Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Batman - The Animated Series - The Legend Begins
Productgroup: DVD
Batman - The Animated Series - The Legend Begins - movie DVD cover picture
Bigger and Batter Than Ever!

The only thing not to love about the animated Batman series is the choppy animation, itself. Everything else is stellar. Bruce Timm's artwork deliberately hearkens back to the 1940's Max Fleischer Superman shorts, and the clever stories appeal to the kids but are sophisticated enough to hold the attention of adults.
The best thing about the entire series is the "kinder, gentler" approach to the caped superhero. As opposed to Tim Burton's dark just-this-side-of-a-psycho interpretation, the animated Batman develops something of a rapport with his adversaries. He comes to understand them before even attempting to bring them in, and he tries the easy approach first - granted, it generally fails, but at least he tries. His defeat of Gotham's various criminals is invariably brought about by Batman's psychological understanding of them.
The next best thing is the new interpretation of old villains, and the introduction of several Bob Kane originals who never saw screen time anywhere. In the latter category, the Scarecrow and Poison Ivy are magnificent. The Scarecrow story on this DVD introduced Scarecrow as Kane did - as an inadequate little man who uses his advanced knowledge of chemistry to incapacitate his opponents with fear, making himself feel bigger by comparison. Beginning as a mere bankrobber, later stories saw him evolve into a more psychotic extortionist. Poison Ivy, who Kane introduced but rarely used (if I'm not mistaken, he actually only had her in a single story) - and who didn't appear often in post-Kane comics, either - is given a complete makeover and a credible psychosis of her own. Her introductory story is one of the best in the animated series, and is present in this collection. Similarly, "Manbat," a potentially silly figure, is given adult character and motivation in this series, even if he is largely a Dr. Jekyll knockoff.
The greatest - and most pleasant - surprise is Mark Hamill's Joker, which is as perfect a vocal interpretation as anyone could ask for. The Joker of the animated series is the closest anyone has come to the original Kane version, the best and the most satisfying. "Christmas With the Joker" is an episode made mostly for the kids, though adults will probably enjoy it too - it's one of the few that goes really over the top and indulges itself a bit in juvenile comic-strip-ism. Joker's other story, his introductory piece, is much better, both more frightening and more humorous - which is the way the Joker really should be.
Don't worry about buying this one, if you don't have kids as an excuse. Adults will enjoy these great Batman stories probably even more than the kids. Trust me, if you love Batman, the animated series was the best he ever got, outside of the comic book itself.
Indulge yourself!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Kevin Conroy
Loren Lester
Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

DVD title: The Last Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
Dont let this movie be forgotten

The last dragon is flat out the best action movie ever made, even though it is rated R, every kid should see this movie. It is an epic that is slowly becoming forgotten because for some stupid reason it has not been re-realeased. To this day I still laugh when Johnny demonstrates "The art of fighting without knowing how to fight" I can still call somebody a "String bean rick james-looking fool" and they know what im talking about. I've seen this movie so many times that my tape is starting to wear out. Last year I bought a DVD player and I have amassed an extensive collection of movies but my collection will never become complete until "The last dragon" is realeased on DVD.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Michael Schultz

DVD title: Parting Glances
Productgroup: DVD
Parting Glances - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful, compelling, compassionate, witty and wise

Probably the best gay theme movie I've ever seen, if not one of the best movies I've ever seen. It feels like the companion piece to Andrew Holleran's novel, "Dancer From The Dance"... a must read. The characters are realistic, the situation is simultaneously realistic and poetic, giving the film its combination of poignancy and euphoric rush. To the straight viewer, if you want an insight into the gay mind space, and the sadness of AIDS, whilst affirming life, this is the movie. SEE IT!

Studio: First Run Features
Director: Bill Sherwood
Richard Ganoung
John Bolger

DVD title: May
Productgroup: DVD
May - movie DVD cover picture
May is Great

Have you ever tried to figure out what something is when your eyes are closed? You grab something round its cool and smooth to the touch. It feels solid so it's not some kind of Nerf ball or anything. Here you are standing in the middle of a room clutching something and you can't quite tell what it is. The object was an apple, but that's not the point.
MAY the new film by first time director Lucky McKee is just that kind of movie. At first maybe it's a romance, then again maybe it's a thriller, hmm.... Maybe it's some kind of comedy, light hearted or dark. At first glance you might just think it's a horror film. But May doesn't aspire to labels, it lives in that world beyond them and that's what works and doesn't work for a film like this.
MAY is one of those movies like Mullholland Drive, From Dusk `Til Dawn, or Femme Fatale. There is a moment in the film that will either grab you and pull you in, or turn you off and produces nothing but loathing. For me that moment came as the blind kids are well.... I don't think I want to share that sequence with you, but for me it worked.
MAY tells the story of a young women named May (Angela Bettis, Girl Interrupted) who seems really sweet on the outside, with just a touch of crazy attached. She had an overbearing mother (Merle Kennedy, Bubble Boy) who wanted her little girl to be perfect. It's just too bad she needed to wear an eye patch to correct a lazy eye. The kids in school all laughed and called her a pirate. To comfort the girl or make her crazy the film doesn't really say, May's mother gives her a prized possession, a freaky looking doll that has to stay in pristine condition in a glass box.
Somehow May survives this weird childhood and grows up to be stable but a little nuts. She falls for a guy with perfect hands (Jeremy Sisto, Wrong Turn) and a girl she works with (Anna Faris, Scary Movie) falls for her. Everything is perfect until these people turn their back on May, and well that's when the fun begins....
Angela Bettis is excellent; she is really beautiful, really vulnerable, and really expressive without doing much. She gives May this quality that is understated and yet still intense. I like how she says more with one look than lots of silly dialogue. She very much reminded me of a female Travis Bickle. She has a longing for what she can not have and is dealing with it the only way she know how.
Like in TAXI DRIVER, there is a moment when May is on the phone with Adam (the Sisto character) and he wants nothing to do with her anymore. Anyone else would have gotten the point. But not May and so when the realization comes, just as when Travis Bickle was dumped by Betsey something inside both of them snaps.
Another bright spot is Anna Faris. Why she pigeonholed herself in those stupid comedies is beyond me. She is excellent as May's lesbian workmate. She is bright and spunky and really funny. I'd love to see her do some more legitimate acting work. Hopefully this is the kind of film that she could use to get better roles. Who knows!!!
Director McKee makes it look easy. He has crafted a fascinating look into the eyes of a crazy person, by doing what few films can. He allows us to see that part of ourselves that is manifested in May. We've all at one time or another been treated [bad], made fun of, been ridiculed, and maybe some of us have tried to go over the deep end. I felt pity for May even if I shouldn't have. This is a powerful movie, and one of the best I've seen all year.
If Hollywood ever got off its rear end and decided that a film like MAY deserved to be shown at the same multiplex as FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY maybe their would be better quality films out there that the general market could consume. Until then it will probably only be discovered by lovers of film. I guess that's not so bad.
There are probably others out there that could find fault in a film like MAY. It's that kind of cinema, either you love it or your hate it. There is not much middle ground. But do yourself a favor, go and rent this movie.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Lucky McKee
Angela Bettis
Jeremy Sisto
Anna Faris
James Duval

DVD title: Gone With the Wind
Productgroup: DVD
Gone With the Wind - movie DVD cover picture

You can't really say anything about this film because it just leaves you breathless. Words can't express the excellence and beauty of this film. It's legend will live forever...

Studio: Warner Home Video
Clark Gable
Vivien Leigh

DVD title: Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The Brain That Wouldn't Die
Productgroup: DVD
Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The Brain That Wouldn't Die - movie DVD cover picture
very funny

Has some prize lines such as "I HATE YOU for doing this to me! I wish you would DIE!...uh, could you change my water please?"

Studio: Rhino Video
Michael J. Nelson
Joel Hodgson
Trace Beaulieu
Kevin Murphy (II)

DVD title: Cape Fear (10th Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Cape Fear (10th Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
I don't see what's so bad about this movie.

no one seemes to like this movie. I personally found it very exciting. I think, actually, it was the most exciting movie I've ever seen. I'm 13 and I enjoyed this movie. In fact, ever since it first came out, and I was just 5 or so, I thought the premise of the story sounded interesting, although I don't think I would've even wanted to see it back then. I know my parents wouldn't have let me anyway, but it seemed too scary. Ever since then I've always remembered it, and just a few weeks ago I saw it. I just decided to look at the reviews, and they upset me very much. I think people who saw the old one just didn't like the remake and wanted to post up their opinion. It's really very good. MUCH better than they make it seem. You'll love it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro
Nick Nolte
Jessica Lange

DVD title: The West Wing - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The West Wing - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The West Wing: Season One

I have always been interested to political dramas. And "The West Wing", episode by episode, gives the audience those kinds of stories and more. From the witty and sarcastic one-liners to the character driven stories, the show always delivers. It created a tapestry of characters that are individually and collectively engaging.

Here are my personal top 5 favorite episodes of the season:

1. In Excelsis Deo - A great episode that has a very positively Christmas feel. The White House staff had to deal with different things, CJ with her position on hate crimes, Sam and Josh protecting Leo from the drug scandal, Toby inexplicably affected by the death of a homeless man. Ironically only the president seems to be in the Christmas mood with his holiday shopping. The episode ended with a great montage with the white house staff all lined up while listening to the Christmas carol and then the funeral of the dead homeless man.

2. Let Bartlet Be Bartlet - A great ensemble episode that showcased the unity and loyalty of the staff to the administration of Bartlett. It's a poignant episode that strengthens the viewers attachment and involvement to the characters. You root for them and you want them to succeed.

3. Celestial Navigation - I love this episode. Probably the funniest episode of the season. There's so many great scenes like Josh being hounded in the press room, Sam and Toby in the prison, and CJ with the root canal. Nice use of flashbacks.

4. What Kind of Day Has it Been? - I love this kind of style of storytelling. The episode opened with the last 5 minutes of the episode where nothing makes sense because we have no idea what happened prior to the scene. The opening scene ended with a cliffhanger. Then we get to see things that happened before the opening scene. I often see that kind of storytelling style in Alias, and I really like it. The last few minutes of the episode were suspenseful. A great season ender.

5. Pilot - A solid series premiere that established the mood of the show as well as introducing the White House staff.

Grade: A-

Studio: Warner Home Video
Martin Sheen

DVD title: Fight Club (Single Disc Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Fight Club (Single Disc Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
No Rules

The best thing about David Fincher's masterpiece is that you can take away what you want from this film. Fight Club isn't really about anything. That is sort of the theme and the beauty of this film because that is how real life is. Being able to watch this film and draw your own conclusions it what makes this film so special. Additionally it is probably one of the most well photographed and edited films ever. Stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton form the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid for a new generation. They perfectly represent a generation that does not want to be told where they are going, they want to find out, but are not sure how. Fight Club is an anthem, everyone should see it once. Of coarse then you have to watch it again and again. It is addictive.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: David Fincher
Edward Norton
Brad Pitt

DVD title: Hoop Days Zone 1
Productgroup: DVD
Hoop Days Zone 1 - movie DVD cover picture
Hoop Days vol. 1

1 The intriguing transfer student
2 The revival of the boy's basketball team
3 The practice game opponents are...
4 Winning Spirit
5 The Crippled comeback

If you like Slam Dunk you may want to check this show out since there are enough similarities and differences to make this show worth watching. Even if you hate Slam Dunk you may want to give this show a try since it has a simple but fun storyline, with likeable characters, and some catchy music. The story begins with Kazuhiko Aikawai an ace basketball player at only 5 ft. 8 inches. After leading his high school Tendoj high to the National championships Aikawai transfers to Mizuho high. He decides to go there because he has lost his ability to enjoy playing basketball since his previous school was focused on winning only.

On his first day at Mizuho high school Aikawai learns that Mizuho has a great basketball team; however it the girls basketball team. The girl's basketball team has gone to the regionals 6 times. While the boy's basketball team hasn't been active in a long time since the star point guard Fujiwara got into an altercation with the team's former coach.

Since Aikawai loves basketball he is determined to get the boys basketball to become active again; however, the only four players on the boy's basketball team tend to ignore him. This leads Aikawai to end up spending a lot of time playing with the girl's basketball team since the girl's basketball coach thinks he'll be useful in helping the girl's improve their game. Even though ace player Aikawai's practicing with the girl's basketball team he never acts egotistical while playing with them. He simply acts politely and has fun. Aikawai also never gives up on getting the boys basketball team to play again regardless of their attitudes towards him.

Studio: Bandai Entertainment

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