Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Piglet's Big Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Piglet's Big Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Best to the original


I beleive this movie is excellent. Animation is impecable and very close to original, voices are very close to original (except for Eyore) and a very good storyline. I beleive that Piglet's Big Movie is better than the Tigger Movie and Spring time with Roo, just because my daughter won't ask to watch the other ones (except of course, Winnie the Pooh).

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Director: Francis Glebas
Actors:
John Fiedler
Jim Cummings
Peter Cullen
Ken Sansom




DVD title: Klondike Annie
Productgroup: DVD
Klondike Annie - movie DVD cover picture
Mae West, All Woman Despite The Censors


If ever there was a study conducted on the effects the Hays Code had on a flourishing Hollywood career they would need to go no further than Mae West to see a classic example of it's influence in action. At the time the censors began coming down the heavy on Hollywood for it's supposedly "loose" approach to morals and sexuality, Mae West was one of Hollywood's most glowing stars who made a speciality of sexually suggestive comedy that actually said little but implied lots in the eager movie goers minds. She had huge successes with pre code efforts such as "She Done Him Wrong", and "I'm No Angel", but by the time she got to film "Goin' to Town" (1935) and in particular this effort "Klondike Annie" (1936), she was sadly loosing the battle with the censors to get all her "risque" material on screen. "Klondike Annie", while a good story with high production values clearly shows the effects of stronger censorship that succeeded in blunting alot of Mae's unique comedy delivery.
Mae West wrote most of the script for "Klondike Annie", herself and she plays Rose Carlton-The Frisco Doll who as the story begins is a night club performer in San Francisco in the gay nineties. Being kept both financially and emotionally by her Chinese Lover Chan Lo (Harold Huber) Rose is feeling literally imprisoned in the gilded life she is forced to lead where she is watched and threatened by her lover if she looks at another man. Hatching her escape on a boat bound for the Klondike Rose in self defense kills Chan Lo and then finds herself on the lam from the authorities even though it was self defence. Boarding the boat she makes the acquaintance of the rough but good natured Captain Bull Brackett (Victor McLaglen in a great performance). The two begin a shipboard liasion and along the way pick up another passenger in Seattle, Sister Annie Alden who is going to the Klondike to work as a missionary . Rose and Annie strike up an unlikely friendship and when Annie falls ill on board Rose nurses her until she dies. Just as this occurs the ship is searched by Mounties who have been alerted about the possibility of the notorius Rose Carlton being on board. Rose quickly assumes Annie's identity and when she lands in the Klondike does not find it easy to disentangle herself from the missionary group that believe she is the real Annie Alden. Seeing the good work the missionaries do Rose/Annie decides to really liven things up in the town and before long with the help of the still besotted Brackett, Annie is packing them in at the groups meetings with a bit of her own unique philosophy and some of her modified night club act. Seeing she cannot continue the deception any longer however and despite the advances of equally besotted mountie Inspector Jack Forrest (Philip Reed) who is willing to ruin his whole career to go away with Rose once he discovers her real identity, Rose decides to go off with Bull Brackett who is of her world but only after the missionary centre is named in honour of the great influence on her own life, Annie Alden.
While alot of the strong sentiment in this story with Mae/Rose wanting to do the right and honourable thing is not typical Mae West material she does the best under the circumstances. Quite abit of the original story was cut to please the censors with the effect that Mae's character comes across as a bit too quick to change her ways and become an "honourable" person. It is a great testament to her talent that Mae still makes it a memorable performance with a couple of terrific scenes in the funny breakfast scene on the boat with Victor McLaglen and her dealings with the missionaries on arriving in the Klondike being two comic standouts in the story. While Victor McLaglen at first glance might not appear your typical Mae West costar with his craggy looks and rough speech, the two combine well together here and are responsible for some of the best laughs that the edited script has to offer. Although starting to get shaky about Mae's clashes with the censors by 1936 Paramount spent lavishly on this production and gave Mae two elaborate musical numbers and a first class production in every department. The klondike scenes are first rate in their detail and her terrific opening number set in her Chinese lover's gambling den "I'm an Occidental Woman in an Oriental Mood for love", is a real eye opener with its lavish oriental theme and costumes. That is one of Mae's finest hours out of all her Paramount movies.
"Klondike Annie", is enjoyable viewing and essential for any fan of Mae West's unique sexual comedy style. I always wonder how much better this potentially great story could have been had it been made without the censor's interference. That we will never know but it is still an entertaining on it's own level as long as it isn't compared with Mae's earlier efforts. The censorship did spell the death blow to Mae West's great career with Paramount Studios and within two years of this effort this great star had left the studio to return to the stage where she was able to see her material produced in it's entirety. Mae West is always enjoyable and "Klondike Annie", still shows us what made this unique woman such a popular star.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Raoul Walsh
Actors:
Mae West
Victor McLaglen




DVD title: License to Drive (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
License to Drive (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Must Have For Anyone Who Enjoyed, or Grew Up in the 80's


Even if you you did not enjoy, or grow up in the eighties, this is a fun movie to watch. It is a movie filled with old school comedy and adventure that takes you away from the norm for a little bit. So, do yourself a favor: Turn off the cell phones, take a break from technology, don't answer the door, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the show. Hopefully, this movie will come with the option of Full Screen or widscreen. I have a passionate dislike for widescreen and I noticed quite a few movies do not offer that option....... Hopefully, my freedom to choose what I like, does'nt slip away, like the eighties did.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertain
Director: Greg Beeman
Actors:
Corey Haim
Corey Feldman




DVD title: Farscape Season 3, Collection 1
Productgroup: DVD
Farscape Season 3, Collection 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Sheer genius


With season 3 we witness the collison of the bulk of the conflicts at the end of two: Crichton fights and wins a Pyretic victory over "Harvey" the neural clone of Scorpi flitting about in his head; Someone close to the crew dies and there are some unexpected departures.
I'd have to agree that Season of Death is one of the show's strongest opening episodes. It manages to build on the established story arcs of both seasons 1 and 2. The writing became more consistent as the character's backstories finally stablized. That also gave the actor's considerably more confidence in their roles as well. The visuals are, as always stunning.
The arrival on the production staff of a number of Next Generation and DS9 vets (including Richard Manning and Naren Shanker) also brought considerable depth and experience to the production side. While staff writers like Andrew Prowse have done a terrific job with the series, the Next Gen folks provided a different perspective that allowed the conflicts and emotional attachments of the characters additional depth.
The DVD's have been improving since the season one batch. Season two still had a number of great extras and the main issue--the DVD menu--has been improved somewhat as well. My only complaint is the focus on a bit too many bottle shows during season three. I realize it's a way to save money and budget out for the bigger episodes but, well, Moya's confined space makes it a bit difficult to continue to come up with strong story ideas. Still, to their credit, the Farscape production crew, staff and actors manage to pull it off.
If you're checking out the series for the first time, I'd suggest going back to the highlight set for season one (or better yet pick up the entire boxed set) and then move forward. There's a number of loose plot ends that are tied up in both seasons 2 & 3.

Studio: A.D. Vision



DVD title: Dazed and Confused
Productgroup: DVD
Dazed and Confused - movie DVD cover picture
An amazing movie, a sadly skimpy DVD edition


Somehow I missed this excellent movie when it was out in theaters--what was I doing! If I'd seen this when it first came out I'd be living in Austin and have a great life today, instead of freezing my butt off in the Northeast. Oh well. Despite the title, "Dazed and Confused" isn't all about stoners ala "Up in Smoke." It's a 70s-style "American Grafitti," but without all the profound life lessons of the original as befits a decade more about fun than changing the world. Great characters, a brilliant turn by Matthew McConaughy, and nothing ever turns out like the "Afterschool Special" would want it too.
DVD edition is a joke, however--nothing at all beyond bare bones. There was a cast reunion recently--now that would have been worth paying extra for!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Richard Linklater
Actors:
Jason London
Rory Cochrane
Wiley Wiggins
Matthew McConaughey




DVD title: The Black Pirate
Productgroup: DVD
The Black Pirate - movie DVD cover picture
PURE ENTERTAINMENT!


This movie is just so darned fun, you'll have a huge smile on your face the whole time. The story blazes along, the performances are exhuberant, and the two-strip Technicolor process gives it all a beautifully surreal look. The new musical score and extra features on the disc are all top-notch. Have fun!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Albert Parker
Actors:
Douglas Fairbanks



DVD title: Baby's Day Out
Productgroup: DVD
Baby's Day Out - movie DVD cover picture
You have to be a real sourpuss not to laugh at this movie


A very very funny movie that kids LOVE! I don't get the carping about how derivative it is of Home Alone--it's a riot, so who cares? Certainly not a 7-year-old. There are some cleverly-written bits for grown-ups to appreciate, and some--like all the crotch-centered mishaps--that I could live without, but the kids think they're hilarious. I hate a lot of the bland "family fare" films, but this one truly is fun for the whole family. We've watched it dozens of times by now, and there are certain scenes that just never get old.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Patrick Read Johnson
Actors:
Joe Mantegna
Lara Flynn Boyle




DVD title: Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer
Productgroup: DVD
Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer - movie DVD cover picture
it's a great movie!!


i remember watching rainbow brite growing up, i loved the show to death. when the movies came out it was even better, i had all the rainbow brite stuff you could buy and find, still have most of it. i made a webpage about her and the show even. it's for people of all ages i think, it's just a happy show with a positive statement.

Studio: Warner Home Video



DVD title: Jingle All the Way
Productgroup: DVD
Jingle All the Way - movie DVD cover picture
See Extended Scenes In The TV Version!


Jingle All The Way is the kind of Xmas film that seems sweet to some, but tart to others. You just have to get into the groove of what the film is about, which is the craziness of the hectic holiday shopping season. Every year there's some big toy out there that every kid must have (anyone remember Tickle Me Elmo?) and it's always up to the parents to find them. How many parents can put themselves in Arnold Schwarzenegger's shoes when they are overworking and forget to get their child his or her all time favorite toy for Xmas? Yes, the film is a bit cartoonish which allows it to have that fantasy element at the end which is a rehash of the opening scene of the Turbo Man TV show. The craziness of finding the doll is also enhanced from what would happen in real life, not to lose the "real" feel, but to just take it a step beyond which is what always happens when you tell your friends stories and each time you tell them, they become more farfetched and unbelievable (just like the film :-) Sinbad is just hilarious as Myron the mailman, who's a little too competitive for his own good to get a Turbo Man doll. This is definately more of a Xmas movie for the Guys, although I know a few women who like it too. And for those who don't like it the first time may enjoy it after a few more viewings.
The DVD is nothing special...just a Theatrical Trailer as the only bonus feature and it is shown in Widescreen (1.85:1). I wish 20th Century Fox would release a "Special Edition" and include the extended scenes shown in the Television Version which include: 1) The Mall Santa (Jim Belushi), his midget cohort & Arnold exchange extra dialogue as they're driving to the Santa factory, 2) Jim Belushi breaks out into song at the Santa Factory singing about "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot". 3) At the diner, Sinbad explains more about what the Johnny Seven O.M.A. Gun can do with Arnold: discussing all seven individual guns that it contains in greater detail. 4) As Arnold is driving back home in a tow truck (since his car was stripped) he gives the female driver different versions of how he should suck up to Liz, his wife (Rita Wilson), for screwing up so badly. There is also an extended ending after Arnold is carried off at the end, but this scene is also used in the theatrical version after the end credits have finished.
The scenes were added for TV to fill time because the film is only 85 minutes long and even with added commercials, some time needed to be filled. And FOX should even get Arnold & Sinbad together for a DVD audio commentary which would be a lot of fun to listen to.
So, to those who love the movie, more power to you! To those who don't, give it another chance. It'll grow on you.
"It's Turbo Time!"

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Brian Levant
Actors:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sinbad




DVD title: National Lampoon's Vacation (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
National Lampoon's Vacation (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Wally world


Is it me or do the Griswalds have the worst of luck? Laugh at them while they are trying to gain a bit of peace and solidarity during the trip to WALLY WORLD

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Harold Ramis
Actors:
Chevy Chase
Beverly D'Angelo




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