Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Sailor Moon - Season Two - Uncut (Japanese Language Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Sailor Moon - Season Two - Uncut (Japanese Language Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
GREAT boxset!


I finally have the Sailor Moon season two boxset! Took long enough to GET it but waiting was SO worth it. FINALLY I'm getting to see the WHOLE original makaijyu ("doom tree") eps and the black moon eps. Plus the second half of R is the introduction of Chibiusa (Not "REENIE" eww!) Definately worth getting your hands on if you want to see what these eps were like before DiC tore them apart with their cheesy episode titles and vally-girl daiologue and the terrible voice actors.

Studio: A.D. Vision



DVD title: Rocky
Productgroup: DVD
Rocky - movie DVD cover picture
Great Commentaries of Rocky


I feel that "Rocky" is the best damn underdog movie ever made. It's also the best feel-good movie ever made. With and exceptional cast and a brilliant score "Rocky" is one of the best movies ever made.

Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Director: John G. Avildsen
Actors:
Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire




DVD title: La Strada - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
La Strada - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Spirit, Mind and Body


This is my favorite Fellini movie.He takes you on an incredible journey on..the road. And its a ride worth taking.(bring along a handkerchief)And I LOVE the vehicle.The house on a motorcycle!!!

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Federico Fellini
Actors:
Anthony Quinn
Giulietta Masina
Richard Basehart




DVD title: The Lion in Winter
Productgroup: DVD
The Lion in Winter - movie DVD cover picture
It's like being transported through time to medieval England


Yes, this movie is a period piece. But this movie, adapted from a wonderful play,is at the end of the day a powerful tale of an acutely dysfunctional family. Set during the Christmas season in 12th century England, this story is powerfully scripted and superbly acted by everyone. Peter O'Toole gives his tour de force performance as Henry II, a world-weary monarch intent on maintaining supremacy and establishing his legacy. Katherine Hepburn, in what is the among the finest movie performances I have ever seen, plays his deadly foil (and oh yes, estranged wife) Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine, who is determined to thwart his plans. The issue: which of their surviving children will inherit the throne of England, and marry Alais, the sister of the King of France? The pawns in this game are Alais and the English Princes, Richard the Lionhearted (Anthony Hopkins), John (Nigel Terry of Excalibur fame), and Geoffrey. Then of course, there is the wild card, the teenage French monarch, Philip (Timothy Dalton).
In this movie you have all of the themes of familial dysfunction: the vitriol and wistfulness of an estranged couple, the frustrations of the "model" eldest child, the resentment of the neglected middle child, the eccentricities of the overindulged youngest child, a May-December affair triggered by a mid-life crisis, holiday depression, and it goes on and on. This movie is so adept at exploring these topics that it makes "American Beauty" (a good film in its own right) seem almost sophomoric.
What makes this movie stand out is the writing. There is no other movie this side of "The Godfather" that has contained such enjoyable dialogue and character development. The dialogue in this movie is outstanding ("It's not the power I feel deprived of, it's the mention that I miss"; "Give me a little peace/A little? Why so modest? How about eternal peace? Now there's a thought.")
I doubt there will ever be another movie that will be so skillful in weaving together historical material, political intrigue, and slice-of-life issues into so seamlessly. This is one of my 10 favorite movies. Please rent it, and if you can find it, buy it.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Anthony Harvey (II)
Actors:
Peter O'Toole
Katharine Hepburn
Anthony Hopkins




DVD title: Joan of Arcadia - The First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Joan of Arcadia - The First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Superb Characters, Acting, Writing - Must See TV!!


I like my movies dark and edgy, preferably Indies, which is why I am so surprised at my addiction to the TV series "Joan Of Arcadia." It's about as hard-boiled as "Little House on the Prairie," which, oddly enough, I also watched avidly. Perhaps it is the excellent writing and outstanding cast which sets this program apart. All time favorites Joe Mantegna, (lots of noir under his belt), and Mary Steenburgen team up with talented young Amber Tamblyn, (Joan), Jason Ritter, (son of John Ritter), and Michael Welch to play members of the Girardi family, who recently relocated to the small town of Arcadia.

Joan Girardi, a pretty, (not glamorous...interesting), precocious teen, is experiencing adolescence Bigtime. She adores her family, BUT, they are a continual source of embarrassment. Her dad, Will Girardi, (Mantegna) is the town's new police chief, and a loving, moral man. He is not religious, however. Mom, Helen, (Steenburgen), works at the high school as an administrator, and is a spiritual, creative person. Handsome older brother, Kevin, (Ritter), is a recent paraplegic due to a terrible car crash. And younger brother Luke, (Welch) is a brilliant, but geeky guy.

What's interesting here is the show's concept. Joan talks to God. On a daily basis. And He talks back. I know, sounds either zealous or corny...but it works! And I say this from the perspective of one who likes her entertainment separate from all things religious. As Joan grows up, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, God advises her. This is not God of burning bush fame...nor the omniscient booming voice from stage left. Joan's God is played by the average man/woman/girl/boy on the street. His voice and all-knowingness can come out of the mouth of the mailman, a bag lady or a cute guy. He appears in each episode and asks Joan to perform a seemingly innocuous task. The instructions are usually opaque, and Joan rarely sees their relevance. It is up to her to work out how her actions resonate within her family and the community at large. The point is that Joan is only asked to do something small, like join the chess club, or volunteer at a high school art show. The results usually have a far ranging impact. They act as a catalyst which trigger events in the lives of others. Joan's constant realization of how significant the "little things" one does are, teaches her that she doesn't have to save the world to make a difference. This idea is one of the many reasons Joan of Arcadia is so special.

There is nothing preachy or saccharine-like about the program. If I didn't know that God was in the cast, I wouldn't think the show had anything to do with Him at all. The show's approach is one accessible to people of all religions, although based on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Even agnostics would enjoy Joan and company - the Girardi family certainly questions their beliefs and faith at times.

Season One introduces the family as a unit and as individuals. They are all adjusting to life in a new town, new school, new job. God works with Joan on becoming an achiever, as opposed to an underachiever. Kevin has to cope with his rage and his disability. Wheelchair bound, he is no longer the top athlete he used to be, and his life has changed drastically. He hasn't really begun to internalize all this yet. Luke is an extremely gifted kid, but really geeky in an adorable way. He'll cope. Helen is struggling with her belief in God, after her sons traumatic accident. She was also a talented artist at one time, but has not painted in years and must deal with the reasons she stopped. And Will's work as chief cop is fascinating. There are mini-police dramas in almost every episode. He is caught up in some ethical dilemmas at work also, which also make for interesting watching. There is tremendous chemistry within the cast. Mantegna and Steenburgen make a believable and loving couple and the kids interact effortlessly, like siblings. Joan's best friend Grace Polk, (Becky Wahlstrom), and boyfriend Adam Rove, (Chris Marquette) are wonderful characters. There's not a dud in the group.

I don't know a single person who thought they'd like this show when they heard about it. They watched, and they were happily surprised. Goes to show the importance of keeping an open mind!

This DVD feature all 23 episodes on six discs. Deleted scenes are included from almost all episodes. The filmmakers and cast provide audio commentaries.

By the way, as I am sure you've noticed, the only way to watch a TV series these days is by renting/buying the season DVDs - no commercials, and no seven day wait between shows. You can also nod off in the middle of a segment and rewind. Enjoy!
JANA

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Actors:
Amber Tamblyn



DVD title: Zatoichi 20 - Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo
Productgroup: DVD
Zatoichi 20 - Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo - movie DVD cover picture
A Great Movie- it's Toshiro Mifune but it's NOT Kurosawa's Yojimbo


A fan of Kuroswawa's YOJIMBO movies is liable to be dissappointed at the character played by Mifune in this film. Kurosawa's Yojimbo is a powerful, frightening mater of the sword. Mifune's character in this film is a down-on-his-luck samurai with a serious drinking problem and a long-time love interest. He may be tough, but he's NOT the same character at all! Beyond Mifune's signature unshaven looks and bravura style there is no reference to the Kuroswasa films (a pity!). And, as a matter of fact, the character in this movie DOES have a name.

Nevertheless, once you know what (not) to expect, this movie is a ball. It's tremedously entertaining and both of the stars are in perfect form. Okamoto's cinematography is, as always, terrific.
The film seems to have been meant to be somethign like The GOOD, the BAD, and The UGLY- an ironic instance of the imitated imitating the imitators. It falls short of that incredibly high level and perhaps shows the difference between talent and genius (although Okamoto's other films do blur that line). But if this is no masterpiece its a solid classic well worth its cult reputation. Thanks to AnimEigo for a great DVD of the one at last.

Studio: AnimEigo
Director: Kihachi Okamoto



DVD title: Batman - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Batman - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Fox did the Caped Crusader proud


The key things to know about the DVD are:1) The colors jump off the screen, it is a great transfer2) The featurette with Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) is good, though they cover a lot of the same ground in the commentary3) The Batmobile feature is very cool4) The commentary is awesome. Adam and Burt have a great chemistry and really seem to love both the movie and the show. Their tongues are firmly in their cheeks druing the commentary (Adam West's views on Bruce Wayne alone are worth the price of admission), but you will learn about the production and such secrets as:Why did ABC tear down the Batcave so quickly after cancellation?What did Burt Ward really think about the BatCycle?How and why did Lee Meriweather get to play Catwoman?Why did Adam and Burt have to spend two hours each week getting oxygen at the Fox infirmary?The team at Fox had a lot of love for this movie and it shows. Buy this DVD and get Fox to release some series episodes with Adam, Burt, Julie Newmar (Catwoman) and Frank Gorshin (Riddler)doing commentary!

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Actors:
Adam West
Burt Ward




DVD title: Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A True Oscar Contender


Mr. Barrie's (Johnny Depp) play, Peter Pan, was so ground-breaking, so unusual, that even his producer (Dustin Hoffman) thought him a bit cuckoo when he presented his ideas to him. And with the miserable failure of his last play, it's little surprise.

But this new one has something unusual, something not quite tangible in the mind. Why? Because Mr. Barrie's inspiration was a group of young boys who've lost their father and are preparing for the worst kind of news about their mother, too (played excellently by Kate Winslet).

What struck me as interesting and incredible about the film is that it focuses on the muse of a writer; and this muse is pretty dark. Peter (Freddie Highmore), is a lonely boy even within his family of brothers. He misses his father terribly, and he doesn't know how to grieve. So when Johnny Depp appears in his life, he's none too happy about it ("You can't replace my father"). Can this young boy find salvation in the writings of one man? Can he find that bit of serendipity that we all lose as children when we hit the barrier of adulthood? Even with his mother in mortal danger?

Sound kinda dark? It is. But the amazing thing about it is that the film is tremendously uplifting, even with death looming in the shadows.

I will say that Johnny Depp never ceases to amaze me. I loved him in Pirates of the Caribbean, and it was often times difficult for me to imagine that this was the same actor playing this role. Kate Winslet was excellent as the ailing mother. Julie Christie was wonderful as the protective grandmother of Winslet's children. But to me, the show stealer was undoubtedly Freddie Highmore (Peter). I don't know where this boy came from, but his presence on screen brought a lump to my throat from the moment I saw him, and by the end of the film everyone in the theater (I mean everyone!) was blubbering like a baby. A shame that he didn't get nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars.

I'll be owning this one on DVD when it comes out.

Studio: Miramax
Director: Marc Forster
Actors:
Johnny Depp
Kate Winslet
Julie Christie




DVD title: The Trial of Billy Jack
Productgroup: DVD
The Trial of Billy Jack - movie DVD cover picture
Social Consciousness at its finest!


Wonderful Film! A must watch!

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Director: Tom Laughlin
Actors:
Tom Laughlin
Delores Taylor




DVD title: Platinum Comedy Series - Dave Chappelle - Killin' Them Softly
Productgroup: DVD
Platinum Comedy Series - Dave Chappelle - Killin' Them Softly - movie DVD cover picture
Nice porshe....gotcha B*TCH!!


This is one of the best standups out there...

Richard Pryor..

Eddie Murphy..

Chris Rock..

Dave Chappelle..

He is going to be the next best comedian to ever live....he might not be the NEXT Richard Pryor but he will be the FIRST Dave Chapelle and he's gonna leave his mark on tha world...

He still gotta lot more to go but anyway...this DVD is off tha hook...every joke is funny...EVERY JOKES is funny...you will laugh at EVERY JOKE...especially..when you can relate to it..which I did on all of them...

GET THIS DVD..TODAY!!

Studio: Ventura Distribution
Actors:
Dave Chappelle



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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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Photo Release -- Servinova, a Cisco Systems Registered Partner Company Has Started Network Testing on CISCO Aironet (PrimeZone via Yahoo! Finance)
2N Intros GSM VOIP Support (Unstrung.com)
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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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