on Pearl Harbor and because the crew knows what is about to happen what do they do? With the Pearl Harbor anniversary and the new movie, I believe this movie is extremely interesting in it's own right and one of the best movies still to this day.
Now I wish it would come out on DVD so more of us could enjoy this remarkable movie.

Studio: Blue Underground
Director: Don Taylor
Kirk Douglas
Martin Sheen
Katharine Ross

DVD title: The Transformers - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Transformers - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture

TRANSFORMERS has always been one of my favorite sci-fi, action movies. This movie has great music, great action, great characters, and lots more. That's why I give this 5 stars 'cause it's so awsome. You can show this movie to others, they'll love it!

Studio: Rhino Video
Director: Nelson Shin

DVD title: Simple Plan - Big Package for You (Snapper Pack) [EXPLICIT LYRICS]
Productgroup: DVD
Simple Plan - Big Package for You (Snapper Pack) [EXPLICIT LYRICS] - movie DVD cover picture
This DVD Rocks

To sum up this dvd in one word...AWESOME. This dvd really captures who the guys are and the long road they have come down. It is hilraious. I laughed so much watching the dvd. David is such a funny prankster and I love the pranks they pull on each other. The song "Crash and Burn" is so awesome too. I am so grateful to Simple Plan for caring about their fans to put a dvd. You should buy it and watch it. You won't be let down. I watch it every day.

Studio: Wea Corp

DVD title: Charmed - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Charmed - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture

As many of you, like me feel that season 2 is a good season...its not the greatest. Action did not pick up until season 3 and lasted to the end of season 5. Season 6 became "Who wants to turn Wyatt Evil" and Season 7 was good...but would not be picked up without the reoccuring characters and special guest. Season 2 focuses on sisters, it has no big bad til the end...Why? ....Because Constance Burge knew who to run Charmed. Kern turned it into more like a mini movie w/ 1 big bad demon to last half-way thru the season. Season 2 marks Doherty's directorial Debut, Phoebe's switch overs and Pipers ever famous Dan-Leo problems. Not only is this worth your money (I would pay upto 200 bucks if needed) but it does have contance's creative writings.....So Enjoy

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Shannen Doherty

DVD title: Le Mans
Productgroup: DVD
Le Mans - movie DVD cover picture
The Finest Sports Car DVD Now Available

Having competed at an amateur level in various classes of road racing in North America in the 80's, I can testify this is the real deal. I felt the driver's pain as they competed through the rainy night.
Whoever was reponsible for the film to DVD conversion created a masterpiece. I don't know how they derived the DD 5.1 (reg trademark) (perhaps they set up mic trees and re-recorded from the original theater suround sound?)Video bit-rates are super high so all the racing action scenes are super clear and brilliant. All and all a technical masterpiece. A really nice gift for your high-end home theater system.
NOTE: This review applies to the 2003 DVD release. The earlier VHS release was dissappointing to me.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Lee H. Katzin
Steve McQueen
Siegfried Rauch
Elga Andersen

DVD title: Inu-Yasha - Down the Well (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Inu-Yasha - Down the Well (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Finally, I can see the first episodes!

I've been watching Inu Yasha with my daughter here in Japan for some time now, but I never saw the first season, so it's great to be able to get the DVDs now, especially since they have English subtitles. Oh, I need to qualify those 5 stars: Five stars for the Japanese soundtrack/English subtitle setting; Three stars for the default English dub setting. The English dubbing is terrible! But that's OK--set it for Japanese voice/English subs, and it's great. The subtitle translation is not bad at all--it really helps me, as I still can't keep up with some of the high-speed, idiomatic Japanese. (The dub's translation is very inferior--why do they want to try to Americanize the characters' speech? I'm sure very few of the audience members want that.)
Since I came to Japan, I've gotten tired of most anime. I used to be a total fan when I lived in the US and could only see a little now and then, but here, it's like being able to eat your favorite food, all the time, morning, noon, and starts getting tiresome. But Inu Yasha is one of the few anime I still enjoy watching every week.


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