Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Productgroup: DVD
The Unsinkable Molly Brown - movie DVD cover picture

Debbie Reynolds gives the finest performance of her career in 1964's THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN. It is widely believed by many that Reynolds was cheated out of a much-deserved Academy Award for Best Actress for this picture. 1964 was the year that the Academy and everyone in Hollywood was feuding and steaming over Jack Warner's decision to cast Audrey Hepburn rather than Julie Andrews in the film version of MY FAIR LADY. Hepburn was not even nominated for her excellent performance in that film, which won eight Oscars, including "Best Picture." But despite the fact that everyone believed that Reynolds gave the best performance that year, fellow nominee Julie Andrews won for her first film, MARY POPPINS, a fluffy role that just required the actors to sing well and stay out of the way of the Disney magical effects work. Audiences had already voted for Debbie with their box office dollars. THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN broke all attendance records everywhere it played, including a record breaking long run at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young even named their Gemini spacecraft the MOLLY BROWN in honor of their favorite film. Nearly forty years after the original release of the picture, in most part thanks to theatrical revivals and television showings, most people still associate the character of Molly Brown with Debbie Reynolds, despite the fact that the real Molly Brown was far from being the great beauty as portrayed by Reynolds. But Reynolds' multi-layered performance captures the essence of what makes Molly such a well-remembered heroine and in the process sings and dances her way into our hearts. This picture still is great family entertainment and because it is a period piece the film ages well and that accounts for its appeal to this day.
From a technical standpoint THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN on DVD is truly spectacular! How wonderful it is to hear the Meredith Wilson score in a Dolby Digital sound mix derived from the original multi channel discrete stereo sound. The bold, sharply etched and beautifully saturated Technicolor restored wide screen (2.35:1) image probably looks better than the inferior Metrocolor original. This movie looks and sounds better than the majority of today's films. This disc is demonstration quality in both picture and sound and preserves for today's audiences one of the greatest and most popular motion pictures of all time, a movie truly worthy to be called a CLASSIC.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Charles Walters
Debbie Reynolds
Harve Presnell

DVD title: This Is Spinal Tap - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
This Is Spinal Tap - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
The subtitles are there!

As was a concern for some as far as the mastering of this DVD, the subtitles that are supposedly missing are actually on a seperate subtitle track afterall....but were added after they realized they had left them off........So it's there if you want them. This film is a comedy masterpiece for music fans in-the-know.

Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Director: Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
Michael McKean
Christopher Guest

DVD title: Scary Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Scary Movie - movie DVD cover picture

So thats where that saying comes from. This movies takes the sheer mickey out of all the teen scream movies of the 90s era... and does it well. Basing it's storyline on the Scream series, you get a storyline that becomes so funny that you know sequels are going to be made...Even if they said it's not going to happen. (of course it has, twice). The opening scene with Carmen Electra is a real hoot and as for the bedroom scene in the middle...

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Anna Faris
Marlon Wayans
Jon Abrahams
Carmen Electra

DVD title: The Valley Between
Productgroup: DVD
The Valley Between - movie DVD cover picture
impressive features and your money's worth

For whatever is charged for this video you will be getting your money's worth. There is an impressive 10 hours of video episodes (most 45 minutes) as well as extras about Australia's history on this 2 DVD set. How many movie companies will give you five hours of video and audio material on one DVD. I love the acting of Jamie Croft as Bruno. You get a lot of enjoyment out of watching this 1930's movie about a boy growing up with his family in Australia. This film would be especially good if you have a back seat TV and DVD player in some van and you want to entertain the kids after logging many miles and hours of road time. I would give this movie ten stars if I could. It is that good.

Studio: Bfs Entertainment/Mu

DVD title: The Last Frontier
Productgroup: DVD
The Last Frontier - movie DVD cover picture

THE LAST FRONTIER--also known as SAVAGE WILDERNESS--is one of the 3 best westerns ever made!!! #1 is SHANE, #2 is THE UNFORGIVEN, and #3 is THE LAST FRONTIER!!!
Victor Mature shines in his leading role as Jed Cooper, a rough, tough frontiersman who finds his whole world changing around him as he meets the Union officers of a fort in frontier territory, Colonel Marston (Robert Preston) and Captain Riordan(Guy Madison). This is an adult western, with well developed characters that help the movie to avoid the usual good guys in white hats, bad guys in black hats storyline of most westerns, as the hard drinking and hard living Mature struggles to understand civilization. The title song is great, the photography is great, and so is the directing and acting.
Guy Madison--a former radio announcer--uses his voice extremely well to control his scenes, and Robert Preston is excellent as the obsessed military man. And Anne Bancroft is superb as Preston's military wife, as she is literally swept off her feet by the bold Mature.
Guy Williams--later of "Zorro," and "Lost in Space" has one of his many 1950s bit parts in movies with major stars, constantly in the background--but never seen in closeups--as Private Benton.
THE LAST FRONTIER is different from other westerns in almost every way, from its treatment of Indians to its portrayal of the military, to its development of the romance between an uncivlized frontiersman and a civilized married woman. SHANE had the romance with a married woman--suggested--but no Indians, and THE UNFORGIVEN had neither.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Anthony Mann

DVD title: Yes - Symphonic Live
Productgroup: DVD
Yes - Symphonic Live - movie DVD cover picture
The best Yes DVD

Yes has released a lot of DVDs, so I hesitated buying another. But to my pleasant surprise, "Symphonic Live" was well worth the investment, and turns out to be their best yet. It's beautifully lit and filmed , the sound is excellent, and - if you love classic Yes - the song selection coulnd't be better. Highly recommended.

Studio: Red Distribution, In
Jon Anderson
Steve Howe

DVD title: Innocent Blood
Productgroup: DVD
Innocent Blood - movie DVD cover picture
R Rated - Tounge-In-Cheek Vampire Tale

I bought this film second-hand, & it's one of the best vampire films I've seen. It's set in the present, & Marie, the head vampir (probably why the film was called "Bloody Marie" in Norway), takes out a mafia member, she later have a go at the boss, but is interruped, & don't have a chance to fininsh him off, so now he's a vampire too. So she has to chase him togheter with a cute cop. END

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: John Landis
Anne Parillaud
Anthony LaPaglia
Robert Loggia

DVD title: From Dusk Till Dawn
Productgroup: DVD
From Dusk Till Dawn - movie DVD cover picture
Corny, cheesy, but I still love Nachos & From Dusk Till Dawn

Some movies are so loaded with atmosphere and works so perfectly you can watch it repeatedly and not get tired of it. What makes this movie so great? I don't know. If you pull it apart there's probably a lot of flaws in it. But watching it is a thrill from beginning to end. This movie does not take itself seriously and does so with an attitude. This is a brilliant collaboration between Rodriguez and Tarantino, and the latter knows how to raise pulp to an art form.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Harvey Keitel
George Clooney
Quentin Tarantino
Juliette Lewis

DVD title: A-Ha - Live at Vallhall - Homecoming
Productgroup: DVD
A-Ha - Live at Vallhall - Homecoming - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful to be Back Again

I was just a little kid when "Take On Me" hit the airwaves, I remember it and their cutting edge video so well. And just as suddenly, about 2 1/2 years ago I was watching a show on VH-1 called Top 100 One Hit Wonders and was shocked to find out that they never had another hit in the US but stayed on the charts consistently in Europe. And just like that, a new door was opened. Had it not been for that little 3 minutes of footage, who knows what I would be doing today?

People think I'm crazy for liking an "80s band" so much, when my tastes are otherwise. They say "What, you like big hair and day glo and all that shmaltz? PL-EEASE." If you think so too, you just don't get it. They've since changed their wardrobe (and you have too! Don't deny it!) and toned down their hair. Pop this in your player and all doubts will be erased about their 80s fluff.

This was the first of many a-ha things I collected, everytime it amazes me. It's not cheesy pop music, it's artsy and really about musicianship. Sure, they're cute pinup boys and used that to their advantage (and I still have their posters everywhere in my house and on my desk at work - tee hee!), but listen to the music and it goes much deeper than that. This is genuine, they have integrity, and they write great songs. The special features are also great as they give you insights into their inspirations and how they aged like fine wine over the years.

They put on a fantastic show in this DVD. And I was so excited as I'm going to New York in September to see them for their triumphant return to the US. I gush about them to everyone I meet, and even turned a few on to them. I hope this will turn some more on as well.

Studio: Music Video Distribu

DVD title: Grosse Pointe Blank
Productgroup: DVD
Grosse Pointe Blank - movie DVD cover picture
Cusack's Killer Movie

Ah...what's not to like have have have Cusack for a second time in the form of Joan: John's have's all there in cinematic bliss. Let me begin shall I?
Gross Pointe, I guess its somewhere in Michigan, suburbs of Detroit the Motor City, home of Rock and Roll, or at least the Detroit-ites may say so. Minnie Driver is a cool local yokel radio announcer with her own stream-of-consciousness style. Martin Blank, played by Cusack, is a professional killer. Now wait right there, he's a professional killer with scruples mind you; he turns down a hit on a Greenpeace boat, so he can't be all bad. Regardless of the profession, he has come to a place in life (it just so happens to coincide with his ten-year high school reunion) where he realizes he is a man without a rudder, without a moral compass, without a woman to love (at least one that he sees daily), and quickly losing his job satisfaction...the joy of the kill, so to speak.
There's everything to love in this movie. There's dry witty humor. There's originality in spades. It just reflects the sad state of affairs in Hollywood that this movie tries to be everything...comedy, love, drama, violence. Did I say violence? Well with a professional hit man as the lead what did you expect? Don't worry you Amazonites out there that are movie purists, the shooting and action is all tongue and cheek, all "they wouldn't let me make this film unless I threw in some gratuitous action" purity. If this sounds like an incoherent rant, it is. But then so is Cusack's dialogue spewing forth philosophy, spewing forth regrets and hope, spewing forth unique words and an even more unique take on life.
I broke in to the digital age recently by getting a DVD. Grosse Pointe Blank, along with High Fidelity, and Pearl Jam's Single Video Theory were on the short list for first buys. Grosse Pointe stands out (second to Pearl Jam of course...hey it's Pearl Jam) as a favorite. It's not a work of art, though very stylishly's something more: a movie to love and quote. A movie to curl up to and claim at the office...that's my favorite.
It's got 80's underground playing along in the background with Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash, Bowie, the Violent Femmes. If you were born in the late 60's, graduated in the mid to late 80's, the movie will take you back with some nostalgia, all the while being modern, all the while making you laugh and fall in love with Driver just as Cusack does. What more can you ask out of a movie? See'll see.

Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Director: George Armitage
John Cusack
Minnie Driver
Dan Aykroyd
Joan Cusack

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