Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: 28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Completely reinvents the genre!

In Brief
Imagine waking up to find that you are alone, there is no one - you walk the streets of London searching and when all else fails you turn to the church where you encounter for the first time the horror of what has happened. The RAGE virus, transmitted in a drop of blood and devastating in seconds has within 28 days overwhelmed the country. The population is devastated, those infected are ripped apart from the inside both physically and mentally, leaving them in a permanent state of murderous rage, now only a handful of survivors are left. They begin to salvage what remains of their lives only for the nightmare to turn into a terror they cannot escape, as they realise its not only the virus that threatens them now.
Danny Boyle is back on form, lets choose to ignore what I thought of The Beach and continue. This film will do for the Zombie flick what An American Werewolf in London did for that genre. What first strikes you about this film is that it is shot entirely on DV, yes that's right and its obvious! The degradation in the picture quality as opposed to film works magnificently giving the work an eerie dreamlike quality on one hand, while juxtaposing that with a gritty harshness that strikes home with the inescapable nightmare of what is happening. Indeed, the use of tilted shots from high angles gives the work a contemporary feel, creating connotations of CCTV camera footage while at the same time adding to the suspense that the central characters are always being watched and are never really alone. Add to that the intense horror, fast camera work & editing and this is a movie that one should not miss as it is sure to spark a stream of copycat films as Blair Witch did previously.
This is not American, only British filmmakers and actors could have made this and stripped that sense of saran-wrapped packaging that is typically attached to these sorts of films. This feels real, and the pacing works well, it isn't one corpse after another, there are lulls that make the sudden impact of horror believable. The cast play their respective roles effectively, portraying what within the space of this film, are tangibly real people. While it is on occasion graphically nasty, it's the horror of humanity, or should that be horror in trying to rediscover ones humanity, that Murphy, Harris & Eccleston et all deliver so well.
From the frame enhanced shots of fire that recalled in my mind old atomic test footage & the movement of the virus victims, to the simplicity of the signs of lost loved ones around Eros in Piccadilly, that invoked parallels with September 11th, this film works well on so many levels. In my opinion the most striking of sequences involved Murphy discovering his parents dead; prior to entering the bedroom where they lay he is bathed in golden sunlight through opaque blinds that block the outside world, as if to remind us that life continues whether it be here or somewhere else.
So didn't anything about this film annoy me? Was it really that perfect? To be honest it was that dam good and I don't say that very often. However I will say this: that on occasion the music did seem to date the picture to era of BBC television made films from yesteryear, and at one particular moment a speech by the young actress Megan Burns seemed undermined by the soundtrack making what should have been a poignant moment quite corny. The only other grating issue was the overwhelming amount of product placement within the film - I guess films have to be made somehow - though any film that involves the irony of a virus that wipes out mankind from the streets of London but leaves the pigeons ought to be forgiven for that I guess!
The Verdict
Only Exodus or Revelation's have come as close as the apocalyptic horror of this new text. In the light of recent events this film becomes all the more frightening due to the reality principle that works so well, but at least the distributors on this occasion haven't feared releasing something that in my opinion really should not be missed. It may be a horror film but that doesn't mean it has to be crap - This time Danny Boyle has proved that.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Danny Boyle
Cillian Murphy
Naomie Harris

DVD title: Bride of the Monster
Productgroup: DVD
Bride of the Monster - movie DVD cover picture
An Ed Wood Classic

This is essential Ed Wood, right up there with Plan 9 and Glen or Glenda. There is a scene towards the end where one of Bela's crazy mad scientist experiments backfires on him, and according to the story, the effect is supposed to make him grow in size. Wood achieves this illusion by placing Bela in a pair of 6-inch platform shoes. He doesn't even try to hide the crassness. Bela, all of a sudden, out of the blue, is just wearing these platform shoes to make it look as though his body had somehow become physically larger. And then, just to ruin the ending for you, the film climaxes with a nuclear explosion that has nothing to do with anything in the movie, and is never explained. And need I even mention the fake octopus? This is film is the gift that keeps on giving.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.

DVD title: Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society - Boozed Broozed & Broken-Boned
Productgroup: DVD
Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society - Boozed Broozed & Broken-Boned - movie DVD cover picture
God Bless Zakk!

This is the first DVD that has come out in a long time that tears the walls down. Zakk knows how to rock with honesty and integrity. The concert alone is well worth the money. The extras including: Zakk's daughter, interviews, and guitar lessons are the icing on the cake. This DVD is full of energy and musical prowess(a "NU" concept for NU METAL FANS). Fred "D" must have a Limp Bizkit, that's why he is so anti-true-metal! Rock on Zakk and thank you for all the BLS tunes! Let the BLS come visit the South Florida Chapter Soon!!!

Studio: Red Distribution, In

DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A highly criticized good movie

So you've heard that this film was aimed at children and childish, as if the original three didn't appeal to the child, as if it were a movie for adults. And you've heard Jar-Jar is annoying and stupid, as if the original Star Wars didn't paint C-3PO as annoying and Chewbacca as a hairy imbecile. (Chewbacca wasn't developed as a character with character until the second two films.) And you've heard that The Phantom Menace has bad acting and cliches, as if the original three didn't have bad acting or cliches. If you ask the average watcher of the film, rather than the comic book crowd (with their typical "Worst Episode Ever" elitist chant), you'll find that it was highly successful film filled with fun and adventure and suspense. The slow and thoughtful dialogue is the same caliber as the original film, and much better in consistent style and moralistic formalism than most of the films of the same genre released today. In sum, The Phantom Menace is an above-average enjoyable movie. The cultural tone of analysis has changed to negativism and "grown up" intellectualism, but the film remains a valuable and worthwhile video for any collection.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman

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
Why you should wait before you buy DVD's

I'd like to say this edition, and the movie is excellent, but it's living proof to wait to buy DVD's. All my friends had bought the original edition first, and then i just got this one. Same thing goes with T2

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Productgroup: DVD
2001: A Space Odyssey - movie DVD cover picture
Second greatest film ever made?

Everybody pretty much agrees that "Citizen Kane" is the greatest film ever made. "2001: A Space Odyssey" is a good contender for second place... but only because it was made many years after "Citizen Kane." "2001" is a very unconventional film that defies the basic concept of movie "entertainment." This isn't a "movie," it is a visual symphony on celluloid, a type of filmic sculpture where the artist doesn't use a chisel and hammer, but a camera lens and a microphone (and a host of other tools and special effects). No, 2001 isn't a "movie," its an "environment," and has be experienced as such to be fully appreciated.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Keir Dullea
Gary Lockwood

DVD title: 28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
28 Days Later (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fun, Frightening, and Thought Provoking

I enjoyed this movie in the theaters and even more on DVD where one can take the time to think about the many different themes portrayed in this film (whether intended or not, I do not know). Danny Boyle's vision is more than a reminiscent film on previos zombie horror flicks, but instead a thouhtful film dealing with human emotions, struggels, spirit, and ideals.
Even the villians, the Major and his "boys" are seen as people trying to -though morally wrong- survive with a country that has gone to hell. The major is even portrayed with a solemness that is thought provoking - how does one instill hope in a people who have lost it? He takes the wrong path as demonstarted in the film by basing everything in the material world (hence killing his metaphysical sergeant).
But what makes this film so strong as to build suspence is the way he crafts the story with the main characters. We actually begin to feel their plight and want them to succeed. We just don't want them to live, but begin again and if needed begin civilization again (fornuately they don't need to). All the acting is great as all the characters are rivitingly portrayed. The developing love story between Jim and Saleena is real and very human. The character Frank is the most enjoyable and Hanna brings about the innocence that is lost.
Finally, the film, because we do care, is intense. Who will die and who will live? Will anyone live? Is life even worth living? These very human questions are silently asked as our charcters fight to survive. This is a true horror film that asks fundamental questions about the human species.
One reviewer dislikes the films shooting. I think the cinematography was purposely shot with this quality level (though that may not change is likeness or dislikeness.) It brings about a surreal quality that I assert is need for this film to work. Also, the sountrack is outstanding! The music is at times reflective and inrospective. It has moments of being upbeat. The arrangment of some old Christian songs are just simply fantastic.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Danny Boyle
Cillian Murphy
Naomie Harris

DVD title: The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
Great TV Series!!!

Now The second season is comig out cool. Just a reminder to all you mayberry fans Don't forget that Andy Griffith Show - The Compleate Third season; and forth is soppose to come our by the end of this year.


Studio: Paramount Home Video
Andy Griffith

DVD title: Jimi Hendrix - Blue Wild Angel (Live at the Isle of Wight)
Productgroup: DVD
Jimi Hendrix - Blue Wild Angel (Live at the Isle of Wight) - movie DVD cover picture
A great glimpse at an artist in transition

Like many people in the early '70s, I grew up with Jimi Hendrix as part of the cultural aether around me. (This was well before the days of "classic rock" radio programs that have overexposed Hendrix's work and made it seem so tiresome...) Anyway, it wasn't until I snuck into the moviehouse at the college student union near where I grew up and saw a screening of the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock documentaries that Jimi Hendrix really blew my mind. Although the feedback and distortion techniques he pioneered have become commonplace in the rock bands of today, no one has ever topped the stunningly intimate physicality with which Hendrix approached playing the electric guitar... His approach was as much percussive as it was melodic, with him pushing and nudging and prodding the tones out more than he actually strummed the strings.
This performance is not as artistically dazzling or as charismatic as those earlier shows, but the cinema verite style of this stark documentary is an invaluable glimpse of a musical genius in his final, reclusive days. As other reviewers point out, the logistical conditions at the Isle of Wight festival were chaotic and challenging, but it's clear from the pre-show and on-stage footage that Hendrix was not the hopeless basket case that many made him out to be, based on this single shambolic concert. The film producers could have done a better job explaining the significance of this show (one of Hendrix's last, before his tragic London overdose), and the conditions he faced before he stepped on stage. Still, it's a valuable document, and the optional split-sceen, multi-vantage point presentation on several tracks is a nice use of DVD technology to show us the full coverage that the film crews shot. Definitely worth checking out if you're a devoted Hendrix fan.

Studio: Universal Music & VI
Jimi Hendrix

DVD title: Northern Exposure - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Northern Exposure - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
I Love Northern Exposure

This is a quality dvd set. It is a little pricy, but it is worth it. You get a lot of extras, etc.
There is a guy by the name of Art selling bootleg discs from ottowa. His are as expensive but the framerate is so low (around 2 mb/sec). He copied them from cable to a dvd recorder squeezing 5 episodes on per disc... WOAH!
These commerically released discs are professioanl quality all the way. Framerate is very high, to be expected of a commercial release. Sound is incredible.
If you are a fan, you will not be dissappointed to have these discs in your dvd collection!
Ted K

Studio: Universal Studios

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