Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Everything it is supposed to be


Star Wars has never taken itself too seriously. These movies were made to be fun. And fun they are. Overall, there are better films to see. But when it comes to fun, when it comes to the whole atmosphere and universe of Star Wars, nothing can beat it. Its not hard SciFi by any means.. but it is certainly entertainment at its absolute finest.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: George Lucas
Actors:
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman




DVD title: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Productgroup: DVD
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - movie DVD cover picture
major milestone in film


...a two hour power poem. So many layers, it warrants viewing over and over. This movie surpasses late Hollywood efforts in quality and production values, acting, directing, and especially the ability to spin a good tale. This is a reveille call - heave out and trice up, Hollywood!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Ang Lee
Actors:
Yun-Fat Chow
Michelle Yeoh
Ziyi Zhang




DVD title: The Shape Of Things
Productgroup: DVD
The Shape Of Things - movie DVD cover picture
Very profound


I really enjoyed the movie THE SHAPE OF THINGS. It's an incredibly smart movie in terms of it's simple message painted throughout the plot. The movie is a dark comedy. We follow Evelyn, an art student, and Adam, who works in a museum. He asks her out, but feels self conscious about who he is and why she is interested in him. Basically she manipulates him, and he is more than willing since he doesn't believe that he is good enough for her. The movie basically paints the realistic picture that we as people take on when we are with someone, we change for them so they will like us. That's what happens here. She tears through his life, changing everything about him to the point where his friends barely recognize him. The ending brings it all together, and is ultimately a very memorable ending, bringing all these elements together in a nice twist. Overall, the acting was superb, and the movie was interesting. Highly reccomended.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Neil LaBute
Actors:
Gretchen Mol
Paul Rudd
Rachel Weisz
Fred Weller




DVD title: The Upright Citizens Brigade - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The Upright Citizens Brigade - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Hank Spivey is an idiot


This jerk should be killed. I hate you Hank Spivey. I hate you.

Studio: Wea Corp
Actors:
Matt Besser
Amy Poehler
Ian Roberts (II)




DVD title: Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker
Productgroup: DVD
Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker - movie DVD cover picture
Better than the live action Batman flicks


Excellent movie! Far better than the live action movies. Many questions regarding the entire case are answered, and how they bring the Joker back is a great plot line.
I do not know about the editing, as I am unaware of what was cut out, but the finished product is excellent, and any true Bat-Fan will not be disappointed!

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Curt Geda
Actors:
Will Friedle
Mark Hamill




DVD title: Born Into Brothels
Productgroup: DVD
Born Into Brothels - movie DVD cover picture
Best Documentary Oscar Winner


One of the most despicable things that has to do with this film is that there aren't more glowing reviews of it here at Amazon.com. Why is that? Come on people! There must've been a wide viewing audience of it since its win at the Academy Awards!

We (i.e., The U.S.) don't often see the grittiest side of life. And when I say gritty, I MEAN gritty. The audience takes an emotional roller coaster ride with narrator and director Zana Brisky as she visits the red light district in Calcutta. Here she meets up with eight children who are the off-spring of prostitutes who "work the line", trying to make enough money to buy their next meal. The children seem doomed to a life of extreme poverty and, most likely for the girls, to also "work the line" when they reach the ripe old age of 14 or 15.

But Mrs. Brisky decides to teach the children how to shoot photographs of their surroundings (she gives each of them a simple point and shoot camera) and engages them in weekly classroom-like visits, showing them the photos they shot the previous days and telling them what they did right and wrong. The children are immediately smitten by the idea of becoming photographers, and they seem to be lifted out of their horrible surroundings, dreaming of becoming world-famous photo-journalists.

Throughout the film we see mostly the children, which I found to be extremely refreshing as far as documentaries go. Most documentaries (I feel) put too much emphasis on the documentary maker(s) and show shot after shot of them rather than the subjects their supposed to be telling the audience about. But not here. Only a fraction of the footage is dedicated to images of Mrs. Brisky, and those portions were vital to the film. Mrs. Brisky tries to get the children out of their hovel as often as she can, and when she does -- for instance when she takes them for their first trip ever to the sea shore -- you can see the children light up (they dance and sing). But when they return to the red light district, their tone quickly sombers. The viewer sees (and feels) this time and again.

The amazing thing, too, is that the children become very able photographers, even having one of their photos appear on the cover of the Amnesty International calendar for 2005.

I should warn you, though, that the documentary doesn't sugar-coat anything (including some horrendous language, child abuse, death, murder, and the risk of HIV). But after watching this incredibly engaging film, I can easily see why it won Best Documentary during the Oscars.

Studio: Thinkfilm Llc



DVD title: Apollo 13 (DTS)
Productgroup: DVD
Apollo 13 (DTS) - movie DVD cover picture
Great Movie, Great Special effects, Great Acting


The movie Apollo 13 is a wonderful look into a disaster that became a triumph. Based on astronaut Jim Lovells book "Lost Moon" and directed by Ron Howard this movie takes you within the first 10 minutes from the tradegy of Apollo 1, and the deaths of astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee, right into the Landing on the moon by Apollo 11. With that as a setting it will focus on the events leading to the disaster and through the heroics efforts of both the astronauts and the ground crew.
Based on a time when America had become somewhat bored with Moon landings (although this was only the third scheduled) Apollo 13 takes you step-by-step through the story. Starting with the 3 astronuats (Lovell, Haise. and Mattingly) training for their mission and displaying the type of teamwork that is so essential to a successful mission, it then leads you to the last minute replacement of Mattingly by Swaggart due to potential health concerns. From there it shows the concern of Haise and Lovell as Swaggart tries to fit into their style. Swaggart never quite accomplishes this which would lead to a confrontation with Haise during the flight. The personnel of Mission Control are the real heros here though, from the leadership of Flight Director Gene Krantz to the efforts of every single person.
The cast of Apollo 13 actually made the movie come alive. Yes, the special effects were great, but without the perfect acting jobs by the strong cast this could have fallen into documentry standards. Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell displays the confidence that you would expect from the mission leader. Gary Sinise as Ken Mattingly is wonderful, going from the excitment of pre-flight to the disappointment of being scatched from the mission to the results-driven savior. Bill Paxton, Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, and Kathleen Quinlan round out a great cast.
Having read the book before seeing the movie it's interesting to note that while the movie is about a 50/50 mix of action between the astronauts and Mission Control, the book is about a 75/25 split in favor of Houston. Both approaches are correct. In book form the author can take the time to go into detail of all the heroic actions and efforts that the personel of Mission Control had to do to bring these men home safely. In the movie it's best to cover the essentials. However if this movie was interesting to you I would HIGHLY recommend the book. It gives you great insight into all that transpired.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Ron Howard
Actors:
Tom Hanks
Bill Paxton
Kevin Bacon
Gary Sinise
Ed Harris




DVD title: The Story Lady
Productgroup: DVD
The Story Lady - movie DVD cover picture
A Christmas movie you can watch anytime of the year


I am more used to movies starring the husband and wife team of Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. However, Tandy sparkles in this delightful tale of a "senior citizen" who didn't quit. When advanced age caused her to move in with her grown daughter and son-in-law, she found she had too much time on her hands, and went looking for work. After being turned down again and again, she stumbled upon a channel on the TV that interested her. After being told anybody, through cable-access TV, could have their own show, she went for it, and a world of children with busy parents found themselves seated in front of their sets while Grace read stories out of a book. The TV studio producer, enchanted by her, came up with a title for her show -- The Story Lady. One young lady who got hooked on it introduced it to her mother, a TV ad exec (played by Stephanie Zimbelist), and that's where the story takes off. She and her partner, played by Ed Begley, Jr., convince Grace to sign a contract, and try to take control of her. But Grace, and we viewers, find out in the end she proves more than a match for them. A final escapade lands Grace in trouble with the law, but again her indomitable spirit wins out, and she ends up teaching the judge (played by Charles Durning) how to portray himself as Toad of Toad Hall to his daughter. Funny, warm, fast-paced, sentimental, and very delightful.


Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Larry Elikann



DVD title: The Adventures of Pete & Pete - Season 1
Productgroup: DVD
The Adventures of Pete & Pete - Season 1 - movie DVD cover picture
SNICK me again!


Has it really been a dozen years since I was SNICK-ing on Saturday nights? I admit this set makes me feel a bit aged, but it is so good. Older Pete, quiet and reserved, and young Pete, the rebellious wisecracker, live in Wellsville, which is like any-smalltown USA. They have wacky adventures and a great cast of friends, like young Pete's personal superhero, Artie - 'the strongest man (dramatic pause) in the world, heh-heh!' I think my favorite episode is "Don't Tread on Pete", but "The nightcrawlers" is funny too. I laugh now at how they battled school and bedtimes like it was the end of the world, but at that time I felt the exact same way. Ah, simpler times.
I enjoy this DVD set a lot, it is a must-have for anyone who grew up watching Nick. One question - when is Roundhouse coming out on DVD??

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Michael C. Maronna
Danny Tamberelli




DVD title: Alone in the Dark
Productgroup: DVD
Alone in the Dark - movie DVD cover picture
My favorite (horror) movie


This is possibly the best horror movie I have ever seen. I came across it when I was watching IFC and that nights pulp film was Alone in the Dark. I watched it because it mentioned a punk rock sister and I myself is a fan of punk rock. Cdnows description of Alone in the dark is really not the whole essence of the movie. The movie has so much going on that it scares you, it acctually scares you unlike the new "horror" movies which should be classified as "scary" movies, which only try to make you jump to increase your heart beat so you feel scared. But this film gits inside your skin and you feel like you are with all of them fighting to stay alive and wondering if life is worth all this pain. And let me be the first (maybe only) one to say I am pissed off at the hollywood movie "ALONE IN THE DARK" and the game "ALONE IN THE DARK" for making my life a living hell at finding information about the film.So go out there and see it if you can.

I have only seen this film once, but thats all i needed to have it be my favorite horror film.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Actors:
Martin Landau



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TopSellers at Amazon - Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie DVD disks

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
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1984
The Traveler : A Novel
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (RedNova)
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