Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: When It Was a Game - Triple Play Collection
Productgroup: DVD
When It Was a Game - Triple Play Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Colorful baseball from a 'Black & White' era

Released prior to Ken Burns' wonderful documentary, 'BASEBALL,' this 3-part series offers a priceless collection of color 8mm home movies depicting images of everything to do with major league baseball. You get the superstars, the forgotten, the ballparks - there's a little bit of everything. We see an aged Cy Young and a retired Babe Ruth with a young Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. The beautiful original musical score sets an attitude of reverence for the entire film. There are interviews with several former players detailing life in the 'big leagues,' and all the reflections are heard amidst the original color film. For those of us in our forties and younger, our mindset of life in America during the first half of the twentieth century exists primarily in black and white images - this series alters all of that. It was fascinating for me to see the original colors of the uniforms and panned sequences of stadiums long since gone. All in all, this is a superlative effort by individuals who truly cared about what they were doing. This is a 'must own' for long time baseball fans. (I own the VHS tapes of this series and have yet to see the DVD; as a result, I am unaware if any additional sequences have been included)

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Freddy Got Fingered
Productgroup: DVD
Freddy Got Fingered - movie DVD cover picture

Finally a movie that makes you REALLY ponder if Tom Green is completely insane, or just playing the part. Tom has done something that no other director in his right mind would have ever attempted in a lifetime, and that is to make a movie less by script and more by what he just frankly felt like doing at the time. I applaud Tom with a standing ovation for the balls to put his head and career on the chopping block and release this across the country for everyone to debate about. The best way to sum up this movie is kind of like the scene from A Clockwork Orange where the main character is forced to watch all kinds of random insane, grotesque, and raw movie footage... I felt just like a trapped lab rat, yet I thouroughly enjoyed every hilarious minute of it. A true master work of art that only the genius mind of Tom Green could create. You'll laugh and cringe all in the same second, then question your own sanity for such a mixed bag of emotions. I know I wasn't the only person in the theater looking around to see if it was abnormal to be laughing at certain scenes, and I wasn't. After all, who defines what is normal? Remember, Tom is a prankster who just likes to do things for personal amusement to see non-scripted REAL reactions from people around him... are you watching Tom's movie, or is Tom really laughing watching you all squirm in your seats??? Test subjects, who paid for visual experiments fully aware of possible mind altering side affects or life long mental scars. Think about that one for a minute. You'll definately find out who you are inside, and realize it's OK to turn away in disgust from such evil horrible smut, and equally just as OK to sit there smiling like a sick and twisted individual laughing at everyone else who can't stomach good clean fun. Love it or hate it, but either way Tom has accomplished EXACTLY what he intended to do from the start. I hope to god that the DVD contains all of the best footage that was forcefully removed in order for this movie to be allowed in theaters, barely scraping by with an R rating. Ahhhh CENSORSHIP. Gotta love those Bush & Ashcroft American Values at work full force. Why can't they give Americans what they really want, and put more caffeine in the US water system instead of more arsenic? * VOTE TOM GREEN FOR PRESIDENT! * LARRY FLINT FOR SURGEON GENERAL! *

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Tom Green (III)
Tom Green (III)
Rip Torn

DVD title: How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
Productgroup: DVD
How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman - movie DVD cover picture
One of best movies ever made, but then I have weird tastes

I saw this movie at a college film festival back in the 70's - I have not seen this video, BUT I have been waiting FOREVER for this movie to come out on vid. It was made in Brazil, so I assumed that was why it hadn't made it to video yet. I have been checking video stores for the past 15 years waiting for this outstanding movie to come out! It is one of my all-time favorites - but be warned, it is weird, like Werner Herzog weird - its weirdness stems from its super-realism.
The movie is based on a true incident back a few centuries ago, in pre-colonial times, when Europeans were first encountering the tribes in the Amazon. A white man is mistaken by a savage tribe of cannibals as their enemy, so they intend to kill him. Before they dispatch him, though, they make him part of their tribe (their custom). The entire movie is like watching a National Geographic documentary as he becomes an accepted member of their tribe. That's it. Cosmic plotline? No. Intense insight into the variety of human life? Definitely.
Oh yeah... be warned... this film has definite nudity - this is not some Hollywood schlock flick about noble savages... this film tells it like it was (re-read above: National Geographic, super-realism)

Studio: New Yorker Video
Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos

DVD title: The Twilight Zone - Season 2 (The Definitive Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Twilight Zone - Season 2 (The Definitive Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Fan's Dream

The Definitive Edition was great quality. I was taken back to the 1960's as I watched my DVD's. Keep up the great work.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Rod Serling

DVD title: Die Hard
Productgroup: DVD
Die Hard - movie DVD cover picture
Yipee-Yi-Kay Mothaf*cka!

This movie is great! it is nearly all action and shooting and stuff. If you don't know it is about a NY Cop who goes to a building for a party with his wife(In LA) or something and when he is in his room, terrorists take over the buildings and he is the only one they haven't got in hostage, so the movie is him killing them and trying to save the hostages, anyway this is one of my favorite movies, so watch it.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: John McTiernan
Bruce Willis
Alan Rickman

DVD title: NHL - Detroit Red Wings - Team History
Productgroup: DVD
NHL - Detroit Red Wings - Team History - movie DVD cover picture
Simply a Must Have for any Red Wing Fan!!!

You really have to love the DVD format. It has shown us the real meaning of special editions when talking about movies, has given us our favorite TV shows in complete seasons and now it has gone a step further and given us sports fans something very special. The best part about this set of DVD's are not the highlights and the behind the scenes interviews but the 5 full games that are included. These 5 games are without a doubt the 5 best games in recent Red Wing history. The fans who voted for these 5 games knew what they were talking about. I myself had these games taped onto VHS and have wathced them many times but the quality was pretty pathetic. Having these games on DVD is just about the greatest thing a Red Wing fan could ask for. I still get goosebumps when I watch these games and again this is a set that any Red Wing Fan must have.

In total you get 5 full games (the best 5 in recent history) + tons of extras including interviews & behind the scenes footage. I would have easily paid $100.00 for this set (20.00 per game) and the price is only around $40.00 which really is an amazing price for what you get. If your a Red Wing fan and your into DVD's then this one is a no brainer. Lets hope this trend continues as I would like to get a set like this for the Detroit Pistons as well. Anyways, enjoy this set - I know I will.

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Pocahontas (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Pocahontas (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
Still One of Disney's Best

Even with its minor flaws, this film still stands, in my opinion, as one of Disney's greatest achievements. Following the phenomenal success of "The Lion King" the previous year, "Pocahontas" was considered a dismal failure in 1995, as it barely made over 100 million at the box office. True, there was no room for hyenas marching in lockstep or lusting French candlelabras, but what the Disney artists accomplished was that necessary next step in the art of animation. Also true is the lack of historic accuracy to what little is known of Pocahontas and John Smith, and the fact there is no proof they were ever romantically linked. But if historic accuracy was the most important criteria in filmmaking, "Pocahontas" would have been nothing more than an animated documentary.

Some viewers may be missing the point if they try to compare this movie with other Disney gems like "Snow White" or "Cinderella". Pocahontas is portrayed here as a grown woman, and not a teen or "Little Mermaid". Her romance with Smith is a strong lesson that love levels all barriers, even racial ones. To me, this film was Disney's first attempt at an animated film with more adult values, a concept that should make both adults and children happy (and I always thought "Pocahontas" was a great "date" movie). The Disney Studio should be commended in their efforts in this regard.

The discs we have here are not as well filled as that of "Beauty and the Beast" or "The Lion King", although Disney correctly included the half hour documentary, hosted by Irene Bedard (the speaking voice of Pocahontas), that was televised on the Disney Channel when the film was originally released. Also included is a film commentary by the producer and the two co-directors of the film.

The big selling point in this release is the inclusion of the song, "If I Never Knew You", that was cut from the theatrical version (which also reappears as a reprise in the final scene). Artistically, the song is necessary to solidly reinforce how much Pocahontas and Smith mean to each other (besides being a most beautiful composition). But the viewer may decide its inclusion is unacceptable. So Disney has given viewers two film choices, with the added song seamlessly inserted in the anniversary edition.

The film has undergone some amazing remastering, with far brighter colors and sharper lines than before. Heavy film grain was a major distraction at the theater, on the VHS tape, and the original DVD, with flat areas appearing to dance about like ants. But now, the image is smooth and beautiful. Clearly "Pocahontas" is now close to the perfection it never was in the past. The sound has a bit more gusto when heard in surround sound (thanks to THX), but the new remastering is barely noticable when heard on the TV alone. Compared with the original DVD, the video difference is stunning. Characters' movements seem more fluid this time around, and the sharpness of the outlines emphasize facial expression better.

The previous DVD listed the aspect ratio as 1.66:1, which was incorrect - it was actually closer to 1.50:1. For the new DVD, we are given the ratio of 1.66:1, allowing more image left and right, but neither DVD has presented the film in the theatrical release ratio of 1.85:1.

For anyone who already has the previous DVD of "Pocahontas", an additional purchase may not be deemed necessary. But for everyone else, this immaculate new presentation is a must have.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Mel Gibson
Christian Bale
Linda Hunt

DVD title: My Mother's Castle
Productgroup: DVD
My Mother's Castle - movie DVD cover picture

"My Mother's Castle" is a follow-up of the equally brilliant film "My Father's Glory" taken from the books of Marcel Pagnol. This film is like a beautiful painting, true to life and brilliantly acted. It is a film that will leave you in a nostalgic and dreamy mood. It will move you, make you cry both with sadness and joy. A beautiful protrayal of youth, friendship, love and of course Provence. You will all want to go to France on holiday after seeing this film. A MUST see film. Enjoy it everyone!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Yves Robert
Philippe Caubère
Nathalie Roussel
Julien Ciamaca

DVD title: Ceres, Celestial Legend - Destiny (Vol.1)
Productgroup: DVD
Ceres, Celestial Legend - Destiny (Vol.1) - movie DVD cover picture
This is a Great Anime!

This is a great anime! Its a little confusing if you don't pay close attention, but a real treat if you do! (Don't worry! Its not as confusing as lain!) The story begins when Aya (a normal high school student) goes to a fortuneteller and the fortuneteller tells her "You will have a life saving encounter. The whole world will lose its balance once the sixteen stars are aligned your destiny will take place and your true will to live." Then later that day a man steals a ladies bag and Aya tries to get it once it's going over the bridges railing. She falls over along with the bag and floats down onto the street then once a car is about to hit her she is saved by a young and handsome man named "toya." (Who looks exactly like Tamahome from Fushigi Yugi)The next day Aya and Aki (Aya's twin brother) go to there grandfather's house where there supposedly suppose to have their 16th birthday. Their grandfather gives them a "gift" Aki opens it and reveals a mummified hand. Aki then gets mysteriously hurt and Aya remains unharmed. This indicated to their grandfather that Aya is a threat to the family and must be killed at once. Now I can't go spoiling the whole story. I don't recommend watching this JUST because you like Fushigi Yugi. Its true the characters are drawn very similar to the ones in Fushigi Yugi, but the story and the plot are much more different than Fushigi Yugi. It has more violence and nudity. BUT don't let all those minor things interfere with you not enjoying the story because this is a great anime and in my opinion one of the best anime I have seen! ^_~

Director: Hajime Kamegaki

DVD title: Ju-on (The Grudge)
Productgroup: DVD
Ju-on (The Grudge) - movie DVD cover picture

Ju-On: The Grudge
directed by Takashi Shimizu
2003, 92 mins

First things first: there's Ju-On, and there's Ju-On: The Grudge. Ju-On: The Grudge is a remake of plain Ju-On, with a different cast and a bigger budget, but the same director. This review concerns Ju-On: The Grudge, as the original Ju-On has not been released here (sadly, because it has Chiaki Kuriyama in it). That taken care of, let's carry on to the review itself.

Movies don't often really scare me. The Exorcist? Pssh. The Shining? Meh. However, I was caught off-guard when I saw Ringu for the first time. Now this was scary! I mean, just imagine this creepy girl coming crawling out of your TV! That was the first time I regretted watching horror movies in the middle of the night, in the dark, all by myself. I watched several more Asian horror movies after Ringu, including all the spin-offs and whatever, but none of them seemed to be able to come anywhere near Ringu. That was, until I got my hands on Ju-On. I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the night I watched this movie, I almost wet my pants.

How come? I don't know. The movie in itself is not really special, to be honest. The acting is quite okay, and the technical aspects, nothing wrong with them. The story lacks, to say the least. But is it scary? Oh my shizzle, yes. This movie is loaded with scenes that are just too creepy for words. I could of course spoil them, but that takes away the, well, 'fun' of it. You should just see for yourself and get scared (or not, since some people apparently don't find it scary at all; they find The Exorcist much scarier *coughs*). I'll tell you this: since I watched this movie, I always turn on the lights before looking into a mirror. Hella, I don't believe in ghosts or anything, but crap, Ju-On really got to me. Evil Dead couldn't breed any fear for mirrors-in-the-dark here, but Ju-On could. Therefore, I praise it.

Oh yeah, the make up looks like crap.

mos says:

Scares? 100/10
Gore? 2/10 (blood-soaked ghost-women count)
Scary kids? 1/1
Fun factor? 10/10 (if getting scared is your kind of fun)
Turn-on-the-lights-before-looking-into -the-mirror factor? 10/10

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Megumi Okina
Misaki Ito
Misa Uehara (II)

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