Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Scotland, PA.
Productgroup: DVD
Scotland, PA. - movie DVD cover picture
Darkly Comic with Killer Soundtrack

Scotland PA is made all the better after a quick re-read of Shakespeare's MacBeth. Darkly comic, this movie made me feel entertained the whole time. The soundtrack is absolutely one of the best that I have heard in a long time, especially good since I'm usually not a fan of classic rock. Bad Company plays predominately in the movie, the best use of their title song used in Witches' Brew Bar as Mac begins to scheme. Pat McBeth is fantastic and hot, again especially hot since I'm not into girls. Her composure and sense of style rocks, creating a villianess that you want to be your best friend. Scotland, PA oozes seventies style and appeal, drawing you into the plot of two twenty-somethings as they grasp for that golden french fry we call ambition and power. See this movie if not for anything but to watch something darkly fun and bitingly comedic.

Studio: Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
Director: Billy Morrissette
James LeGros
Maura Tierney

DVD title: Ashes of Time
Productgroup: DVD
Ashes of Time - movie DVD cover picture
An Epic Tale Of Love And Tragedy

When I first watched the movie, I was left wondering what the film was about. I didn't get it at all and only liked the music but my best friend kept telling me how much he preferred Ashes of Time to Fallen Angels and Chungking Express, all by the same director so I watched it again. And again, and again! The planets must have all been aligned that one night on my last viewing because I finally saw through the intricate, delicate plot and for a moment, I felt the rush of realization and it was intensely wonderful.

Studio: Cav Distributing Corp
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Brigitte Lin
Leslie Cheung
Maggie Cheung

DVD title: Yu Yu Hakusho: vol.25 In the Blood
Productgroup: DVD
Yu Yu Hakusho: vol.25 In the Blood - movie DVD cover picture
Another Home Run for Yu Yu

I have been collecting Yu Yu for a couple of years now and I always thought of it as a fighting show that can rival Dragonball Z. I finally got my hands on the volume 6 of the "Chapter Black" Saga and I wasn't disappointed one bite. The action in these episodes will keep you at the edge of your seat and the drama even made me shed a few tears. I like this saga more than the previous two because it's cool to watch all the powerful tecniques that Sensui does. I think he is, hands down, the most powerful villian in the series. Let's face it, even the younger Tugoro wouldn't stand a chance against him and this volume proves my point when you see the Sacred Energy being summoned. I also want to say that I'm getting tired of some people saying bad things about Kuwabara. He may not be the strongest of the four, but he has more heart and more determination than anybody else and these episodes show you how far he is willing to go. Overall, "In the Blood" is the best volume in the saga thus far and the show just keeps getting better and better. This is a must for Yu Yu fans and you shouldn't miss the chance to see it.

Studio: Funimation Productio

DVD title: Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Still The Greatest series of all time

Some people complain that they will not be getting the original versions of the film. There are also rumors of further enhancements and additions beyond the Special Editions. I say it is great to finally get these wonderful films on DVD with or without the enhancenents. The other versions have been available for years on VHS and I am of the opinion that any new material presented is a good thing. It also gives you a reason to keep your old VHS tapes.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Harrison Ford

DVD title: The Best of Broadway Musicals - Classic Performances from The Ed Sullivan Show
Productgroup: DVD
The Best of Broadway Musicals - Classic Performances from The Ed Sullivan Show - movie DVD cover picture
A treasure

I grew up in a backwater town in California, so all I knew of Bway musicals came from OBC albums which I reveled in (until 1970 when I moved to NYC and saw some Bway shows and was bored out of my mind by them). Since my childhood, Bway has been replaced in my affections by Bach. But this DVD is a treasure, pure gold, a sheer delight. It is a rare and miraculous chance to go back 50 years and see these people do what they did the way they did it then. I loved it almost completely and have ordered a copy of the DVD (the one I watched was rented). A few quibbles. Merman only sang a few lines of "No Business," but that was okay with me because I've seen and heard lots of her and am tired of both her voice and that song (though she did have the ear to go to her grave baffled by the success of Stephen Sondheim). Pearl Bailey's number was I thought both colorless and flat, as was that dreadful choreography which for some reason followed a knock-out dance by Bob Fosse, which I thought was one of the highlights of the disc. Channing also was kind of dull, her number abbreviated, and the gimmick she did with the audience just a bit too. Finally the touted interviews with the two sets of songwriters amounted to no more than a minute apiece, I don't recall Lowe saying anything at all, and I know Rodgers wasn't even in it. But. Rodgers himself conducted his own "Oklahoma!" and then smiled and shook hands with John Raitt which was wonderful. Enough quibbles. Everything else else shone like a newly minted coin. Newley sang his own "Who Can I Turn To?" and (like all the others) it was a jolt and a pleasure to see HOW he sang it, gestures, facial expressions. (Incidentally, that song, commonly thought to be a love song, is actually a prayer, Cocky is singing to god, which explains some of Newley's gestures.) Everyone has his favorites on this disc I'm sure, I loved pretty much all of it. I couldn't get over the fact that I was actually looking into the past and seeing these performers as they were then, doing what made them "great." Also, it was only about 53 minutes long, so I didn't have time to get too bored, it was a treasure I will cherish and no doubt watch again, now back to Bach.

Studio: Good Times Home Vide
Julie Andrews
Ethel Merman
Ed Sullivan

DVD title: Cardio Pilates
Productgroup: DVD
Cardio Pilates - movie DVD cover picture
Great Pick-Me-Up

This workout is fun to do, is not too long, and features Ana Caban who is just adorable. I use it as my abs workout, after doing something more high-impact for about 30 minutes. Ana is a great instructor and very easy to watch.

Studio: Gaiam Americas
Ana Caban

DVD title: The Green Mile
Productgroup: DVD
The Green Mile - movie DVD cover picture
Frank Darabont May Very Well be the next Spielberg

Even though his two most successful movies have been adaptions of Stephen King prison novels. However, Darabonts' storytelling has raised those two movies, including "The Green Mile," above the usual mediocre King adapted movies and into the realm of greatness. His touch behind the camera is impeccable, and he moves the story at an unforced pace to illustrate its themes and deftly paints its characters. He also has an uncanny ability to choose brilliant casts, as he does here. He brings in Tom Hanks, the most reliable actor in Hollywood to play the lead as Paul Edgecombe, and Michael Clark-Duncan as the walking miracle John Coffey. He also brings in David Morse as Brutus, James Cromwell as the Warden, Michael Jeter as Eduard Delacroix, Sam Rockwell as Wild Bill and Doug Hutchinson at his best as Percy.
Paul Edgecombe is a prison guard during the Depression, and into his midst comes a mammoth inmate named John Coffey, who was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of two little girls. But he is a gentle soul, and Paul and his fellow guards have a hard time comprehending that this man could have killed two little girls at all. Over time, Coffey reveals his extraordinary gift: He is a healer, some sort of a miracle worker, able to cure any ailment or disease. He does so at first, by curing Paul's urinary infection. But one fact keeps bothering the guards, Paul most of all: should this miracle be executed or, more importantly, is he possibly innocent. Darabont's script and direction keeps everything tight as it moves towards the emotionally wrenching and draining ending, one that leaves you tearless because you have spent them all.
Everything in the "Green Mile" is laudable, right down to the gritty set decoration and perfectly crafted period-set costumes and locales. Frank Darabont crafted a masterpiece with the "Green Mile" one that can stand up to his other work of brilliance, "The Shawshank Redemption." The story is so well told and the acting so unforced and natural, it's disappointing that they don't make that many movies like it anymore.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Frank Darabont
Tom Hanks
Michael Clarke Duncan

DVD title: Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

If you don't like this, than Star Trek isn't for you. Even though there have been 7 films released after this, I still return to Star Trek 2 as being my very favorite. Everything is great about this - A great storyline, excellent action scenes, and the way they brought back an old foe from the original series was very smart and done very well. Every second of this movie keeps you wanting to know what happens next. And watching 2 "federation" ships blow the daylights out of each other is something you don't get to see often. Kahn is great, probably my favorite villian of all time. Get this, get this, get this! Even if you don't like Star Trek - get this!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Nicholas Meyer
William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley

DVD title: Apocalypse Now
Productgroup: DVD
Apocalypse Now - movie DVD cover picture
A superb metaphor for the insanity of war

I never grow tired of watching this film.Martin Sheen's performance was brilliant as you first see him determined to complete his mission, as a good soldier would, and then slowly he comes to realize that he's been sent not to "terminate with extreme predjudice" but to murder an effective soldier who has become a political liability. I think this film truly reflects what all the anti-war protests were about."...the horror of it all,the horror of it all."

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando
Martin Sheen

DVD title: Dazed and Confused
Productgroup: DVD
Dazed and Confused - movie DVD cover picture
The best movie ever made by a human being.

This movie is pure genius. If there were any justice, it would have changed the way all movies are made. There just isn't anything that captures the feelings of being a kid like this. If you've ever had a beer in the back of a pickup truck while the sun starts to set, this is a film for you.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Richard Linklater
Jason London
Rory Cochrane
Wiley Wiggins
Matthew McConaughey

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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