Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic and Beautiful Film

Roland Joffe has created a visually stunning masterpiece with The Mission which also won the coveted Palme D'Or at Cannes in 1986. From the opening sequence with the crucified Jesuit being placed in the slow moving river only to be caught up in the rapids and then over a spectacular waterfall - STUNNING - you are transported to a very magical and dangerous time. Roland Joffe films on location in the amazon basin and captures the feel of the jungle. Joffe tries to capture the redemption of man and his service to others. First there is Jeremy Irons coming to grips with himself being the one who had sent the previous missionary that met with the fate of crucifixion and the withdrawl of support from the papacy; and there is Robert De Niro's character - a slave trader that murders his brother in a jealous rage only to later repent and become a Jesuit himself. Rodrigo's (De Niro) penance begins with him dragging all of his weaponary and armor with him through rivers and up mountains and sheer cliffs - a breathtaking sequence. When he is forgiven by the very natives that he had previously killed and enslaved, you feel your own tears flowing with his.
This film is fairly accurate in a historical sense - and really captures the zeal that the early members of The Society of Jesus (Jeusuits) had for spreading the gospel and "civilization". The aspects of the wealthy power brokers working with the papacy to try to rid the New World of the missionaries is very accurate. All in all a wonderful movie - one that I never tire of watching. Other movies in this same vein include Black Robe (A Jesuit in Quebec) and the often overlooked At Play in the Fields of the Lord - which is a wonderful adaption of the novel - another must read is the late Fr. Malachi Martin's book The Jesuits - it provides additional background information behind this movie. This is one of those movies that everyone should see at least once - and that will probably not be enough.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Roland Joffé
Robert De Niro
Jeremy Irons

DVD title: Jason X
Productgroup: DVD
Jason X - movie DVD cover picture
An Actual Plot

Jason X stands alone in the Friday Series. After Part One the series tended to take on the same plot each time. Meaning some kids go into the woods around Crystal Lake and don't come back. In order to revive the series its creators, three times, tried slightly different plots. Part 5: Jason wasn't the killer, Part Seven: Brought Back to Life & Killed by a girl with Telekinesis (Remember Carrie), Part 8: Jason takes on NYC. But Jason X is different, it sets out to take Jason to Space in the year 2455. Sounds Corny, but in Jason X you'll find there's something different about the teenagers themselves. They actually have a sense of purpose, an agenda, a reason for being out in the middle of nowhere. Not only that, but they have real problems that go beyond Jason. They end up not only surviving Jason, but the eventual destruction of their ship. I never thought I'd live to see the day when a Friday movie (exception to One) actually had a plot of its own.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: James Isaac
Kane Hodder
Lexa Doig

DVD title: Seinfeld - Seasons 1 & 2
Productgroup: DVD
Seinfeld - Seasons 1 & 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Notes about nothing . . .

When the first three seasons of Seinfeld were released in November of 2004, it was quite possibly one of the most anticipated television on DVD releases ever. The four stars had all come to terms to be a part of the DVD production and fans were excited about seeing one of the funniest sitcoms of all time on DVD after a long wait.

I for one, was not at all disappointed.

I wasn't quite old enough to appreciate Seinfeld in the first few years but grew to love the show as I went off to college and beyond. The normal everyday life that these people lived showed just how funny things can be, even what seem to be mundane things.

I found the first two seasons (five episodes in season one, 13 in season two) to be quite entertaining. The four characters were just beginning to find their chemistry, but you could tell it would be something that would come together relatively quickly.

I found it interesting that the pilot episode was so much different than the rest of the show. To start with, there was no Elaine. The female character was a waitress named Claire, played by Lee Garlington, who has had small roles in many different shows including Everwood and Friends. In addition, Kramer wasn't Kramer, but was Kessler. And he had a dog, which was never seen again. In the 'Inside Look' section, it is mentioned why the dog appeared. The story is kind of interesting.

Probably my favorite episode of the first two seasons was 'The Chinese Restaurant.' I don't think a show had ever done anything like that, with three characters just standing around waiting for a table. It was unique, but certainly something that almost everybody does and can relate to. The only bad part about the episode was that Kramer wasn't a part of it.

While the episodes enough would have been plenty of incentive for me to purchase the DVD set, the extras on this set are fantastic. The bonus features include 'notes about nothing' which are production notes and behind the scenes notes, the aforementioned 'Inside Look' where viewers can take a look inside many of the episodes through the characters, creator, writers or others involved in the production. There are also commentaries from Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, creator Larry David and even from one of the writers. These provide a lot of great information. There are also deleted scenes and a piece on the creation of the show.

It is hard to believe that this show, which went on to be one of the top-rated shows on television, almost didn't survive the first year. Low ratings were to blame, but NBC held on and gave it another shot and reaped the benefits for years to come. Now only if networks could do that these days with fine shows that don't get immediate ratings and get axed.

This set is a well-done piece and is worth purchasing for anyone who is a fan of the show or even just a fan of good sitcoms. This one was certainly one of the best. A great ensemble cast, good writing and good producing all add up to a great show.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Jerry Seinfeld

DVD title: Resident Evil (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Resident Evil (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

Terrific horror thriller which is pretty intense from the word go.Being a big fan of the playstation games I was looking forward to this and was not disappointed.It does deviate away somewhat from the game but retains enough elements to make it familiar.The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is absolutely astonishing.It's impressively full-on ,incredibly directional and really gives your sub woofer a thorough work-out.Fantastic.

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Milla Jovovich
Michelle Rodriguez

DVD title: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Productgroup: DVD
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - movie DVD cover picture
No movie is better than this!! This is numbro uno!!

After watching this all i can say is whoa!!! This is the greatest movie that was ever realesed, with out a doubt. Every scene in the entire movie is top notch and entertaining. You'll lagh,cry,and enjoy. I thought "Midnight Express" was powerfull, but it just doesn't get any better than this. Jack gives the performance of his entire carrer. The ending of this movie is probaly the best ending in a movie you'll ever see. And it is also one of the saddest. Incridable movie. Buy now.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Milos Forman
Jack Nicholson
Louise Fletcher

DVD title: American History X
Productgroup: DVD
American History X - movie DVD cover picture

We are all products of our environment, not so different from the character Derrick Vinyard in American History X. Our experiences and upbringing mold our characters. This movie demonstrates how easily each of us could become trapped in the cycle of hate. With the death of his father Derrick went from a well-behaved kid to a man consumed with hate, but before the death, his father began a slow building hatred in Derrick with the racist and ignorant beliefs that he taught. Derrick changes his entire life in order to ignore the hurt and joins a white power society seeking revenge. Quickly, Vinyard emerges as their leader. Many acts of violence are depicted which strengthen the power of the movie and the effect it has on its audience. American history X explores the racial prejudices of our society by graphic images of hate and through this provides a strong message of individual change. With his swastika tattoo and shaved head Derrick Vinyard leads his white power friends through a series of racist acts. In one particular scene Derrick and fifteen others trash a store owned by immigrants. In this scene the audience becomes enthralled with an overwhelming sense of hate. Throughout the ordeal racial slurs were thrown about. Whether associated with a minority or not the event came across as very real and offensive. Actor Edward Norton, who plays Derrick, plays the part perfectly. The shaved head and tattoos alone make Derrick seem evil, but the glaring eyes of Ed Norton make Derrick appear devilish. The separation between black and white is witnessed in a territorial competition at the basketball courts. Here the blacks and the whites play a game for the ownership of the courts. Derrick turns out to be the star, winning the courts for his race. In a retaliation attempt the black players who had lost decide to steal Derricks truck. This becomes a fatal decision for two of the gang members. Once Derrick discovers what is going on he runs out of the house wearing only a wife beater, some boxers, and holding a gun. Derrick makes quick work of the problem, but is arrested and sent to jail. Danny, his younger brother, who has witnessed all of the scenes described above, is left with these explicit images of hate and without a male role model. While in prison Vinyard meets up with fellow skinheads who give him protection. In the prison laundry department Derrick finds himself working along side a black man. What at first is a quiet and tense relationship quickly develops into a strong friendship. Derrick begins distancing himself from the other skinheads. The skinheads soon become his enemies. Derrick now begins to question everything that he has believed in, but without the protection of the other skinheads he is an easy target for those of color. For some reason, he is never touched. The reason is his friend from laundry detail, ironically a man that before Derrick would have hated because of his skin color. Derrick undergoes a change once again, but this time a change for the better. Derrick releases the hate that had been controlling him for so long. When released from prison he comes home to a younger brother, who has been idealizing Derrick, following in his racist footsteps. Derrick has a tough challenge ahead of him, the alienation of his former friends, keeping his brother from continuing down the same path, and piecing together the family he had so brutally broken. In his attempt to rid himself of his old friends fights and gunplay break out at a party put together for his return. He and his brother Danny flee the scene and Derrick tells Danny all that happened to him in prison. Danny understands why he doesn't want to continue being pissed off. "Life's too short to be pissed off all the time." Prior to looking for a job the very next day, Derrick takes Danny to school. Everything seems to be turning around for the Vinyard's. Danny goes to the bathroom after entering school and a young aspiring gang member follows, with whom Danny had run into earlier in the movie. The young gang member pulls out a gum and shoots Danny in the chest killing him. As life pours out of his body one thing remains alive, a paper lying next to his body about the life of his brother titled, American History X.

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Tony Kaye
Edward Norton
Edward Furlong

DVD title: Ghost World
Productgroup: DVD
Ghost World - movie DVD cover picture
One of the Best of 2001

This should make everyone's top ten list for 2001, this movie was probably less popular than memento when it hit theaters, but hopefully it will do well on DVD. Anyone who doesn't like the typical teen movie should check this one out, because it is a movie with teens but without the Dawson's Creek type plot.....

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Thora Birch
Steve Buscemi

DVD title: Walking with Dinosaurs
Productgroup: DVD
Walking with Dinosaurs - movie DVD cover picture
Forget about the facts

This movie is about the best 3D animation ever and the best computerized special effects, So what if they said unproved stuff, The movie is worth for its special effects alone!

Studio: BBC Video

DVD title: Styx, Reo Speedwagon - Arch Allies: Live at Riverport
Productgroup: DVD
Styx, Reo Speedwagon - Arch Allies: Live at Riverport - movie DVD cover picture

Although REO's live show doesn't have the same 'magic' as the 80s, it was still exciting to watch them in action on this superb video. I can only assume that the heat made KC struggle a bit with the vocals but the band have fantastic energy together. Bruce tends to shout his way through BOTR but it rocked all the same. 157 was brill and my favourite, Time for Me to Fly was excellent. I would have liked to have seen songs from The Earth...and Building the Bridge albums but I guess they just stuck to the well known songs. Lighting seems to have gone a bit bland but the sound was great. Overall, a fantastic video, one I'll be watching over and over again.

Studio: Bmg/Sanctuary Records Group
Reo Speedwagon

DVD title: Arabian Nights
Productgroup: DVD
Arabian Nights - movie DVD cover picture
Hallmark does it again!

Arabian Nights was breathtaking and a super movie! I doubt I can say anything here to give it just credit. Magic Jinn from rings and lamps, magic flying carpets, battle scenes, its all in here!

This one along with the Odyssey and Jason and the Argonaughts all by Hallmark stay at the top of My collection because I find I watch them so much.

The battle between the Ginies, one of the ring and one of the lamp is just kewl.


Studio: Hallmark Home Entertainment
Director: Steve Barron

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