Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Samurai X - Trust (Rurouni Kenshin)
Productgroup: DVD
Samurai X - Trust (Rurouni Kenshin) - movie DVD cover picture
Drama, Romance, and Shocking Violence

If you think cartoons are for kids, then this anime will prove you wrong. Right from the opening scene, the blood and violence will grip you, and then allows hope to fall back upon the young Kenshin, whom you will foresee take revenge on inhumane humanity itself. "Trust" is actually the first 2 episodes of the Kenshin OVA, and "Betrayel" contains the 3rd and 4th. You will have to watch all 4 episodes at one go to absorb it's true meaning. Kenshin is one who will struggle within his own belief against being a human. Unfortunately, his belief does not coincide with human life. Thus, as you will see, in "Betrayal" he will understand what life is about by paying a high price ...

Studio: A.D. Vision
Samurai X

DVD title: Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Productgroup: DVD
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life - movie DVD cover picture
Defective until mid-November (but great movie!)

This DVD has a minor distortion problem on some players. (For example, my X-Box is one of them). You can go ahead and buy it now and then get a free replacement from Universal Studios in mid-November 2004. They assert that the problem occurs on "a small number of DVD players," but when you call the number below, they answer with "Welcome to the Monty Python's Meaning of Life DVD Replacement Hotline." Wouldn't it be a great world if each of life's little problems had its own hotline? :)

Well, the problem isn't that bad, so don't let it stop you from buying the DVD. Here are Universal's instructions (current as of Sep 7, 2004):

"With the advent of cutting-edge technology in the DVD format, a small number of DVD players do not have the technical capability to take full advantage of the Monty Python's The Meaning of Life disc format. Universal Studios Home Video has become aware of a player specific issue which results in the appearance of jagged video interlacing, on disc 1 only. Disc 2 is NOT affected. Consumers with an incompatible player may mail back Disc 1 to Universal and receive a replacement. To obtain a pre-paid USPS envelope in which to mail back the original Disc 1, please call 1-800-433-4673. Replacement discs are currently scheduled to be available mid-November 2004."

As to the movie itself: most of the skits are great, although there are a few over-done ones like the sacred sperm and medieval surgery skits. My favorites are the opening corporate war and the sex education class. Happy viewing!

Studio: Image Entertainment
Terry Jones
Terry Gilliam
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Eric Idle
Michael Palin

DVD title: Glory
Productgroup: DVD
Glory - movie DVD cover picture
Justin Murphy review flawed.

I hate to say it but Justin Murphy doesn't know what he's talking about. Glory is a well ballanced epic with excellent acting tallent. It doesn't depict the Southern people as racist, it shows the truth about northern people though, they are and were just as racist even more so than the South. Matt Broadrick and Morgan Freeman got jipped as did the whole movie by the racist Motion Picture Accadamy, I think Broadrick did an awesome depiction of Shaw, certainly close to the man himself as he could have come.
Glory is one of the two best Civil War films in Motion Picture History, Gettysburg being the other. It is a must have for educators.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Edward Zwick
Matthew Broderick
Denzel Washington
Cary Elwes
Morgan Freeman

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Have a Marathon!

It was just as wonderful as I expected it to be. All I can invite your friends over for a Buffy marathon and enjoy!Second season was also great....both are limited on the extras but it's great to be able to see them all without adds and complete (without the extra cuts put in the reruns to add even more commercials)

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Sarah Michelle Gellar

DVD title: Donnie Darko
Productgroup: DVD
Donnie Darko - movie DVD cover picture
Powered by originality

This is an incredibly dark, comedic, and somber film that largely lacks in linear narrative, but covers its ground well with a stunningly original plot and quirky, tone-shifting atmosphere. At any one moment, you could be howling with laughter, staring in disbelief, or form goosebumps from overall creepiness. The most satisfying fact is that it is all done extraordinarily well, servicing up what is--in my opinion--one of the best build-ups and conclusions I've seen in a film since SEVEN.
The movie is nothing like SEVEN. It is the story of a 1988 teenager named Donnie Darko. While at first seeming to have the cliched problems of teen angst and a dysfunctional family, his world slowly opens up to someone with a deep, psychological malfuntion. He takes commands from a giant rabbit while sleepwalking. One night, while out talking to this rabbit, he is told that the world is coming to an end in 28 days. While he is out that evening, a jet engine that fell off an aircraft destroys his room.
That's all I'll say as far as plot, and I only have said that much because it all happens in the first fifteen minutes. After that is a mystical journey through Donnie's mind. While serving up a ton of foreshadowing and plot devices (which seem pointless until the film concludes), writer/director Richard Kelly gracefully churns out political satire, comedy, and insightful views on human nature and teenage rebellion. I was also impressed by how well the characters developed, no matter how small or insignifican their roles seem to be. They're all important in the overall scope of the film.
Like I said earlier, this movie does lack a linear narrative. However, I feel that is overshadowed by how well it covers all the issues it presents. This is a hard thing to do, but it is occasionally done really well (MAGNOLIA, SHORT CUTS). The conclusion is something that will probably turn this into a bit love/hate film, if you throw things like implausibility and suspension of disbelief. However, I am a big fan of such things, and I am tired of cash-filled, gutless Hollywood endings which are geared towards profitibility.
This film is risky, but made with some incredibly promising talent. I, for one, love it for everything it is.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Richard Kelly (II)
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mary McDonnell
Jena Malone

DVD title: Inu-Yasha - The Heart of the Beast (Vol. 16)
Productgroup: DVD
Inu-Yasha - The Heart of the Beast (Vol. 16) - movie DVD cover picture
3 great episodes.

So Kagome finally realizes she is in love with Inuyasha in this volume in the series. But he still loves Kikyo, who's like a zombie and should be dead. What a fool! On an unrelated note, Miroku rules!


DVD title: Fairy Tale - A True Story
Productgroup: DVD
Fairy Tale - A True Story - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful and Nostalgic ! Kids will love it !!!

I just loved this movie. The two little actresses in this film are the best I've seen in many years. It is great for all ages and genders. Although, children under three might ask questions regarding the reality of the fairies. The fairies look unbelievably REAL!
This movie really makes one understand the wonder, magic, and innocence of a child's spirit. It was not pretentious nor assuming, in fact it was the complete opposite of what I thought it would be. I was glued to the t.v. throughout and watched it four times in a week.
The cinematography is beautiful and spell-binding, the concepts are clean and introspective. It was very well written, directed and acted. It has historical value as well as moral value. This movie will truely be a classic as "The Wizard of Oz" was in its day.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Charles Sturridge
Florence Hoath
Elizabeth Earl
Paul McGann

DVD title: Joshua
Productgroup: DVD
Joshua - movie DVD cover picture
Wonderful family movie.

This is the perfect film for the sorts of people who decorate their homes with Thomas Kinkade reproductions. All other moviegoers would do well to steer clear.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Jon Purdy
Tony Goldwyn
F. Murray Abraham

DVD title: Resident Evil (Deluxe Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Resident Evil (Deluxe Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Red Queen's wild ride

Resident Evil is a stylish ride, a battle between the festering evil let loose inside the Hive, a high-security Umbrella Corporation research facility; the Hive's system defenses; and the few, the unlucky few, the terminally unhappy few trapped in the Hive who need to go in to discover what has gone wrong and then find a way out...
I can't attest to its faithfulness in translating the video game franchise to film. It does succeed in being attractive, stylish. Michelle Rodriguez (seen on the cover next to Jovovich) rocked, giving one of those performances that will make you remember her name and look for her elsewhere. Milla Jovovich delivered, refashioning herself again so that she looked nothing like she did in The Messenger or Fifth Element, balancing her character's vulnerability with ferocity and sex appeal. The male characters were, for the most part, short-lived and forgettable. Not that they gave poor performances, just that they were (mostly) supporting roles that doubled as h'ors-douvres.
The special effects were good. The computer controlling the Hive 's defenses -- The Red Queen, seen in the trailer -- made a good character in the movie. Resident Evil made good use of the state of the art for 2002-3. The music melted into the movie, adding to the action sequences without otherwise interrupting the flow. Action sequences were nicely choreographed.
Resident Evil works. It goes up, it goes down, it goes around and around and comes out ... and then you see the trailer for the next installment (the cosmetic ad) and you line up for the ride all over again.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Milla Jovovich
Michelle Rodriguez

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
mdnman digs it

All I have to say is that Zakk Wylde was, is, and always will be GOD. He is the Greatest guitar God out there. I would bow down to he who is better...

Studio: Red Distribution, In

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