Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Family Guy, Vol. 1 (Seasons 1 & 2)
Productgroup: DVD
Family Guy, Vol. 1 (Seasons 1 & 2) - movie DVD cover picture
Family Guy, Bellisima!!

I have already reviewed this,but had to write another one.Some people seem to think this set is missing an episode,but as some have said,it is not intended to be on it.Great set.Get it.

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Seth Macfarlane

DVD title: The Matrix
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix - movie DVD cover picture
The Reality Beneath the Reality

Keanu Reeves works a schlub job as a programmer during the day. At night he's a sophisticated hacker. But which of those is his "real" job? Neither one, it turns out, in this widely influential and imitated sci-fi thriller. "The Matrix" presupposes that it isn't nineteen ninety-something any longer but twenty-two something, that all the "realities" Keanu has known have been false, and that only through the help of a mentor (played by Laurence Fishburne) will he get to the alarming "real" reality that confronts mankind, which has become a slave to doomsday technology.
Whether you know it or not, this movie has already influenced other movies and TV shows, even TV commercials. Its technical achievements were recognized at the Academy Award ceremonies, making it that rarity--a popular cult hit. Watching this film is not a passive viewing experience, it's more like a theme-park ride. Lots of people find they can't get enough of "The Matrix." Perhaps you'll be one of them.

Studio: Warner Studios
Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
First rate science fiction

In contrast to the Star Trek and Star Wars visions of a galaxy full of aliens, Firefly explores another possible vision of humanity's future. The only thing in outer space is what we take with us - including our past. With art, emotion, and sophistication, Joss delivers an introspective, engaging, and entertaining television series that suffered a too-early demise.

I highly recommended it to anyone interested in seeing fresh science fiction!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Crossroads Guitar Festival
Productgroup: DVD
Crossroads Guitar Festival - movie DVD cover picture
First of probably Three Volumes

This is a remarkable set of DVD's, for sure! Any show sponsored by the World's preeminent guitarist, Eric Clapton, is sure to be excellent! But, this show had unrealistic expectations of being entirely presented on this two-pack DVD set, I think. There were just too many quality artists involved to permit each of them to be adequately accomandated on this set. I believe that there will be much more yet to be seen! The "plum" of the festival was certainly the one song that Jeff Beck performed with Clapton, and it was mysteriously deleted from this set dramatically just days before it went into production, (if the media is to be believed). A second set featuring this performance, along with a good helping of Buddy Guy's set, is certainly yet to come! Actually, there is enough of the best stuff omitted in this set to allow for a second "Crossroads" release to be the better of the two!!
I think that Clapton did a good job in all his participation, (at least in what is on these two DVD's), with the one exception of not giving more time to Vince Gill. Gill is the best guitarist in country music, and I had hoped that he would have been able to really exhibit his playing skills at this guitar-oriented event. Usually, he has to focus on his vocals, that is what made him such a huge figure in his genre, but at the expense of his playing time on stage. His guitar-work is incredible, when he has time to display it. I had even thought he might have played some more rock-oriented selections, just to show what he can do!
The single best song presented on this set is the one solo number by Robert Cray. It really stands out among the selections on the second DVD. ZZ Top was a good choice to end the DVD, but they butcher the lyrics, though the two songs were well chosen. Where were Tommy Shaw, & Styx? I heard they were awesome at this festival! The young guys were able to reach a different audience, I think. I was particularly impressed by Jonny Lang, who sings as well as he plays. Vai's performance was well-planned, and Mayer was an interesting addition. But, what was James Taylor doing there?
This entire festival needs to be released!! Or, at least much more of it!

Studio: Wea Corp
Director: J.J. Cale
Ron de Moraes

DVD title: Stephen King's The Stand
Productgroup: DVD
Stephen King's The Stand - movie DVD cover picture
The stand for outstanding TV movies.

The Stand is a true epic, a tale of porportions rarely on telivision. The cast is great, with a few exeptions--but, they're easily overlooked in a movie of such stature. The movie is a worthy addition to any fan's King library, and non-fans should find plenty of reasons to enjoy this chilling film, as well.

Studio: Republic Studios
Director: Mick Garris
Gary Sinise
Molly Ringwald

DVD title: Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Manos, the Hands of Fate
Productgroup: DVD
Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Manos, the Hands of Fate - movie DVD cover picture
The most famous episode of the show, but not for beginners!

This DVD contains the most famous episode ever of the brilliant comedy TV show ?Mystery Science Theater 3000? (or MST3K for short), when the hosts of the show took on perhaps the worst, ickiest, vilest, most incompetently shot movie in history: ?MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE.? If you?re a fan of the show, YOU MUST own this DVD, but doubtless you already do. (?The Master wants you to own this?he loves beautiful DVDs!?)
People new to show, or curious about it, need to be warned, however: DO NOT start your experience of MST3K with this episode! Try the collections from Rhino (I recommend Vol. 1 & 2) or ?Red Zone of Cuba? or ?I Accuse My Parents? first. To put it simply, ?Manos? is so utterly bizarre an episode, that even though it?s one of the funniest episodes in the whole series, a newcomer may be more stunned by the sheer weirdness of the movie and be unable to focus of the wisecracks of the hosts. And even Joel and the ?Bots have a very different ?style? of comedy in episode; the movie stuns them as well, often reducing them to bizarre mumbling and repeating of the show?s title in a daze of amazement and horror.
In case you are REALLY new to MST3K, I better explain a bit about the show: each ninety-minute episode features a silhouette of a man and two robots in movie theater seats projected in front of a terrible movie. The hosts provide side-splitting, satiric, and culturally-savvy wisecracks to accompany the movie. Each episode also includes sketches and songs and adds up to some of the most hilarious comedy you will ever see.
?Manos: The Hands of Fate? is the last episode of Season 4, probably the best period in the show?s ten season history. Host Joel Hodgson and the two robots, Tom Servo (voiced by Kevin Murphy) and Crow T. Robot (voiced by Trace Beaulieu), had reached a level of comfortable brilliance and camaraderie in their riffing on the movies and in the sketches outside of the theater. But ?Manos? taxes them to the limit. Even the mad scientists who inflict these films on them both have to apologize for making them watch this THING: ?Even I have to admit, we really went too far this time,? one of them explains.
Before ?Manos? begins, however, Joel and the ?Bots get a bit of a warm-up and watch a short subject: ?Hired! Part II.? This training film for Chevrolet salesmen of the late 40s teaches them how to bully customers until they buy, whether they like it or not! A funny short, very typical of the fourth season?but then the nightmare begins!
?Manos: The hands of Fate? (since ?Manos? means ?hands? in Spanish, the title literally is ?Hands: The Hands of Fate?) was shot in 1966 by Harold P. Warren, an El Paso Texas fertilizer salesman ? now there?s a bad place to start! The film was shot on the ranch of ex-El Paso County Judge Colbert Coldwell at night, and Mr. Warren (who is also one of the stars) rushed the cast and crew through the shoot so he could return the camera equipment on time, resulting in the slapdash, surreal, and ugly quality of the film. The cast, all local community theater people and other relatives, were working for ?shares? in the film?s grosses, which none of them saw, and all were aware they were making a stinker and amused themselves with the hope that the ?film developer? would somehow save the awful footage they were shooting.
What?s the film about? You got me. A family of three drives into the wastelands on vacation and become trapped in the mansion of ?The Master? (a Freddy Mercury look-alike wearing black robes with silly red hands painted on them) and his bevy of nightgown-wearing wives who occasionally wrestle to Gene Krupa drum solos. The Master?s assistant is a stuttering pervert named Torgo with big thighs (he?s supposed to be a satyr), who gives the oddest performance in MST3K history, and is a legend unto himself. (The actor, John Reynolds, later committed suicide, although no one knows if it had anything to do with this movie.) Meanwhile, a couple smooches somewhere and the cops bother them. The sound is muffled, the editing bizarre, the photography awful, and the whole things makes you feel like you?re having a fever dream. The comedy from Joel and the ?Bots is strange but hilarious. (?Joel, this is going to turn into a snuff film, isn?t it??) The comedy peaks when, near the end of this marathon of awfulness, Tom Servo makes the deadpan understatement of the decade: ?You know?there are certain flaws in this film.? The breaks away from the movie are also hilarious, as Joel and the ?Bots try to find some way to survive this monstrosity.
Yes, ?Manos? is one of the highlights of MST3K history, if not THE highlight. But it is simply too bizarre for a beginner. You need to have absorbed some of the show?s style, the characters? personalities, and their relationships before you watch them tackle this film that seems to have come from another planet. Watch a few of the other episodes available on DVD. Get to love to show. Get a feel for it. Then you?re ready for ?MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE.?
But I warn you, you may never be the same again.
(Final note: There is actually a bonus feature on the DVD, ?Poopie!?, a reel of bloopers from the show covering many seasons. It?s a half hour of hysterical stuff for die-hard fans. But again, newcomers won?t quite understand this.)

Studio: Rhino Video
Michael J. Nelson
Joel Hodgson
Trace Beaulieu
Kevin Murphy (II)

DVD title: The Shining
Productgroup: DVD
The Shining - movie DVD cover picture
One of the Best Horror Films

This scary movie is not your typical one, but its interesting and compelling all the same. Stephen King's horrific bestseller has not entirely been adapted to the screen, and some of the changes that director Stanley Kubrick makes are strange yet they work all the same. If you read the book, which in my opinion is about equal, then you may not agree. Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall give two glass-breaking, over the top performances but Danny Llyod and Scatman Crothers give two great performances here.

The film centers around a caretaker, who is watching over the spooky Overlook Hotel in the Rockies for the winter. But what he doesn't know is that the hotel is filled with ghosts, not pleasant ones either. Nicholson slowly begins to lose his mind [although it seems strangely quick on screentime] The ghosts are scary, yet not your traditional transparent things. The camera work, the editing, and just the feel of it all though is what makes this a modern horror classic.

My advice is to read the book first for better understanding of the story, but never fail to catch this movie alone at night. One thing it never lacks is thrills and spooks! By the way, don't ever watch the horrible 1997 remake, and don't get the titles confused either. This may not be entirely superior to the horror master's novel, but when compared to 98% of the other <a style='text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 3px double;' href=" 3.asp?si=23&k=horror%20films" onmouseover="window.status='horror films'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;">horror films</a>, this one is the King.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson
Shelley Duvall

DVD title: First Blood
Productgroup: DVD
First Blood - movie DVD cover picture
"They Drew First Blood, Not Me"

John Rambo was a man on the edge. He had fought courageously for his country, he even was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery and valor. He was also an exceedingly dangerous man, a killing machine, a man haunted by memories of Viet Nam. An Army Ranger, a member of a special unit that worked solitary, behind enemy lines in South Viet Nam, living off the land, killing, maiming and dispiriting the enemy. He was a prisoner, who was tortured mercilessly, until his escape, when he was finally sent home, not to cheers and parades but a chorus of dissenters spewing venom and saliva.

If that wasn't bad enough, he had been rousted and ran out of town by sheriffs and chiefs of police throughout the Northwest before he got to this the small mountain town of Hope, where there came an inevitable clash of wills with the local Chief of Police, Wilfred Teasle (Brian Dennehy).

John Rambo is just passing through and decides to get a hamburger and a coke but Chief Teasle has other ideas. He doesn't want any riffraff in his town so he picks up Rambo and drives him to the edge of town, He wasn't particularly nasty about it, in fact he tried to be pleasant, determined but pleasant, but he wasn't so pleasant later when he found the kid in the local diner. He told the waitress to put the kid's order in a bag and hustled him back out of town. By now Teasle was very annoyed, so he went and parked on a side street and kept watch to make sure the kid did not walk back into town.

For his part the kid (Rambo) had reached his limit. If someone was going to push him, he was going to push back. He was determined to go back and confront the Chief and make him back down but of course Teasle had other ideas. He arrested the kid, took him to jail, hosed him down and started to give him a haircut and a shave.

As mentioned, Rambo was an escaped POW. He was a prisoner of the North Vietnamese and was tortured relentlessly before escaping, so when the deputies tried to shave him with a straight razor, he flipped out and grabbed the razor and slashed a deputy that reached for his gun.

Thus began an odyssey of death and mayhem in the nearby mountains and eventually destroyed a good part of Hope.


Sylvester Stallone... John J. Rambo
Richard Crenna .... Col. Samuel Trautman
Brian Dennehy .... Hope Sheriff Will Teasle
Bill McKinney .... State Police Capt. Dave Kern

Runtime: 97 minutes
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Story by: David Morrell
Screenplay: Michael Kozoll & William Sackheim and Sylvester Stallone


To start with, I must tell you that First Blood is one of my favorite movies, so naturally I think everything was top drawer. The acting, the directing, the story, the editing, the cinematography, everything was excellent, especially Stallone who shinned with his less is more style of acting, reminiscent of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

The story came from a debut novel of the same name by David Morrell, who after such an auspicious start has penned many more novels. I read the novel as well and as violent as the film is the book is much more violent. The novel was set in the town of Madison, Kentucky, instead of Hope. By the way the town that the movie was shot in was indeed Hope, but it was in British Columbia, Canada not Washington or Oregon.

Overall, I find First Blood, to be an immensely entertaining movie and one full of morals. You may not be aware of these morals while you are watching the movie but they are more obvious upon examination. It would be good if we could take these morals with us from this movie and adopt them. Things like; you cannot judge a book by it's cover, things are not always as they seem, never prejudge your fellow man, live and let live, authority is not an excuse for misconduct and so forth.

First Blood was the first and in my opinion the best of the Rambo trilogy, with the second being very good as well. If you haven't seen either of these great movies, you're in for a treat. Assuming you like action movies that is. Final Rating 5 Stars.

Studio: Artisan Entertainment
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Sylvester Stallone
Richard Crenna
Brian Dennehy

DVD title: Rurouni Kenshin - Legendary Swordsman, Vol. 1
Productgroup: DVD
Rurouni Kenshin - Legendary Swordsman, Vol. 1 - movie DVD cover picture
light comedy, great action

This is one of the many animes that mix great action with slight to heavy humor. The fighting sequences are well done, and the fights aren't dragged out for episodes upon episodes upon episodes. The soundtrack is much better in the japanese version, and the subtitles are easy to read. If you buy this dvd I would recommend trying out TRIGUN. You'll see similarites, but soon realize they are very different.

Studio: Media Blasters
Rurouni Kenshin

DVD title: Left Behind - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Left Behind - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Seen twice, would watch again

I have seen this movie twice. I could watch it over and over again. I feel it's very informative and very convicting. Excellent movie to give as a gift to both believers and non-believers as a witnessing tool.

Studio: Cloud Ten Pictures
Director: Vic Sarin
Kirk Cameron
Brad Johnson (II)

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