Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Altered States
Productgroup: DVD
Altered States - movie DVD cover picture
Good Movie with an Excellent Score

The plot of the film centers on Professor Eddie Jessup who explores different states of consciousness by using a sensory deprivation tank and hallucinogenic drugs. It has a well-developed plot for a Science Fiction/Horror movie with the right mixture of realism and fantasy.
The sound quality of the DVD is far superior to the VHS. The intricacies of the score, composed by John Corigliano, and the various sound effects are better appreciated on the DVD. Without the technology to create realistic sound effects, Corigliano instead used various orchestration techniques such as harmonics and microtonality; this interconnects the score to the plot of the film. Since 1980, no film composer's score has been equaled in this respect. It's a trite expression but they don't make them like they used to.
Overall, the movie is at its best during the supernatural scenes of horror. During the more dramatic scenes, the acting is overdone and unbelievable especially in scenes with Professor Jessup and his wife. Despite that, this movie is a landmark film in the horror movie genre with one of the best scores of any movie. It is definitely a film to see and a DVD worth the money.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Ken Russell
William Hurt

DVD title: The Scorpions - Moment of Glory (Live with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Productgroup: DVD
The Scorpions - Moment of Glory (Live with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) - movie DVD cover picture
This is the best DVD i have ever watched!

musically it's on the top! i can't imagine better than this performance! the best philharmonic orchestra in the world playing live with the best rock band in the world!!! wow! amazing!... they're all great! matthias solos and rudy's rhythms rule! klaus is the best vocalist! his voice is so divine! and i was really impressed by James Kottak on drums! it's really amazing to see how this drummer plays! he stands up, jumps, sings, makes crazy variations and fill-ins, and he plays with so much power on the drums! also, the scorps behavior on stage is excellent! they really rock, and know how to be respectful at the same time! the group of kids on backing vocals is so cute! and the backing vocalists also! lyn liechty and ray wilson really rule!!! and i was so glad so hear we'll burn the sky and u&i with and orchestra, and they're awesome! i was also sooooo amazed when i saw Christian Kolonovits! he's in my opinion the only conductor who lives both worlds of music (rock and classical)! and he's the one who made all the arrangement! this guy rules!... and the picture and sound quality of the DVD are excellent!!! also, about the special features. they're so good! that's the way i like video clips: to watch the musicians performing, not to see images an shots from things that have no relation with the music!!! enjoy! JP

Studio: Eagle Vision

DVD title: Shakespeare in Love
Productgroup: DVD
Shakespeare in Love - movie DVD cover picture
Hardly just for Shakespeare lovers ...

Amazing film -- not too many can pull off the neat trick of working on several levels at once. The more you know about Shakespeare, the more of the jokes you will get -- but no knowledge of the Bard is needed to enjoy this intelligent, original take on a timeworn genre.
Dazzling costumes and art direction, an authentic period feel -- yet the filmmakers manage to make it all seem very contemporary and relevant to today's audiences. As I said, a very neat and rare trick to pull off correctly, and the team for this film went far beyond the merely correct.
Simply put, a classic that will only improve with age. Outstanding score, too -- check it out in the Soundtracks section.

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: John Madden
Geoffrey Rush
Joseph Fiennes
Gwyneth Paltrow

DVD title: Lost in Space - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Lost in Space - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
"Danger Will Robinson!"

In 1965, U.S. television viewers were treated to a new Irwin Allen sci-fi production entitled "Lost In Space". Irwin Allen took his inspiration from the 1960 Disney Studios film "Swiss Family Robinson", which was based upon the 1812 children's novel "The Swiss Family Robinson" written by Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) and edited by his son Johann Rudolf Wyss (1781-1830), who also composed the Swiss National Anthem. Johann David Wyss based his book upon the 1719 classic novel "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe (1660-1731). However, Irwin Allen was not the first man to transplant the Robinson family from a desert island to outer space. That credit goes to Gold Key Comics who introduced their "Space Family Robinson" comic book in 1962, but the Robinson family in the comic differed considerably from Irwin Allen's TV show. (Before its TV debut, the first working title for "Lost In Space" had been "Space Family Robinson".) Since Gold Key Comics had working relationships with several TV producers, they didn't sue Irwin Allen. Instead, they modified the name of their comic book in 1966 to "Space Family Robinson Lost In Space", which was in print through 1969, and licensed two other Irwin Allen productions.
Irwin Allen's Robinson family had five members: Prof. John Robinson (Guy Williams, 1924-1989), Maureen Robinson (June Lockhart), Judy Robinson (Marta Kristen), Will Robinson (Billy Mummy, who later played Lennier in the 1994-1998 sci-fi TV series "Babylon 5") and Penny Robinson (Angela Cartwright, who had previously played the daughter Brigitta in the 1965 "The Sound of Music"). To assist piloting their spaceship, a flying saucer called the Jupter-2, they included a pilot named Maj. Donald 'Don' West (Mark Goddard) so that they could colonize a planet located in the Alpha Centauri star system. (Beyond the Sun, Alpha Centauri is Earth's nearest interstellar neighbor.) They also enlisted the assistance of a robot (played by Bob May with Dick Tufeld doing the voice). Since the journey to Alpha Centauri would take several years, everyone onboard the Jupiter-2 would be placed into suspended animation for the duration of the flight. However, not everyone on Earth was happy with the Robinson's plans, so a clandestine plot to sabotage the ship after launch was hatched. The would-be saboteur, Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris, 1914-2002), snuck onboard the Jupiter-2 shortly before launch and reprogrammed the robot to destroy the ship after launch, but he didn't get off before launch. When the robot started to run amuck, he revived everyone to help stop the robot, but not before it damaged the ships navigational system, leaving everyone lost in space.
During the show's first season of 29 episodes, which were filmed in black & white, the Robinson, Maj. West, Dr. Smith and the robot encounter a myriad of aliens, monsters and alien technology ranging from the benign to the outright malicious. Some of the first season's guest appearances include Reta Shaw (1912-1982) in episode "Return from Outer Space", Michael Rennie (1909-1971, who played Klaatu in the 1951 classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still") in the two-part "Keeper" episode, Kurt Russell in episode "The Challenge" and Werner Klemperer (1920-2000, known for playing "Col. Klink" in the 1960's sitcom "Hogan's Heroes") in episode "All That Glitters". Only the first few episodes of the first season have the Jupiter-2 in space. After that, the rest of the season's episodes takes place upon an alien planet. (The Jupiter-2 doesn't go back into space until the beginning of the second season.)
Overall, I rate first season of "Lost In Space" with 5 out of 5 stars. Though the monsters were a bit campy in their rubber suits, the story lines for most of the episodes were quite good with only a few exceptions. An attempt to revive the show after 30 years with the 1998 big screen film (which featured cameos of several original TV cast members) did not do well at the box office. A later attempt to have a special reunion show was cancelled after Jonathan Harris passed away. The best episodes of the first season include "The Reluctant Stowaway" (pilot), "The Derelict", "Island in the Sky", "There Were Giants in the Earth", "The Hungry Sea", "My Friend, Mr. Nobody", "Invaders from the Fifth Dimension", "The Sky Is Falling", "Wish Upon a Star", "Attack of the Monster Plants", "Return from Outer Space", "The Keeper", "The Magic Mirror", "The Lost Civilization" and the unaired pilot called "No Place to Hide". The second season overall wasn't quite as good as the first, and the third was worse.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Guy Williams

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Truly loving the story means knowing the history...

The Lord of the Rings, probably the greatest movie in 40 years, original work of JRR Tolkien, movie version by Peter Jackson, is completed in this final movie. The Elven civilization stands on the brink of destruction. While immortal beings they suffer from the "world weariness" and the only thing sustaining them and their works are the Three Rings of Power. But the Three are bound up with the power of the One. If Sauron gets his Ring back, then the Three will become corrupted and the last defenses will fall. But if they succeed, and the One Ring destroyed, the Three will die too. The Elves are doomed either way, but they fight on. Their only real hope is to evacuate back to Heaven in the True West.
While the Elves hold Sauron back on the magic/psychic plane, it falls on the last cultural offspring of Elven-teaching, the human empire of Gondor, to hold Mordor and the hordes of the east back militarily. The Gondorian Empire, once the most powerful force on Earth has decayed over the millennia to a kind of proud, venerable, but increasingly impotent Byzantium. If Gondor falls, so falls the World.
But Sauron has already beaten the forces of good all the way back to the heartland and the ancient capital, Minas Tirith the White City! There, the High Kings of old ruled. But the old royal line passed away a thousand years ago and Gondor has since been under the control of the Ruling Stewards, who are none too keen on giving up the throne for the "last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship." That means Aragorn, last survivor of the old royal bloodline of Numenor, and heir to the crown.
Since the Elves are doomed to depart the world whether the war is won or lost it is vital that Minas Tirith survive and hold back the tide, not only for the sake of the Free Peoples of the world and because it is the last bastion of law and order, of art, skill and technology, but more importantly Gondor will be the last civilization to be taught the "true" religion, the perception of the Blessed Realm in the Uttermost West. In fact the White Tree of Gondor is a sapling of the original Silver Tree of Heaven...and the last physical link to the divine.
Knowing the history increases the beauty and potency of the know what is REALLY at stake: the loss of the wisdom and awareness of heaven, the threat of the establishment of a demonic empire.
As Denethor, Ruling Steward of Gondor, prepares for the war that will almost certainly end his nation, our heros return from victory over the fallen Wizard Saruman. As they and the people of Rohan rest and ready for the next stage of the war Pippin sneaks a look at the recovered Palantir of Isengard and comes face to face with the utter horror of Sauron, who had corrupted the seeing-stone network long ago. Gandalf and Pippin ride to Minas Tirith to assist and give warning while Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas help King Theoden muster the full strength of Rohan to ride to the defense of the White City.
Gandalf and Pippin come to the capital and find Denethor in a kind of proud despair. Grief from the loss of his eldest son, Boromir, and knowledge from the Palantir of the White Tower about the awesome power of Sauron and the horror facing the certain doom of his civilization and all it's works was driving him to madness. Gandalf is forced to gradually assume command of the defense of the City.
Frodo, Gollum, and Sam (who is the true hero of the tale) continue to make their way into Mordor. They face the rocky mountains of Mordor, horror of Minas Morgul, the treachery of Gollum, and the dreadfulness of Shelob before they finally enter the Black Land. Their final enemies on the trek to Mount Doom are deadly thirst and hunger and the sleepless watch of the Lidless Eye of Sauron.
The forces of Evil have come to the City. The Great Gates of Gondor are broken and enemies poor under the archway that no enemy had ever passed before. Hope is lost...
But there are forces at work besides the will of Evil. And they have not totally forgotten or abandoned the World...and that is an encouraging thought.
Nothing can prepare you for the climax and the bittersweet epilogue...

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Jackson
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen
Elijah Wood

DVD title: The Shawshank Redemption
Productgroup: DVD
The Shawshank Redemption - movie DVD cover picture
One to add to the video library!

Perhaps the best drama ever made. This film is moving, gripping and equally reviting. Robbed in the Oscars, it is by far a movie that should be in everyone's collection.

Studio: Castle Rock
Director: Frank Darabont
Tim Robbins
Morgan Freeman

DVD title: Backstreet Boys - A Night Out with the Backstreet Boys
Productgroup: DVD
Backstreet Boys - A Night Out with the Backstreet Boys - movie DVD cover picture
Brian was so cute!!!!!!

I loved the video and it was really good. I watch it everyday. And Brian was really cute in it and if you don't have the European album then you should get this video because it has most of all the songs on that album. It's also really good because it has solo's from each one of them and Brian has 2 solo's. It also has 2 music videos one of them are "all i have to give" and the other one is "i'll never break your heart" and it was one of the best Backstreet Boy tapes ever!!!!

Studio: Bmg/Jive/Silvertone

DVD title: Cruel Intentions (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Cruel Intentions (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
a work of art!

What a fantastic film! As dark as it may be, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipe (hottie!), and Selma Blair are phenomenal in this twisted...well, I'm not sure what you'd call it. It's pretty funny in the beginning, but gets thrilling in the end.
The only bad thing about this movie would have to be it's ending. First a crucial character is...erm...well something bad happens to them, and then Sebastian gets revenge on Catherine. Then it just ends. I mean, you never see what happened to Catherine or Annette! You find out what happens to Sebastian, but not to the two (or three, if you include Ceccile (Selma Blair) female characters.
Just don't let young children see this movie, because I think that it gives a message saying "Doing it is okay, it's all fun and games." Although the two evil characters do get revenge in the end.
An added bonus of this movie would be a scene in which you see Ryan Phillipe's butt.
Phillipe and Witherspoon have fantastic chemistry together, which would make sense seeing as they are now married and are expecting their second child. But everyone plays their characters well. Catherine is pure evil, Sebastian is also evil at first but softens, Annette is good-girl, and Ceccile is seriously naive and innocent.
A great buy - purchase this movie!

Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Director: Roger Kumble
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ryan Phillippe
Reese Witherspoon

DVD title: Vernon Florida
Productgroup: DVD
Vernon Florida - movie DVD cover picture
there are no words to describe...

each time you watch vernon, florida, you have another "therefore experience". you won't know that your life has been missing these experiences untill you view this movie, but once you see it, you'll realize that "therefore experiences" are like narcotics. you just have to have more of them.
anyone that has ever vacationed at the white sands missle base, anyone that has a four track mind, anyone that has ever found a van at a fair price because of a miracle from god, and anyone that has cured stomach problems with a gobbling wild turkey will truely feel right at home while watching vernon, florida.
the rest of be scientific about it....will just laugh endlessly.

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Errol Morris

DVD title: Life as a House (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Life as a House (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
The trailer vs. the actual movie

I saw the trailer to this film several times before i actually saw the movie. I was expecting a kind of a comedy but was in for a surprise. I enjoyed the movie alot but i did not really like the movie until weeks later when it finally sank in.I love Kevin Kline, very handsome, very gifted and a very versitile actor. Even though this movie has a wonderful story to tell about filling your life with love, doing the things you always wanted to do and dying of an incurable illness and seeing Kevin fill this role perfectly it still let me down. I'm sure this is all because i really thought that this was a comedy,,,,well it isn't. It's as serious as you can get but with humor of love and a belief that what you do really does matter in the story of life itself.Knowing this now i do recommend this film highly for the goodness this movie presents. It's honest and fresh, you'll laugh and you'll cry and it might make you take a better look at your own life. This movie had a profound effect on me,,,,for the better!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Irwin Winkler
Kevin Kline
Hayden Christensen

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