Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: That Thing You Do!
Productgroup: DVD
That Thing You Do! - movie DVD cover picture
Finally on DVD!!!

You're not likely to find a more sweet, affectionately drawn portrait of a time and era than this film. The last great one before this was "American Graffiti." Tom Hanks takes a very easy-going hand with the direction of this excellent movie, which is one of the film's strong points. It moves at a fast, yet leisurely pace and has a good story to tell about one of the millions of one hit wonder band that crop up, have a hit or two, and then just when they are about to become the hugest group in the world, disappear into oblivion. The group in this movie, therefore is, aptly called the "Wonders." (The original spelling of their name, the "One-ders" has to be changed because people kept pronouncing it "Oh needers".) This movie is a very light, fun musical comedy/drama with a bouncy, authentic-sounding score, highlighted by the excellent title number and some other faux-60s pop hits, and delightful performances from an exuberant cast. Hanks even has a small part as their manager, in a very downplayed, tasteful performance. This movie is wise to never take itself or its plot too seriously, acknowledging throughout, even during the breakup, that the "Wonders" was really a whim more than anything else throughout their shortlived history. Many clever set pieces compare the "Wonders" to parts of Beatle history, the difference being that the Beatles had more than one or two hit singles. All in all, this movie is a fun, vibrantly colorful look at the 60s music industry, that gently and subtly parodies the era while celebrating it simulaneously. P.S. Look for a fabulous cameo by Rita Wilson, Hanks' real-life wife as a cocktail waitress.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Tom Everett Scott
Liv Tyler
Charlize Theron

DVD title: Night of the Living Dead (Special Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Night of the Living Dead (Special Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Straight From The Ass' Mouth -

It's in black & white? Big deal - in fact, it enhances this film with it's grittiness. Black & white has always been the perfect format for the horror genre`. Low budget? Hey, it didn't hurt this movie one bit. Great acting. Splendid direction. Original story, envied (and - unsuccessfully - copied time & time again) story. Horror CLASSIC. George Romero is at his best with his zombies - His social satire and visual humor is outstanding, if subtle at times, and when he puts humor away, he'll make the hairs on the back of your neck creep, crawl and damned near jump right off your skin! Enough said, if you havn't seen this movie watch it as soon as you can. And check out the sequals (it was originally planned as a trilogy) to this flick - Dawn of the Dead, & Day of the Dead (the latter being the weakest of the three, but never-the-less, a great, gory time!

Studio: Elite Entertainment
Director: George A. Romero
Duane Jones
Judith O'Dea

DVD title: Young Frankenstein (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Young Frankenstein (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture

I get a mental block about 10 seconds, so these reviews can be very hard to write, sometimes. Here is Mel Brooks' silly remake of just about every Frankenstein movie that's like....ever been made. Gene Wilder is a scientist named Fredrick Frankenstein who experients a corpse to try and reanimate dead tissue that he read from a book in the castle he lives in with Igor. Soon, he is successful......and I don't know what else to say. This HAS to be a classic. I think it is.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Mel Brooks
Gene Wilder
Marty Feldman
Madeline Kahn

DVD title: Herbert von Karajan - His Legacy for Home Video: The New Year's Concert 1987
Productgroup: DVD
Herbert von Karajan - His Legacy for Home Video: The New Year's Concert 1987 - movie DVD cover picture
Music of the Spheres...

... almost unbearably beautiful, Sph?renkl?nge alone is worth the price of the disc; not only have I been playing this concert every January first, but on occasions this track alone just for the sheer gorgeousness of it. Coincidently I ended up reading somewhere that the austrian conductor W?lser-Most plays this recording for the same reasons. I guarantee you it is worth the nine bucks!

Studio: Sony Classics

DVD title: American Beauty
Productgroup: DVD
American Beauty - movie DVD cover picture
Simply Amazing!

I have seen quite a few movies in my time, and I can say this is one of the best. If not the best. I love it's satirical look on suburban life (being from the suburbs, it was especially funny), to it's stunning cinematography, to it's splendid performances (esp. Mr. Spacey). While people definitely have their own tastes, you cannot argue with the simply magnificent scene of the plastic bag floating and it's poignant dialogue. If you aren't into "artsy" movies, or if you're against "mainstream" movies, this will satisfy everyone's tastes! Simply stated, SEE IT before it's run is up!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Sam Mendes
Kevin Spacey
Annette Bening

DVD title: The Awful Truth
Productgroup: DVD
The Awful Truth - movie DVD cover picture
Hilarious with perfect timing

This is the film to watch if you want to learn about timing in comedy. Cary Grant said Irene Dunne had the best timing of any of his co-stars and you can see why here. Her gestures, gurgles, sardonic looks etc are perfection. Their interaction is a joy to behold. Ralph Bellamy also deserves mention for his parody of the lecherous hick. Watch him in one of the nightclub scenes.

Any reviewer who takes the content of the plot seriously is absurd. This is a frivolous masterpiece.

Studio: Columbia Tristar Hom
Director: Leo McCarey
Irene Dunne
Cary Grant

DVD title: The Cadfael Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Cadfael Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Fabulous mysteries in a rich historical setting

I've read all the Ellis Peters "Cadfael" novels, and am favorably impressed by the fine job the producers of the Cadfael series have done in bringing the books' rich cast of characters and wonderful sense of immersion in the ordinary and extraordinary details of life in 12th century Shrewsbury to the small screen. But for me, the make-or-break factor in bringing the monk-detective to the screen had to be the casting of Cadfael himself, and I cannot think of a better choice than the outstanding Derek Jacobi, who brings Cadfael to life as brilliantly and with the same powerful humanity as he did the Roman emperor Claudius in the terrific "I, Claudius" series. Refreshing, original mysteries by a fine historical author with a wonderful feel for creating living, breathing, suffering, and triumphant characters. If you'd enjoy a break from technology, the relentess fast pace of modern life, and smart-ass cinematic detectives, it's hard to beat time traveling back to medieval England for an evening with the caring, perceptive, tough, complex Brother Cadfael.

Studio: Acorn Media Publishi
Derek Jacobi

DVD title: The Spy Who Loved Me (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Spy Who Loved Me (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
The Spy who Loved Me

This,along with FYEO,is the best of Moore`s Bond-films.He performs well,and is given tougher scenes than in his previous films.Bach is a great,stunning presence,but,sadly,J?rgens gives a rather tired performance,and is probably the least interesting of all the Bond bad guys
Kiel is wonderful as Jaws,although he should have been killed at the films end.Instead,he returns in Moonraker,a mistake.
You surely can`t complain about the action.The battle between Sandor and Bond is great,and even better is Bond:s pursuit after Jaws at The Cheops Pyramid,as well as the Jet Ranger helicopter.The soundtrack is dated,but good(read my separate review).
A few low points only,for example the battle inside Liparus is a bit stretched out,and Bond?s reprogramming of the nuclear missiles.
One wonderful moment:Bond rides a wetbike to the Atlantis,while The Bond Theme plays in the background.This is one of my favorite Bond-moments of all time,and there is no dialouge!

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Lewis Gilbert (II)
Roger Moore
Barbara Bach

DVD title: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Productgroup: DVD
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella - movie DVD cover picture
Fantastic, Best version, you share the feeling of magic

This is one of the first 'romantic' movies I ever saw and it's the only one I remember in exact detail. I have been searching for this film for over 25 years. Lesley Ann Warren was able to make the viewer really empathize with her situation. The light humor of the batting eyes and creaking knees of the step-sisters kept things from being to 'sappy'.

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Charles S. Dubin

DVD title: Jonah - A VeggieTales Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Jonah - A VeggieTales Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Classic Veggie Tales!!!

This was one of the finest films in this series, and it was amazing to think that it was released to the theaters nationwide. There were many interesting parts to this film, especially the beginning, which introduced you to the characters, and their ultimate need for Compassion and Mercy, which is what this Tale is about.
If you love Veggie Tales, this is a must-see, and the introduction of a multi-legged little critter named Carlyle was an added plus. Then there was the music, and the gospel extravaganza in the belly of the whale is worth the price of the movie, not to mention the whale itself.
A Fine Film. Great for the family, albeit maybe a tad too long for the young kiddies. But highly recommended!!!

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Mike Nawrocki
Phil Vischer

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