Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Hocus Pocus
Productgroup: DVD
Hocus Pocus - movie DVD cover picture
Delicious fun:

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy strut their stuff in this outlandish Walt Disney Picture. The three witches are brought back to life from 17th century Salem by some unsuspecting kids. It's a night full of comic chaos when the tricky 300 year old trio set out to `put a spell' on the town and reclaim their youth. Filled with outrageous comedy and a haunting score. Guaranteed to entertain everyone!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Kenny Ortega
Bette Midler
Sarah Jessica Parker
Kathy Najimy

DVD title: Saiyuki - Journey Begins (Vol 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Saiyuki - Journey Begins (Vol 1) - movie DVD cover picture
You gotta start somewhere

The Journey to the West has been done in hundreds of differant ways with this being one of the latest versions. Is's nice to see Sanzo being this sexy dude with an attitude, instead of a wimp who breaks down into tears when things go wrong. Actually I like the English dubbing, the voices are just fine to me and by watching both the english and japanese versions of the story, gives one a better appriciation for the differances in culture and how the story is perseved.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Tremors 2: Aftershocks
Productgroup: DVD
Tremors 2: Aftershocks - movie DVD cover picture
Great Sequel

Although this movie falls a bit short of the original, it doesn't fall much. Bringing back Fred Ward and Michael Gross from the original movies, it takes the action to Mexico, where the characters of Earl and Burt start out fighting the same creatures from the original movie, which they find simple enough, but then something happens: the creatures change. Now they have to find a completely different way to fight them. Like the first movie, this one blends humor and horror well. It also combines a remote location (an oil field) and throws in a love interest for Earl (his partner Val got the girl in the first movie). If you enjoyed the original "Tremors", you'll enjoy this one as well. But don't miss the third movie, "Tremors 3: Back to Perfection"!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: S.S. Wilson
Fred Ward

DVD title: Latter Days (Unrated Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Latter Days (Unrated Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

I know that there's a lot that I could knock this film for, and yet I just can't. There exists in the film such a big, warm, squishy heart that even a curmudgeon like me can overlook whatever flaws.

Studio: TLA Releasing
Director: C. Jay Cox
Steve Sandvoss
Wes Ramsey
Amber Benson
Jacqueline Bisset
Mary Kay Place

DVD title: Clue
Productgroup: DVD
Clue - movie DVD cover picture

I first saw this movie when it came out on video in '87...and haven't stopped since. I was little then...STILL got it...and even acquired the original promotional mobile for it...and item I have NOT seen since (Containing pictures of scenes not released). Every person I've introduced it to has loved it and bought it for themselves. It's too bad it didn't do as good in the theater...or maybe we could have seen a sequel...:-)
"Mrs. Peacock was a man?"

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Eileen Brennan
Tim Curry

DVD title: Shanghai Triad
Productgroup: DVD
Shanghai Triad - movie DVD cover picture
Gong Li is terrific!

A young boy is sent to Shanghai from the country to work for his uncle, who is a powerful crime boss. He is made assistant to his uncle's concubine, Bijou, who is also the featured performer in his nightclub. (The depiction of Shanghai nightlife is one of the charms of this film. We are treated to two wonderful cabaret numbers.) The boy becomes a silent witness to a life of waste, deception and betrayal. I have never seen a more heart-breaking finale than the one in this film. It is a harsh dramatization of how average, hard-working people are so often trampled and destroyed by those with too much power and too few scruples.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Yimou Zhang
Li Gong
Baotian Li

DVD title: A Star Is Born
Productgroup: DVD
A Star Is Born - movie DVD cover picture

Wow! I am very impressed with the DVD of this film. I have to admit that the first thing I did (after unwrapping it, of course) was pop it in the DVD player and chapter-skip to the BORN IN A TRUNK sequence. Ahhhhh. It is SO NICE to see this film in widescreen. I knew Warner had done an excellent job with the transfer as soon as those red roses were wheeled in behind Judy Garland in her "Swanee" outfit. Gorgeous! The "Peanut Vender Song" set is GREEN! Who would have known? The set and costume design in "You Took Advantage of Me" is fabulously clear (Judy's grey suit, red portfolio, matching!)
The film just looks great. The soundtrack sounds pretty clear (for a 1954 film...) The disc is two-sided. The film is on one side, and the bonus stuff is on the other. The three versions of MAN THAT GOT AWAY are very interesting. It is fascinating to see the versions that were filmed. It seems like they started out too bright. And Garland's costumes were not flattering.
One note about the non-technical part of the film: After not having seen A STAR IS BORN for a few years, the main thing that struck me is how incredible Garland's performance is. She is truly a realistic actor -- not over-the-top and theatrical. Her scene in the dressing room before LOSE THAT LONG FACE is truly shattering ("I hate him..."). Garland, besides being a gifted songstress, was a breathtaking actress as well.
I highly recommend this DVD of A STAR IS BORN, which just happens to be one of my favorite movies, if not one of my favorite movie musicals.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: George Cukor
Judy Garland
James Mason

DVD title: Arrested Development - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
Arrested Development - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
This will most likely remain my favorite show EVER.

I really can't even explain it...the amount of work that must go into writing this show is unbelievable. The subtle humor, the way episodes further into the season will make call backs to earlier episodes, the silly quirks of each of the Bluth family members. It's a shame that (supposedly) they're thinking about canceling the show after the second season, and it's ironic that the show's best quality is probably the cause of it. This isn't the kind of show you can just tune into in the middle of the season. While Ron Howard (the show's narrator) does his best at getting the new viewer up to date with what's going on, this show is no where NEAR as funny unless you've been watching all along and can understand all of the sly, subtle humor relating to events past. Honestly, this show is best to watch on DVD where you can watch episodes over again (AD marathons are great!), and rewind to hear the parts you missed because you were laughing so hard the first time.

In short, do yourself a favor and buy this DVD set, and buy season two if/when it comes out. At the risk of sounding cliche (a lot of people say this, but it's true), this is the best show on TV since Seinfeld. On a weekend when you have nothing to do, watch all 22 episodes, all in a row. That's the way this show is best enjoyed.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Jason Bateman

DVD title: Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat - Nyo (Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat - Nyo (Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
Cute, nyo

Cute series :) Funny, entertaining, and one of the best chibi-style animes. The colors are vibrant, animation is superb and voice acting is purely genius. Defininetly get this for your kids(girls), they'll get a kick out of it.

Studio: A.D. Vision

DVD title: Pavement - Slow Century
Productgroup: DVD
Pavement - Slow Century - movie DVD cover picture
Classic Pavement

You really get your money's worth with this DVD. The documentary is funny and informative, the concerts are classic, the music videos are awesome and the commentary which the band provides for them is hilarious. This collection is a treasure, and it only made me love Pavement even more. We need to see more bands putting out this kind of thing.

Studio: Wea Corp

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