Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Horton Hears a Who
Productgroup: DVD
Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Horton Hears a Who - movie DVD cover picture
Color Controversy

I compared a VHS version and DVD version to check the Grinch's "color problem" discribed by some reviewers of this DVD. True, the Grinch is not bright green on the DVD, but I don't think he is supposed to be. I did not see any difference between the VHS and DVD versions of his color, and did not think his color looked wrong at all.

Studio: Warner Studios
Boris Karloff
Thurl Ravenscroft

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Sadness in the heart of happiness

Ohh my god I never have cryed so much in my entire life. this is the saddest movie. The action is awsome and the story is better than anything i have ever seen before. i love this movie. Elijah wood is a realy good actor in this movie,but i pictured the hobbits fatter. Gandolf the wizard was the perfect gandolph. It is a scary movie. you love the characters so much that when they are fighting you get sad and can realy feel their emotions

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Productgroup: DVD
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - movie DVD cover picture

The best reason to go out and by a DVD player is Monty Python's special Edition Grail. I spent a delicious Sunday afternoon watching both disc's of this great "new" release. You just have to try it in every variation of subtitle and commentator.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Terry Gilliam
Terry Jones
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Eric Idle
Michael Palin

DVD title: Lord of the Flies - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Lord of the Flies - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Hidden behind the symbolism...

The Criterion DVD was worth waiting for. Plenty of extras such as outtakes, commentary, a deleted scene, a photo scrapbook, and so on. When played on a computer monitor, the video quality is as good as a 35mm photograph. If you buy this disk, play it immediately to check for problems. I've had some quality problems with Criterion DVDs although none with this one.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Peter Brook
James Aubrey
Tom Chapin (II)

DVD title: Singin' in the Rain
Productgroup: DVD
Singin' in the Rain - movie DVD cover picture
Tremendous deluxe edition

"Singin' In the Rain" has finally gotten the "special" treatment this masterpiece deserves. The new digital transfer is stunning-- both visual and audio. I've seen this film I don't know how many times in theatres, including several screenings in the original 3-strip Technicolor. This transfer, as with "The Wizard of OZ," is as close as you can get to seeing a 3-strip print in a theatre.
Many reviewers have complained about the commentary track and it is the low-point of this edition. So skip it, if you don't like it.
Instead, throw on the second disc, which is a goldmine. First, there is the excellent PBS documentary on the Arthur Freed Unit, "Musicals Glorious Musicals." This is an often revealing 90-minute film about the musical films Freed produced. Plenty of great excerpts, too. It tends to puffery, but not excessively.
Then there is a new documentary, "What A Glorious Feeling," on the making of "Singin' In the Rain." Watching both these documentaries, you don't need the commentary track. Most of it was lifted from these documentaries.
In addition, this supplementary disc includes the songs used in "Singin' In the Rain," as they first appeared in their original written for films and later films that used the songs again. Some of these are unintenionally funny today. But it is really a crash course in the history of movie musicals. My favorite is Eleanor Powell in the number that introduced "You Are My Lucky Star." A beautfully done, very '30's black-and-white number that builds into an all stops-out dream-dance sequence. (Were Americans ever this innocent?) Others include Bing Crosby wonderful introducing "Beautiful Girls," Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney introducing "Good Morning," Cliff Edwards (aka Ukele Ike, Jiminy Crickett) introducing "Singin' In the Rain" with what appears to be every star then under-contract to M-G-M in 1929, "Broadway Melody" in a tremendous number led by the irreplaceable Eleanor Powell and support from some of the best talent of the time including "eccentric dancer" Buddy Ebsen and the great singer Frances Langford--the best number by far in this retrospective. And there is another whole section of audio excerpts from the recording sessions.
In short, this is an incredible collection that any musical or film buff should treasure.
It is true, as one reviewer noted, that the "Broadway Melody" number in "Singin' In the Rain" is a flaw in the flow of the film. Pauline Kael pointed this out too. She considers the film a great one. For myself, I don't mind, the number is too damned well-conceived and entertaining. Again, thanks to being on DVD, you can jump to the next scene if you don't care to watch it. I've tried it and the film definitely runs smoother narratively. But I missed it, and played after the film.
If you love SITR, as I do, this is a must buy. If you're interested and have never seen it, rent it and decide for yourself.
Let's hope that Warner Brothers does a 50th anniversary edition of "Bandwagon" next year with a digital and audio refining that equals or surpasses this. And a better commentary track. Bet Scorssee would join in the commentary.
"Singin' In the Rain" was not shot in widescreen, but in the only format used for studio pictures before the end of 1953. It was designed to be shown in 1.37:1, Which just about the ratio of most tv screens. YOU ARE NOT MISSING ANYTHING. I wish you young film buffs would educate yourselves about the history of film aspect ratios.
Also Michael Kidd had nothing whatsoever to do with the choregraphy in "Singin' In the Rain." He comments on it, but never claims he did any of it, for the simple reason he did none. He was probably in New York over-seeing his legendary choregraphy for the original stage production of "Guys and Dolls." Which is probably why he got the "Bandwagon" assignment a year after "Singin' In the Rain." He did all the choregraphy in "Bandwagon" and the following year, 1954, for "7 Brides For 7 Brothers."
Kelly and Donen worked in partnership on the choregraphy and direction "SITR." And it is really impossible now to determine who was responsible for what.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Gene Kelly
Donald O'Connor
Debbie Reynolds

DVD title: Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance
Productgroup: DVD
Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance - movie DVD cover picture
Not another sound bite

This is a film that needs to be absorbed in its entirety to be fully enjoyed. The music and images blend together to create a mood and sets the film into motion. In our sound bite society most of us can't tolerate waiting 15 minutes to begin understanding a film...but if you are there are hidden treasures in the world.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Philip Glass

DVD title: See Spot Run
Productgroup: DVD
See Spot Run - movie DVD cover picture
cool and funny

I never went to see this movie in the cinema. It was advertised on its release as being the only movie showing the preview for 'Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone'. I figured that any movie that had to rely on _that_ sort of publicity to get an audience had to be really bad. Boy, was I wrong.My father hired this movie out for the family to watch (him having a bizarre sense of humour, and all) and I watched it simply so he wouldn't feel bad about picking a dud movie. Well, I think we spent the next two or three weeks searching high and low for a copy to buy.This is a very, _very_ funny movie. I think there were only two or three places in it that I wasn't laughing. Yes, it is plugged as a kid's film, and there are a couple of spots with a bit of crude toilet humour, but don't be put off by that. See Spot Run is a laugh-a-minute movie in every sense of the word. Certain characters are over-acted to perfection (see Agent 11's handler and Mr Arquette's neurotic dog-hating character) while others are played straight with equally good results.Possibly the best scenes in the film revolved around the demolition of a Pet Store interior, including a fish bowl, sea urchins, bubble wrap and helium, and a scene near the end where Spot rolls a single ball across the floor to the Mob boss in a very obvious taunt (he'd already bitten off one of the crook's afore-mentioned appendages).This movie is hilarious, while also managing a touching feel-good finish. This is one film you can watch over and over, and never get sick of.

Studio: Warner Brothers Home Video
Director: John Whitesell
David Arquette
Michael Clarke Duncan

DVD title: The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade) - Widescreen - movie DVD cover picture
At least! (por fin! ), a widescreen with THX.

Finally I've waited for this trilogy to be realeased since 1994, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas did a great job making this films, and if you had only seen it on video you've only seen half of it! but now they can be aprecciated on our home at 100%, because they were released in the 80's and in that time theaters did't had digital sound, so I think that the only advantadge they'll take if released on DVD would be the picture quality (twice as sharp as a VHS. Note: I'm also a DVD owner); but these movies should be compared monitor with monitor with the previous mutilated versions just to se how much we've missed when the original picture is squared and cloistered to fit our screen.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Harrison Ford

DVD title: 24 - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
24 - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
Exciting serie!

I didnt watch this during it's initial run on FOX but recently borrowed the DVDs from a friend. I figured I'd watch an episode here and there when nothing else was on TV but once the first epsiode was over I became a "24" junky! I stayed up late at night, got up early in the mornings before work to catch another Hour and after swearing to watch no more than an episode a night, sometimes found myself watching two and even three.Needless to say, I felt like Jack Bauer at the end of those sleepless 24 Hours as I watched the show and finished over just a three week period. The cast is great, the writing is supurb and it's non stop on the edge of your seat action.If you havent seen it, go buy it or rent it now.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Kiefer Sutherland

DVD title: Queen of the Damned (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Queen of the Damned (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Queen of the Damned

I just saw this awful excuse for a movie, and I am going to try my best to keep others from making my mistake!I have loved Anne Rice since shortly after Interview With A Vampire (the movie) came out. Tom Cruise's portrayal of Lestat, in particular, drew me into the story. Now, true, the character Louis was hard to get behind (accurate to the book; Louis IS kind of a whiner) and Antonio Banderas, though he portrayed Armand beautifully, was physically inappropriate for the role, and the end was a major departure from the book, but the movie held true to the general plot and personalities and feel of Anne Rice's world.Not so with Queen of the Damned. It seems like the scriptwriters barely gave a nod to the plot; they borrowed the names of characters, but didn't even bother with their actual personalities.
Lestat is a vampire. A self-proclaimed monster. He's not a nice guy. But he also drinks only the blood of the evil doer. I wouldn't call the poor girls he was chasing around in the movie evil doers. And Lestat is in love with humanity. Not just Jesse; he loves the members of his band, he loves David, he loves humans he comes into contact with. Humanity fascinates himAs a note, I do think that with a better script, and a better idea of what he was doing, Stuart Townsend might have been as good a Lestat as Tom Cruise; maybe even better. But for all of you teenyboppers out there who JUST LOVE STUART TOWNSEND OMG!!111!!, I'm sorry, but just because an actor is hot doesn't mean that any movie he does is good. Plus Lestat is blond. It seems like a silly thing to nitpick, but Anne Rice makes SUCH a big deal about it in her descriptions of him that it is in fact important. I mean, Tom Cruise dyed HIS hair for the role in Interview, and pulled it off quite well.Then there's David. You don't see much of our boy David in the movie, which is ok. The little we saw of him, he was even well-portrayed. Except one little thing. Insiginficant, really, except that it's an essential part of the character. David is in his 70's. Hello?! Then of course, there's Marius. What did these butchers masquerading as screenwriters do to our lovely artist, our Roman scholar? They turned him into some sort of ... villain! Anyone who has read Vampire Lestat would cringe... To someone who actually read the book ABOUT Marius, his portrayal was perhaps the most painful of all. And to clarify a few key plot points related to Marius; he is NOT Lestat's maker. Teacher, perhaps, friend certainly, but not his maker. Moreover, Marius was trapped under tons of ice for most of the duration of Queen of the Damned; trapped by Akasha when she escaped so that he would not be able to interfere.And Akasha... Aaliyah was great as Akasha. She was just as I'd pictured her, and the only reason I gave this movie two stars instead of just one. But, for the record, Akasha and Enkil were not actually statues. Their skin looked like marble, but not their clothes or eyes or hair or whatever. They had color, but the morons who wrote the screenplay apparently missed this.Jesse, along with Maharet and the other ancients, is such a two-dimensional character in this movie I won't even go into them, except to say that it's sad that such characters so essential to the plot were so ignored. Or, in the case of Mekare, Maharet's twin, not mentioned at all.Now, a few notes about vampire lore. In the vampire club, when Jesse goes in looking for Lestat, claiming a relationship with the ancient Marius, one of the vampires tells her all of the ancients are dead. There is a reason for this belief. Just before Marius' time, Akasha and Enkil, her king, were dragged out into the sun by their keeper, in a bid to end their existence. While Akasha and Enkil only acquired a deep tan, because Akasha, who was the mother of ALL vampires, was burned, so every single other vampire was burned. New vampires were immolated; older vampires didn't die, but existed in agony. Vampires were nearly wiped out. Akasha's blood did NOT bequeath Lestat the ability to walk in the sunlight with no fear. If Akasha had actually walked into the sun, or through the fire, most of the vampiric population would have exploded into flame. Last of all, worst of all, is the plot. The scriptwriters took the most insignificant scene and turned it into the bulk of the movie. Lestat's awakening and discovering of rock music isn't even IN Queen of the Damned, it's in The Vampire Lestat. Moreover, that and the later battle comprise of perhaps two chapters, one out of each book. And yet in the movie, it's more than three quarters of the story! The rich history of the vampires is never touched on, even though it's the bulk of the plot in the book. It's vaguely mentioned that whoever drinks the last drop of Akasha's blood won't survive, but not why; they don't mention that if Akasha dies, all vampires die. And where is Mekere, Maharet's dumb (as in, tongue was cut out, not as in stupid) sister, the one who eventually took Akasha's essence into herself? Where is Akasha's quest to eliminate most men, to elevate women and establish herself as their goddess? Gone. Not even touched on.This was awful. If you'd never read the book, I can't understand how you could ever follow the plot, and if you did read it, the plot makes you want to rip your own eyes out to make it stop. Hot actors and flashy special effects are no replacement for vivid storytelling and deep characters. Don't waste your money, don't waste your time, DON'T watch this movie.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Michael Rymer
Stuart Townsend

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