Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Die Hard
Productgroup: DVD
Die Hard - movie DVD cover picture
Easily one of the best movies ever made!

When this movie first came out, it was the one who redefined the word "blockbuster" for the 80's movies. Willis was shot to stardom after this action-packed turn that allowed him to use his trademark smirk and cocky attitude to the fullest extent. Some of the greatest action sequences on film are in this movie (including the infamous "jump from the roof with a firehouse around him" shot that you see in all the trailers for it). You will watch this again and again, as all characters are fairly solid, and Rickman's villian is absolutely the most suave bad guy you'll ever see. The second one was as good as this one, but the third in the trilogy just went too far and lost the essence of the first two.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: John McTiernan
Bruce Willis
Alan Rickman

DVD title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Second Season
Productgroup: DVD
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Second Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Second is Always the Best

This is my favorite season. It is the beginning of Buffy and Angel's real relationship. Sure, in season 1 you found out a little aout him. He's a 242 year old vampire with a soul but now you begin to get deeper. You see their relationship blossom and how much they really care and love eachother. Also, other people begin relationships. The unpredictable Xander/Cordelia mix. Oh and Oz and Willow,which is such a cute couple. You also see some new villians come to town. Dru and Spike (Spike being a very cute vamire), come and are after Buffy. This is the first and not the last time you see Spike... And humor is tied in especialy in this season which makes it more enjoyable. Have fun with it.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Joss Whedon
Seth Green
Charisma Carpenter
Sarah Michelle Gellar
David Boreanaz

DVD title: Byron Cage Live
Productgroup: DVD
Byron Cage Live - movie DVD cover picture
When is the next album comin?

The first time I saw Byron Cage was on the "Live Up and Close" Bebe Winans recording. He did an excellent rendition of Stevie Wonder & Bebe - "Jesus Children". Watching him and listening to "The spirit of the Lord is Here", I can only say he has taken Praise to another level. Kurt Carr is just amazing conducting the choir and the flow from song to song is simply brilliant.My only gripe is that there's a "Jesus Jesus" song on the CD, but it was not included on the DVD - Why? - all I can say is that I'm eagerly awaiting the next Byron Cage DVD!!!

Studio: Bmg Distribution (VI
Byron Cage

DVD title: Ninotchka
Productgroup: DVD
Ninotchka - movie DVD cover picture
Possibly my favourite "classic Hollywood" film.

Greta Garbo was, to me, one of the few stars from this "golden era" whose appeal hasn't dated in the least. I first saw Ninotchka four years ago and it remains one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time.
Garbo wasn't known for comedy, but you wouldn't be able to tell from this film. The marvellously witty script (co-written by Billy Wilder) certainly shines, and Ernst Lubitsch's pacing and staging are just remarkable (the "door" gag during the Russians' binge is priceless, akin to the elevator gag in Some Like It Hot, and the final shot is pure brilliance). But the actors own this film. The hilarity of Garbo's interactions with Melvyn Douglas hinges on how seriously both actors take their roles. Without ever succumbing to the "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" of so many lesser comedic actors, Garbo and Douglas just let the situations and lines speak for themselves. Garbo's straight-faced reading of her often strange lines (eg. as she types the report to Moscow regarding the three emissaries) makes for Ninotchka's best source for laughs. And when I finally got to Ninotchka's breakthrough, I can't think of a more satisfying, or infectious, movie moment. The loveliest laugh in the movies!
My only reservation comes from the Russian stereotypes, which does verge on the broad. However, stereotypes in comedy are common enough, and in the end, Ninotchka's treatment of its Russian characters remains good-natured, especially when the scene shifts to within Russia. This film is one I enjoy to no end, and even after five years, it still makes me laugh for its brilliant juxtapositions, smart character situations, impeccable dialogue, and infectious high spirits.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Greta Garbo
Melvyn Douglas

DVD title: Manhunter (Director's Cut, Limited Edition Set)
Productgroup: DVD
Manhunter (Director's Cut, Limited Edition Set) - movie DVD cover picture
The best of the series

Manhunter the restored director's cut is the most comprehensive version of the film and the transfer was supervised by Michael Mann, but the source print doesn't look like it's in as good of shape as the one used in the Anchor Bay 2001 theatrical version DVD release. I am referring to all of the scenes. The color is more washed out and there is more film grain present than the 2001 release. The picture has a darker look to it, the lush colors of the 2001 release are lacking. The opening scene is framed differently and is grainier than the other version. The scenes edited back into the movie are of horrible quality, and add little to the film, but nevertheless work very well. The opening credits appear as Will Graham is asked to help track the Tooth Fairy on the beach instead of shortly before. There is an extra scene with Will and Molly having a telephone conversation, along with an extension of a scene with Dennis Farina. The most noticeable difference is the end where an additional scene is provided where Graham visits the Jacobis, which on the theatrical release were only referred to. The shootout between the Tooth Fairy and Graham is edited a little different too. I prefer the 2001 DVD for this scene, but that's just me. This version of the film is in Dolby Digital 2.0 instead of Dolby 5.1 used in the 2001 release. The sound isnt going to test your home theater, but does exhibit decent separation. This movie is a Super 35 movie which shows more grain than anamorphic 2.35 or Academy Flat 1.85. This also means that both DVD versions show more width than what you might have seen on TV, or the VHS release, but are matted and show less height. This is just the Super 35 process which allows more flexiblity in framing. This is the version Michael Mann intended for you to see, still if you like the film, the 2001 DVD release isnt a let down because of the slightly better transfer. The director's cut print doesn't seem to be in as good of shape. Highly recommended. I like this better than Red Dragon, because this is more realistic, and the characters are more developed and believable.

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Michael Mann
William L. Petersen

DVD title: The Lathe of Heaven
Productgroup: DVD
The Lathe of Heaven - movie DVD cover picture
Heaven Can Wait

Gosh,all these years I thought I was alone in my fixation of the PBS TV-Movie production of "The Lathe of Heaven".
See, I was one of those prescient geeks who taped it on a big, bulky, & then-seemingly exotic $1,000 "VHS" (whatever that was!) tape machine when it was originally broadcast (no cable!) in 1980.
And I've watched that tape many times ever since, never realizing that (a) I was somehow "prescient" and (b) that there was some arcane "legal battle" underway that kept it from being seen again.
If only I'd been paying attention: the bootleg money I could have made!
But as for critical remarks: I have since come to understand that the plot is a screed for the reactionary Libertarian dogma that all Liberal actions have unanticipated negative consequences (and that therefore no Liberal actions should ever be undertaken). The tip-off is the Dept. of Health and Human Services Bureaucrat who cheerfully crows, "Not my department!" when poor George Orr says he needs some new red-tape credential or other. Looking back, I now see I should have spotted the right-wing politics in the novel when Ursula K. depicted an aged "pothead" who could hardly function when George knocks on his door (but this was before Reagan and I was probably stoned).
Nevertheless, the PBS production of her story is right-on and is irresistable movie-making.
I have always liked the proto-synthesizer soundtrack, which -alas- has never been commercially available. It was catchy, especially where it melded the Beatles'"A Little Help From My Friends" with the movie score - the cause(I assume) of the two-decades-long legal hassle that kept it from the public, knowing Yoko Ono for the litigious witch that she is.
Oh My, I'm beginning to sound like a tort-reform-minded Libertarian!
Anyway, it's awfully good to know that "LoH" is finally available for all to see, and on DVD.
My 21-year-old VHS tape can now flake off its oxide coating, bit by bit, in peace.


DVD title: Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Van helsing [rocks!]

Everything about the movie was great! The movie is one of the best action movies you'll ever see! Jackman was great.David Wenham (the friar guy) was very funny! Van Helsing has so many weapons, he could give 007 a run for his money. Also, Van Helsing kills Draucla in a way you'd never expect. He gets killed when Van helsing... well I don't want to spoil the ending for you if you haven't seen it, so i'll end by saying that everything about the movie was great!

Studio: Universal Studios Ho
Director: Stephen Sommers
Hugh Jackman
Kate Beckinsale
Richard Roxburgh
Shuler Hensley
Will Kemp

DVD title: Scream 2
Productgroup: DVD
Scream 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Best of the trilogy

Despite what many people have said when reviewing this film,i still firmly believe that it is in fact the best out of the three.Sure Scream is a classic and an awesome film but this one i felt added more color into the plot and the cast was well chosen.I loved the opening scene,Jada's tortured and surprised face while she unleashes thet petrofying scream was awesome!And as for the ending i personally think it's genius.You may not be able to figure out who the killer is but hey, that's what the scream films are all about right? All my friends who saw this film loved it so this is not just my opinion...I give it a thumbs up.

Studio: Dimension Home Video
Director: Wes Craven
David Arquette
Neve Campbell
Courteney Cox

DVD title: UHF
Productgroup: DVD
UHF - movie DVD cover picture
I tinkled on myself from laughing so hard!

"UHF" is an absolute must see! Weird Al will never win an oscar for his performance in it, but he will win a place in your memory. Michael Richards is a scream!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Jay Levey
Weird Al Yankovic

DVD title: No Doubt: Rock Steady Live
Productgroup: DVD
No Doubt: Rock Steady Live - movie DVD cover picture
No Doubt's Greatest Performance

I bought this DVD knowing that I would be blown away by No Doubt's incredible Performace and I was right! From Gwen's great singing, dancing, kicking and jumping, to Tom's, Tony's and Adrian's great performance, this DVD is a MUST have. They performed a bunch of hits such as: Hey Baby, Ex-Girlfriend, Hella Good, Underneath It All and or course there Debut Single: Just A Girl. This also includes additional live footage, Individual Band Member Footage, Behind The Scene's / Backstage Footage, and Band Interviews. If you don't have this DVD Buy it right now! The complete setlist is:1. Intro/Hella Good2. Sunday Morning3. Ex-Girlfriend4. Underneath It All5. Platinum Blonde Life6. Bathwater7. Don't Let Me Down8. Magic's In The Makeup9. Running10. In My Head11. New12. Simple Kind Of Life13. Just A Girl14. Hey Baby15. Rock Steady16. Spiderwebs17. Don't Speak

Studio: Universal Music & VI

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