Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Blue Hawaii
Productgroup: DVD
Blue Hawaii - movie DVD cover picture
DVD make a classic better


This is one of Elvis' best movies and the DVD gives the viewer a much better look. Soundtrack songs not as corny as many Presley movies. Hawaii is beautiful.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Norman Taurog
Actors:
Elvis Presley
Joan Blackman
Angela Lansbury




DVD title: Alice in Chains - MTV Unplugged
Productgroup: DVD
Alice in Chains - MTV Unplugged - movie DVD cover picture
probably the most talented grunge band there ever was


If you have a DVD player and you like rock music, I recommend this DVD. If you have a Dolby Digital 5.1 system, go buy it right now! Regardless of where your musical interests lie, you'll enjoy this disc. My mom, who would normally despise the music of a band like AIC, actually digged this concert! I was visiting home one day and popped it in the player. The second she heard it, she was hooked! Even my dad, who is a classically trained violinist and usually pretty skeptical about any form of pop or modern rock music, enjoyed it. And, of course, if you're already an Alice in Chains fan, it's a no brainer. It's not a flawless performance (Layne may be slightly out of tune or Jerry might hit a wrong note every once in a while), but believe me - you won't be disappointed.

Studio: Sony/Columbia



DVD title: 1776
Productgroup: DVD
1776 - movie DVD cover picture
Best Movie I've ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The original musical was responsible for unearthing several facts about the way American indepedence was brought about, esecially the underappreciated role that John Adams played in it. The play was responsible for a renewed interest in the Revolutionary era, and the movie played more than a small role as a precursor to America's Bicentennial celebration.
With this DVD restoration (and it is a restoration in more than one sense, not just a remastering), the film is presented the way the creators intended it to be, which is vastly different from the way Warner Bros. released it back in 1972. When I watched the DVD for the first time (after seeing the original on commercial TV for years), I almost didn't recognize it. There are several scenes edited back into the movie rather than added to a "special features" section like most movies. This is a rare instance where doing so is justified and right, since the studio mercilessly and ignorantly cut the film down before release.
The fact that the movie is so radically restored makes up for the lack of significant extras, although the commentary by the writer and director are interesting, and the audition reels are amusing, especially when you consider the fact that the cast is virtually a complete transfer from the Broadway production. This is a must DVD for collectors, even if they aren't huge fans of the movie, because of the incredible work done to restore the film to its intended form.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Peter H. Hunt
Actors:
William Daniels
Howard Da Silva
Ken Howard
Donald Madden




DVD title: The Big Kahuna
Productgroup: DVD
The Big Kahuna - movie DVD cover picture
A quiet, thought provoking film


I caught this accidentally on cable the other night, just as it was starting. It completely blew me away!
The film is very true to the idea of a play - just three characters - Larry, Phil, and Bob. Just one set - a nondescript hotel room in Witchita, Kansas.
No explosions, no special effects, no huge Hollywood budget - but lots of wonderful dialogue and though provoking character studies. So much dialogue, in fact, that you'll have to see it a few times just to "catch" it all.
But don't worry - you won't mind watching it a few times. Spacey is excellent, as always. DeVito is excellent. And even Facinelli (who I didn't recognize) put in a good performance.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: John Swanbeck
Actors:
Kevin Spacey
Danny DeVito
Peter Facinelli




DVD title: Fargo
Productgroup: DVD
Fargo - movie DVD cover picture
FANTASTIC! A MUST SEE!


This movie was great! The writing and acting were supurb. William H. Macy is a wonderful talent. Frances Mcdormand was so funny. I loved everything about this movie and watch it again and again. This is easily a movie that will remembered throughout the next century.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Actors:
William H. Macy
Steve Buscemi




DVD title: Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Perhaps the perfect marriage of history and drama


Ronald Maxwell's "Gettysburg" is nothing short of a masterpiece. Based on Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Killer Angels", this film carefully and enthrallingly details the major events of July 1, 2 and 3, 1863. This battle, which proved to be the pivotal engagement of the American Civil War and, arguably, all of American history, is depicted, in surprisingly human terms, through the eyes of three men: General Robert E. Lee (Martin Sheen), legendary commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, who faces what could be the final victory or defeat of his army. James Longstreet (Tom Berenger), Lee's second in command, who finds himself torn between loyalty to his commander, and grave misgivings about Lee's strategy. And Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), the newly promoted Union Colonel who suddenly find his small band of battle weary troops placed in the key position of Union defense, a position that must be held at all costs. The battle sequences are played out in appropriately grand and authentically raw fashion, with stirring music and moments of surprising poignancy, such as the beautiful and heroic spectacle of the doomed Pickett's charge. What is perhaps most surprising though, is how compelling the non-battle scenes are. It is quite a task to maintain audience interest for a span of more than four hours, but this picture succeeds admirably through fine introspective writing, moments of unexpected humor, and remarkable performances. The ordinarily mediocre Jeff Daniels, for instance, turns in what may be his best screen performance and Tom Berenger is also at the top of his game. Sam Elliot's Buford is magnificent and even C. Thomas Howell does good work. This is a film that portrays not only history, but philosophy as well, and succeeds in showing the horror as well as the glory of this complicated war. It is a truly remarkable film. My only complaint is that, in compiling this DVD, the decision was made to use the theatrical cut of the film. An excellent director's cut, with something like an extra 17 minutes of footage, has long been available on Laserdisc and should have been the cut used. This decision is the only thing to prevent this, extra-laden, DVD from being the definitive edition of Gettysburg.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Actors:
Tom Berenger
Martin Sheen




DVD title: Walking with Dinosaurs
Productgroup: DVD
Walking with Dinosaurs - movie DVD cover picture
Difintive Dinosaur Documentary


I agree with another review, this program is a difintive Dinosaur Documentary. The documentary begins at the start of Jurassic period and take you through to the bitter end. You are narrated through various ecosystem that existed at the time. Experts in the field present the theories behind the color, eating habits, and other behaviors of these creatures. I would highly recommend this film to those interested in the creatures that move about the earth in the Jurassic period.

Studio: BBC Video



DVD title: Live Aid (4 Disc Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Live Aid  (4 Disc Set) - movie DVD cover picture
An Incredible Event


It would have been great to have the entire London and Philadelphia shows, with all the technical and musical errors shown as part of this "historical document." This was a live show! Without Led Zeppelin and some of the the other groups, the Live Aid package is still an important collection that I feel is an essential purchase for any serious music fan. The entire world actually stopped, watched and listened on this remarkable summer day. I am happy to see that the profits from this DVD set will go towards charity.

Studio: Warner Brothers/Elektra/Atlantic
Actors:
Bob Geldof



DVD title: Disney's Learning Adventures - Winnie the Pooh - ABC's
Productgroup: DVD
Disney's Learning Adventures - Winnie the Pooh - ABC's - movie DVD cover picture
If You Want More Letters, Get the DVD Version


"Winnie the Pooh ABC's" is an original Winnie the Pooh story designed to teach rhyming, words and letters. Rather than straight, rote learning, this is presented in the form of a half-hour adventure. Things all get started when Christopher Robin introduces Pooh to a book of rhymes about the characters in the Hundred Acre Woods. Christopher Robin lets Pooh borrow the book and soon Pooh and all of his friends are learning about rhymes, words, reading and the alphabet, with some help from wise old Owl.

One of the major complaints about this movie seems to be that it only introduces a few letters. If this is a concern for you or your child, then I recommend making sure you get the DVD version and not the video. It has a wonderful special feature that goes through the alphabet thoroughly, having the characters teach each letter in both upper and lower-case and associated words. Adults will probably get bored with this pretty quickly, but it'll be dead useful for your kid(s). There's also an ABC song with scenes from "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" that's quite worthwhile.


Overall, if you want your kids to learn the alphabet, or just wanna see another good Pooh story, I'd say you can't go wrong with this, especially if you get the DVD version. Also included on the DVD version is a Fast-Play option and previews for movies such as "Mulan II" and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie," as well as the original trailer both this and the 123s video / DVD.

Was there anything else I wanted to say? Oh, bother. Think, think, think...

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid



DVD title: Enter the Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
Enter the Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
The Little Dragon!


I gave this movie five stars because of the powerful example and accomplishments of Bruce Lee.

The fight scenes were an object lesson for anyone who apires to master something in this life. His abilities in this are almost superhuman, and clearly legendary.

The scene where he demonstrates the Art of Fighting Without Fighting is brilliant. It reminds me of a story when someone called Joe Louis a nigger. The man who insulted the great boxer walked away with no injuries, and when one of Louis' aquaintances asked why he didn't deck the man, Louis said "If someone insulted Enrico Carusoe (the great opera singer) whould he have sang him an aria?" In other words, the lout simply wasn't worthy of being the recipiant of a Lee style ass whuping. True artistry, true mastery!

I was personally impresed with the first scene wherein Lee's character spoke to his own master, and then to one of his students. In his comments are to be found a wealth of wisdom. I am a musician and I also teach music. I tell my music students to watch that scene: everything they need to know about music is in those comments: all else is detail.

All this seamlessly woven into an action / adventure film.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Robert Clouse
Actors:
Bruce Lee



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