Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Beavis and Butt-head: The Final Judgement
Productgroup: DVD
Beavis and Butt-head: The Final Judgement - movie DVD cover picture
Figures . . .

. . . the negative-condescending editorial review was written by a WOMAN. This show was made for males between the ages 14-30 and was IMMENSELY popular during its tenure on MTV. And it's 100 times better than South Park, which is not funny at all. "Have a nice day, Beavis!"

Studio: Sony Wonder
Director: Mike Judge
Mike Judge

DVD title: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Productgroup: DVD
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - movie DVD cover picture
One of the great Westerns in an amazing package!

MGM released a DVD edition of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" in the late 1990s, but it had few extras, a mono soundtrack, and a scratched print. Finally, MGM has given Sergio Leone's Western epic the double-disc special edition it deserves. The print is restored and as clear as I've ever seen it, the sound is now an astonishing 5.1 Surround (listen to the glass falling off Tuco after he springs through the window in the opening sequence!) nineteen minutes of footage from the Italian original have been restored, and the discs are packed with extras. Even the packaging is great: a sturdy interlocking box, with the DVDs kept in the upper and bottom parts of the two lids. Also inside the box are cards containing posters for the film in five different countries.
The film, like most of the European Westerns of the 1960s, was critically disregarded in its day. The New York Times said of it: "the most expensive, pious, and repellent movie in the history of its peculiar genre. There is scarcely a moment's respite from the pain." It's amazing how people missed the brilliance of this movie, which turned Western conventions upside down in such a wonderfully bizarre, European way. Now the film is considered a classic, and only Sergio Leone's own "Once Upon a Time in the West" (another great 2 DVD set, by the way) has more respect in the genre. Leone's strange style -- stretched out time, obsession with close-ups and extreme wide-shots, focus on rituals, and use of Morricone's wild and avant-garde score -- are all in full force in this tale of three treasure-seekers searching for a cache of gold coins on the Texas-New Mexico border during the Civil War. The implacable and unflappable 'hero' Blondie (Clint Eastwood), the crazy comic bandit Tuco (Eli Wallach), and the calculating immoral sadist Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) cross each other's paths amidst the senseless violence of the war. Leone perfectly contrasts the self-interested men with the greater backdrop of the tragedy of war. It's a strangely emotionally affecting picture despite its focus on three men who are detached from normal society and seem not to care about anything but money. So many individual scenes stand out for their virtuosity that the movie a parade of "greatest hits." Most astonishing of all is "The Ecstasy of Gold" sequence where Tuco dashes madly through a cemetery, looking for the grave that might hold the gold. Morricone's music here is especially overwhelming.
Chances are you've seen the film and love it. What about the new scenes and the extras?
Nineteen minutes of footage have been restored that were never shown in the American prints. The scenes integrate perfectly into the film, and after seeing them once, you won't be able to imagine they were ever missing. Among the scenes are Angel Eyes visiting a destroyed fort; Tuco hiring bandits to help him chase Blondie; Blondie and Angel Eyes having a face-to-face when they first set out together to find the gold; and some extra conversation between Tuco and Blondie in the desert. However, these scenes were never dubbed into English in the 1960s. Therefore, the DVD producers had to newly dub them. Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood do their own voices. An actor named Simon Prescott does the imitation of the deceased Lee Van Cleef. Admittedly, Wallach and Eastwood no longer sound the same, but I couldn't imagine someone else imitating their voices -- it couldn't have been done any other way. Prescott is pretty good as Angel Eyes, if a bit more gravelly.
The extras...
Disc 1 has audio commentary by Richard Shickel, a film historian who wrote Eastwood's biography and also did commentary on Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" DVD. His comments can be pretty dry, and he focuses mostly on Leone's style and techniques instead of on background information on the filming itself. Nonetheless, there are many interesting insights, and Shickel manages to say a lot during the three-hour running time.
Most of the extras are on Disc 2:
"Leone's West" -- A 20-minute documentary about the making of the film. Includes interviews with Shickel, producer Alberto Grimaldi, author of the English dialogue Mickey Knox, and best of all, Eastwood and Wallach. There's some very interesting info and memories here, mostly from Knox and the two actors.
"The Leone Style" -- A 23-minute documentary, really just an extension of the first one. It spends more time on Leone's unusual techniques. The same interviewees appear here.
"The Man Who Lost the Civil War" -- A 14-minute documentary that was produced separately from the DVD. It makes no mention of the movie, but is about its historical backdrop: the disastrous General Sibley campaign in Texas. Sibley appears in the film briefly, and this short documentary gives the viewer an important insight into the world of Blondie, Tuco, and Angel Eyes.
"Reconstructing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" -- An 11 minute look into the painstaking work involved with fixing the picture and sound, restoring the cut scenes, and re-dubbing it.
"Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone" -- 8 minutes; mostly an interview with music scholar John Burlingame about the film's score. At the end of the feature, you can choose to listen to an audio-only twelve-minute lecture by Burlingame that provides a much more in-depth analysis of the music.
"Deleted Scenes" -- Two scenes couldn't go back into the film. The extended torture scene had a damaged negative, so here it is in its rougher state. An apparently lost scene is reconstructed through text, stills, and clips from the French trailer.
Finally, there's a gallery of posters, the original trailer, and MGM tossing in some gratuitous advertising for their other films.
Don't miss this DVD. Not only is it one of the great action films and one the great westerns, but it's the kind of release that the DVD format was invented for!

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: Sergio Leone
Clint Eastwood
Lee Van Cleef
Eli Wallach

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture
Addictive Science Fiction

FireFly was one of the greatest science fiction shows made in the 90's, but unfortunatly it's life was cut short along side the many one shot wonders of it's time. If you liked babylon 5 because it was more "real" then star trek, then think about firefly because it's in the same league. Talented writers, smart producers, and a cast that was able to bring their characters home. Watch the movie when it's released and you will come back for the series.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Productgroup: DVD
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - movie DVD cover picture
"There is no way of explaining the terror I felt"

There are two ways of looking at this film:
1. Two men, every drug known to civilization, and Vegas!
2. Two men stuck in a 60's mindset, trapped in a city that represents everything wrong with America.
The first is how many viewers will initially see the movie, and though there's nothing wrong with looking at it that way, it entirely misses the point of the film. The second, though essentially the same as the first, is how it's meant to be seen. Also, the quote at the beginning explains a lot about their personalities...
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
But many viewers dismiss it and look at the characters as simple drug addicts. However, DO NOT let me stop you from adding your own interpretation to the film, I'm just providing the basic groundwork. The great thing about this movie is that 10 people can watch it and come up with 10 different meanings for the movie.
The greatest aspect of this movie is not the over the top drug hallucination sequences, or even Johnny Depp's portrayal of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (which in my opinion, is his best performance to date). It's the dialogue that pulls the movie together, hilarious and endlessly quotable.
One of the largest gripes with the film is that it's pro-drug use, though how someone could come up with that theory is entirely beyond me.
To sum it all up, great movie, watch it, love it.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Terry Gilliam
Johnny Depp
Benicio Del Toro

DVD title: Case Closed - The Secret Life of Jimmy Kudo (Season 1 Vol. 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Case Closed - The Secret Life of Jimmy Kudo (Season 1 Vol. 1) - movie DVD cover picture
...I am getting this when it comes out...

I LOVE Detective Conan/Case Closed. Best anime EVER. Yeah, definitely getting this when it comes out.

Studio: Funimation Productio

DVD title: The X-Files - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
The X-Files - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
The Ultimate Purchase

To get all season 1 episodes of possibly the greatest TV show in history is a great buy. Far superior to simular "sci/fi" shows like Buffy and done better than Dramas like Law and Order and ER, this set gives you all the first season episodes in one set, among them, the classic episodes that started it all

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
David Duchovny

DVD title: Monty Python's Flying Circus, Disc 2
Productgroup: DVD
Monty Python's Flying Circus, Disc 2 - movie DVD cover picture
The Greatest Episode

This is the greatest episode ever of Monty Python. It's hilarious. I was laughing every second. There is a German version out that is awesome. This is definately the best though.

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin

DVD title: Box of Moonlight
Productgroup: DVD
Box of Moonlight - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Vidmark/Trimark
Director: Tom DiCillo
John Turturro
Sam Rockwell
Catherine Keener

DVD title: Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Cute and fun with an old touch

Win a date with Tad Hamiltion! is a fun and well acted romantic comedy. Kate Bosworth stars as Rosalee, a grocery store clerke who wins a date with a big movie star that she has a huge crush on. Topher Grace (That 70's Show, Traffic) plays her friend Pete who secretly loves her. So when she not only goes on a date with Tad but falls for him hard, Pete is jealous and trys to compete with Tad to win Rosalee over.
Win a Date would probably have starred Molly Winwald as Rosalee, Anthony Michael Hall as Pete and Matt Dillion as Tad Hamilton and directed by John Hughes if it was made in the 80's. I only say this because it really reminds me of the type of movie Hughes would've made in the 80's.
It's nice though to have a movie like this now. It's well acted, has heart and you can never really predict whar kind of guy Tad is. Does he really have a thing for her or is he using her to heighten his career ? I wouldn't mind seeing Topher Grace in more movies. He has more charm and talent than fellow That 70's star Ashton Kutchner who gets more work.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Robert Luketic
Kate Bosworth
Topher Grace
Josh Duhamel

DVD title: Liar Liar
Productgroup: DVD
Liar Liar - movie DVD cover picture
Totally Hilarious

Jim CArreys funniest movie!This is full of laughs from start to finish.Watch it if you love to crack up!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Tom Shadyac
Jim Carrey
Maura Tierney

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