Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Insane Clown Posse - Bootlegged in L.A.
Productgroup: DVD
Insane Clown Posse - Bootlegged in L.A. - movie DVD cover picture
Bootlegged In Your DVD Player

This DVD is way worth the money. It should, however, not take the place of seeing them live. On this DVD, you get tons of old and new ICP songs and a small set from the one and only hatchet warrior, ABK. Some of the highlights include The Chicken Huntin Slaughter House mix, Thy Staleness, Let's Go All the Way and a Fresh A$$ intro that features the music from the Wizards Palace from J's solo Wizard of the Hood disc. Also, stay tuned after Juggalo Anthem for a 2 minute (aprox.) trailer for the Backyard Wrestling video game. Well, most Juggalos and ICP fans probably have this already, but if for some strange reason you dont have this yet, then go out and scoop it up. I swear you'll love it. Also, mark your calenders for 12-09-03 for Psychopathics from Outer Space II! It's gonna be off the hook just like this DVD! Peace!

Studio: Red Distribution, In

DVD title: Miracle (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Miracle (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
This Was A Great Movie And The Greatest Motion Picture Ever

Kurt Russell Did a Great Job Playing Coach Herb Brooks In This Movie But Anyway All Of America's Dreams Did Come True When Team U.S.A. Beat Russia And Then Beat Finland To Win The Gold 1980 Was A Great Year And If You Believe In Miracles Get This Movie When It Arrives On DVD Cause Im Gonna Get My Hands On It When It Arrives But Anyway Lake Placid New York 1980 Will Be A Year None Of Us Americans Will Never Forget

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Kurt Russell
Patricia Clarkson
Nathan West

DVD title: Offenbach - Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) / Pretre, Domingo, Royal Opera Covent Garden
Productgroup: DVD
Offenbach - Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) / Pretre, Domingo, Royal Opera Covent Garden - movie DVD cover picture
A wonderful production--and the only one so far on video

There are many "editions" of this opera (Offenbach died before completing the score)and this tape offers the standard one. That is it does not use the spoken dialogue or any of the "lost" material now being included in many recordings. More damagingly to the shape of the plot, it does not show the Muse at all at the start of the Prologue, no less her transformation into Nicklausse. For better or worse, it does use four bass baritones as the four villains and four women as the four loves (even Sills could not manage all four when she tried). As one critic points out, the only Frenchman is in the pit conducting; and the French pronunciation of the cast is variable. Although the supernatural elements are not ignored in this staging, they are far less emphasized than in other productions, especially the film version with the English-language soundtrack. Domingo is in good voice and manages to create a believable title character. Claire Powell is an attractive Nicklausse with a gorgeous mezzo. Either by choice or direction, she is a concerned and often angry companion to her poetical friend. Baltsa does one sharp reaction turn too many as the Venetian siren; while Cortrubas looks properly at death's door. The men, given the more flamboyant roles make more of a dramatic impression. And the coloratura of Serra's doll is right on the mark. So all in all, this is a terrific bargain and certainly far superior to the older edition that was on two tapes and had no subtitles! By the way, the subtitles here are not too well managed. Many lines are not translated at all and many are shown well after the words have been sung. Still this is a quibble, given the value of the production as a whole. Well worth the 5 stars. And be careful about a video title "Des Contes d'Hoffmann." It is a desconstruction of the opera and might not please one who thinks he is buying the genuine article!

Studio: Kultur
Director: Brian Large

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Return Of The King - The Lord Of The Trilogy

The best film ever! From Fangorn Forest to the very fires of Mount Doom you remain captivated by the story! Why do I like it so much? Because: -

> The visual effects are a feast to the eyes.

> The sound effects make you feel part of the film.

> Minas Tirith is awesome.

> The black and red colours of Mordor have a great effect. They
make it look evil and scary.

> The war scenes give you goosebumps!
(this list is endless)

'The Return Of The King' is truly the king of fantasy!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood

DVD title: Todd McFarlane's Spawn - The Ultimate Collection (Animated Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Todd McFarlane's Spawn - The Ultimate Collection (Animated Series) - movie DVD cover picture
Welcome...the HellSpawn

Nearly every comic book collector, old and new, flocked to their local stores to pick up Image Comics' launcher Spawn, by Todd MacFarlane, coming off a superb SpiderMan run; the overhyped (and badly done) movie also grabbed attention, but few fans got to see the animated series as it was played on HBO, a necessary compromise to allow all the nudity, violence and gore to get airtime.
Just as a reminder for newbies, Spawn is really Al Simmons, once the government's deadliest secret forces soldier, betrayed and murdered; he makes a deal with the devil to be able to come back to see his wife one more time, and instead is endowed with supernatural powers, stripped of his memories, and thrown back to Earth as one of Hell's own elite force.
Just as with every comic book to TV effort, the great details on paper don't translate as accurately onto film, (save for pure Japanese anime, which seems to have little or no problem doing this) something that is once again true with Spawn: The Animated Series. The animators do a decent job of getting the characters well within the ballpark of MacFarlane's vision: the bums' depressive, glazed faces, bad guy Wynn's evil glare and Twitch's I-Don't-Care face, complete with reflective glasses.
But the art is still nowhere near the top anime products out there (this was a 1999 effort), and is closer to the animation in the X-Men series on Fox (not Evolution, the original). The lines are extremely thick, the proportions unmaintained, and the direction choppy. While award-winning series like Batman, and the subsequent Superman and Justice League efforts recruited Japanese animators, they sacrificed a tremendous amount of detail for crisper, more fluid action. Spawn cannot afford such a sacrifice; part of its appeal is the grimy, realistic tint that MacFarlane excelled in creating. At least knowing that MacFarlane approved of the series gives you some peace of mind, although he also approved of the live action movie.
The voices are top notch. They are exactly how you would imagine them to be. Spawn/Simmons growls out in a grating baritone; Wynn projects an arrogant Jonathan Frakes' (of Star Trek The Next Generation's Will Riker fame) voice; and the Violator moves away from John Leguizamoville to the more taunting, feisty urbanite jeer that it should be.
The series plays out much like the comic book, although it is often abbreviated, without losing too many important parts. The first disc of this collection covers Simmons' arrival on Earth as Spawn, and his ongoing struggle to regain his identity and purpose as he lives among humanity's rubble. Disc two moves backward and forward in time as Simmons begins to reclaim the whos, whats, whens, whens, wheres, whys and hows of his life; he rediscovers his best friend Terry Fitzgerald, now married to his wife Wanda and caring for his daughter Cyan. He flashes back to his old special forces days, his comrades of that time, one of whom killed him, and seeks him yet again. The third disc shows the world turning to chaos, just as Simmons is beginning to learn and manage his power; he now has to contend with Heaven's bounty hunters, who have been set out to destroy him--apparently, there have been many Spawns over the course of time, always in battle, not always victorious, against Heaven's own army.
The series does lack closure; it ends with the feeling that a fourth season is on the way (which we all know isn't). For such a franchise loaded with beautifully grim landscapes and colorful characters with artistically brilliant power effects, not much seems to have been invested into getting the most out of the animation. If you can remember what the old X-Men series of the mid-1990s was like, then you can visualize the art of this series: very third-rate, when compared to what is available.
Spawn front loads the discs with 32 chapters on the first disc; 19 on the second and 29 on the third. Be careful with the discs as they are double-sided (Side A, Side B) DVDs that need to be flipped over for the rest of the show.
It's a must-buy for Spawn fans, since it gives us the chance to see the characters we're so used to seeing on paper finally move around; those unfamiliar with the series and looking for "anime" will be severely disappointed by the art, but not the storyline. Recommended for Spawn fans, but not for the casual viewer.

Studio: Hbo Studios
Keith David
Todd McFarlane

DVD title: My Family
Productgroup: DVD
My Family - movie DVD cover picture
A beautiful movie. Everybody should see this one

This movie is the true story of most Mexican-American families in the US then and now. The acting was superb and the story line was great. The parents fighting to keep a family together and instill in them the goodness and traditions they brought from the old country. Not so different from other immigrants. Every family should see this movie.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Gregory Nava
Jimmy Smits
Edward James Olmos
Esai Morales

DVD title: Salem's Lot
Productgroup: DVD
Salem's Lot - movie DVD cover picture
Nosferatu In The Neighborhood...

Director Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) had his work cut out for him. He had to take a great Stephen King novel about vampires in a small town, and turn it into a believable made-for-tv-mini-series, within the confines of network television. And he had to pull this off during the silly 70s! Well, he did just fine. SALEM'S LOT is a macabre tale of vampirism in the tiny new england town (right outside of Bangor Maine) of Salem's Lot. David "Starsky & Hutch" Soul is author Ben Mears, a semi-famous writer who used to live in SL. He's returned to write a new book about the Marsden House, a forboding mansion on a hill that has a history filled with murder and unexplained disappearances. Enter James Mason as Mr. Straker. He's opening an antique shop in town with his mysteriously absent partner, Mr. Barlow. They've purchased the long vacant Marsden House and strange happenings ensue. Kids are disappearing. Others are getting ill with some type of "anemia". Meanwhile, a huge crate is delivered with something very heavy and cold inside. Mr. Barlow has arrived! The "illness" spreads throughout Salem's Lot, causing even the hard-nosed sheriff to pack up and flee! Dr. Norton (Ed "St. Elsewhere" Flanders) tries to figure out what's making everyone sick. Ben finally convinces him that vampires are behind it all when Mrs. Glick (the missing boys' mum) rises from her autopsy table, thirsty for the red stuff! Chills abound as we follow our reluctant vampire-hunters on their quest to give The Master (Barlow) his terminal heartburn. Lance Kerwin stars as a backward kid with a monster obsession. He's also one of the only people in town with a brain! Together with Ben and Dr. Norton, the chase is on. Hooper deserves credit for working so well within such a restrictive and generally dull medium. A must-own for horror fanatics like yours truly...

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Tobe Hooper
David Soul
James Mason

DVD title: Vengeance of the Zombies
Productgroup: DVD
Vengeance of the Zombies - movie DVD cover picture
Naschy's Masterpiece

Horror rises from the tomb is one of the greatest Spanish horror films to date. I recommend watching the uncut european version that this DVD collection provides. All of Naschy's horror films are reminicent of the old Universal and Hamer horror films, except they usually have more gore and nudity. Horror rises from the tomb is no exception.

Director: Carlos Aured

DVD title: George Clinton: The Mothership Connection
Productgroup: DVD
George Clinton: The Mothership Connection - movie DVD cover picture
Flashback Time

For all of the new funk fans that want to know what Parliament sounded like before George changed over to "solo", buy this DVD! I have a second copy unwrapped and stored away for my Grandchildren to see some day. What can I say, this is in a time when musicians played real instruments, and singers sang. Glen Goins (R.I.P) was "on it" as usual. The grooves were tight. The customes were, well, you know. Jerome was showing why he was the best. The horns were at a level, which only they could reach. The stage act was the bomb. The Mothership, ohh The Mothership...I still get goose bumps when George comes out to the intro of Dr. Funkenstein. Sometimes, I catch myself standing up and cheering when he walks down the stairs. What an act they were. What can I say? All true P-Funk fans expect nothing less than the best. For their time, they were the best dam show on earth. The editing on Dr. Funkenstein could have been much better. I would tell everyone to buy it. A classic if there ever was one.

Studio: Pioneer Video

DVD title: Thesis
Productgroup: DVD
Thesis - movie DVD cover picture
Thesis is great, but i can't say as much for the dvd.

It goes without saying Thesis is a very good thriller. It starts off like your usual movie, but grows and develops into something far more complicated (not to confuse this with "complex"), and far more intriguing.If you're reading this dvd review, i'm taking it you've seen the movie, so i'll just proceed to describe the dvd itself.While Fight Club or Snatch are -good dvds- (regardless of the movie itself), Thesis is the exact opposite. It's a joke.There are absolutely NO features (not even trailers, which is sort of the norm). You can't turn the subtitles off, which is just such a darned shame. The keepcase sheet is shameful, but it's way better than the printing on the DVD itself.. which looks like a tasteless, simple and -cheap- attempt at a cd print. Also, since it's "Regionless" (which isn't either good or bad for me), the encoding is different than any other dvd.. and dunno about the rest, but my dvd player can't display it's running time.Thesis is the sort of dvd you'd think they threw together minutes before mass-producing it.Anyways, it's the only dvd version you'll ever find (to date), and you're still getting one hell of a movie, a tad on the expensive side, but great none the less.

Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar
Ana Torrent
Fele Martínez
Eduardo Noriega (II)

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