Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Space Ghost Coast to Coast - Volume Two
Productgroup: DVD
Space Ghost Coast to Coast - Volume Two - movie DVD cover picture
Great! Now, Where's Brak?

This is a great show, but not nearly as funny as "Cartoon Planet", the other Space Ghost show that aired just before "Coast To Coast" on Saturday nights which featured Brak and Zorak. Speaking of Brak, where are "The Brak Show" dvds? And what about Harvey Birdman?

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Meet Me In St. Louis (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Meet Me In St. Louis (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Amazing color palette

I couldn't disagree more with Dan Navarette's evaluation of the Technicolor restoration presented in this edition. It's absolutely stunning, and a revelation to boot. I believe part of the problem with the perception of colors in this film is that, for years, the only measuringstick to which viewers could turn for reference were inferior Eastmancolor prints (both 16mm and 35mm) used in university and theatrical revivals, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, and less-than-stellar video transfers in early and some later VHS editions. These prints completely lacked the refinement of the transfer in this new DVD, and the subtle palette of colors that Vincente Minelli, Cedric Gibbons, Lemuel Ayers, Irene Sharaff, et al. employed was rendered garish and indistinct at best, and washed-out and lifeless at worst (and oftentimes all within the same print, varying from scene to scene).
The case in point that Mr. Navarette mentions is interesting: the striped tennis dress that Judy Garland wears early in the film, most notably while singing "The Boy Next Door." What the viewer sees here for the first time is the subtle slate-blue color of the stripes that was intended, not the sickly baby blue that was rendered in the subpar prints and transfers of years past. Gone, too, are the pasty and unstable flesh tones, and when colors are intended to "pop," they do so -- and how -- such as with the red velvet gown that Ms. Garland wears to the Christmas ball. And the detail that has been captured in this transfer is nothing short of miraculous, especially in the several scenes shot in half-light (which was not easy to do with the early Technicolor process). In short, what the film enthusiast finally has in this DVD is a true "golden yardstick" by which to measure future prints of this painstakingly designed and beautifully photographed film.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Judy Garland
Margaret O'Brien

DVD title: The Caveman's Valentine
Productgroup: DVD
The Caveman's Valentine - movie DVD cover picture
One of the best mysteries since Hitchcock

Much has been said about Jackson's bravura performance. The tight writing and surprising plot twists which frequently caught me flat-footed also delighted me. What I wish to comment on here, though is possibly the best cinematography I have ever seen. Highly surreal and often beautiful still photos and video intertwine gracefully in as high an expression of the film makers visual art as you will ever see. Sometime it is footage that seems to be from the Harlem Renassaince, other times it is a simple black and white still photo or a close in shot of a part of the human anatomy. The effect is stunning. Not for all tastes with its truley evil crimes, but for the film buff this is absolutely essential. A hint: See Lemons other film Eve's Bayou too, if you haven't done so.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Kasi Lemmons
Samuel L. Jackson
Colm Feore

DVD title: Hitman's Run
Productgroup: DVD
Hitman's Run - movie DVD cover picture
Get this movie

GREAT ACTION MOVIE! A new and exciting look into the witness protection program. The writer takes you on a dangerous and often times humorous journey.

Studio: Avalanche Video
Director: Mark L. Lester

DVD title: Tribute to John Coltrane
Productgroup: DVD
Tribute to John Coltrane - movie DVD cover picture
A DVD any jazz fan can appreciate

First off let me say that John Coltrane is not on this DVD. What you will find, however, is a group of wonderful musicians playing well known (and not so well known) works of Mr. Coltrane's to a very appreciative audience in Japan. When you have the caliber of Wayne Shorter and Dave Liebman on saxaphones fronting this group, you know that you are in for something special. Rounding out the group is Richie Beirach on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass, and the man who sounds like he must have four arms, Jack De Johnette on drums. Technically, the recording is excellent. The camera work also bears note here. We are not made to sift thru "special" video effects which seem to be part and parcel of so many live concert recordings these days. Instead we are treated to nice camera work which gives the viewer a good sence of what was happening without distracting anyone from the main emphasis; the music. All in all, this is a wonderful DVD, which holds up under repeated listening AND viewing. A rare find these days.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Wayne Shorter
Richie Beirach
Eddie Gomez
Jack DeJohnette
Dave Liebman

DVD title: Bad Company
Productgroup: DVD
Bad Company - movie DVD cover picture
Lik the proverb says, "'Bad Company' corrupts good morals."

This is an overlooked and, unfortunately, mostly forgotten Western from the 1970s. I first saw it with my younger sisters and brother at the Mustang Drive-In in Chandler, Arizona. Also, many people may not know that members of a 70s rock band were so impressed with the movie that they chose the movie's title for their band's name.
The story is about one boy (Barry Brown) and his struggle to survive after his parents send him to the West to avoid being drafted into the Civil War. His mother makes him promise to write her over the course of his journey. The boy, being a good Methodist, promises his mother that he will and leaves the security of his home to find loneliness and hunger on the road. He meets up with a band of homeless (and possibly runaway or draft-dodging) boys like himself and travels with them towards the Western US. They have many adventures, but get themselves in trouble, too. One boy is shot and killed for stealing a pie which is cooling on a windowsill. Another boy meets a similar tragic ending. Finally, the only two left are the boys played by Barry Brown and Jeff Bridges. Jeff plays a boy who is the antithesis of Barry--bad versus good--and Jeff finally corrupts Barry by his lawless, immoral ways: having sex for money with a pioneer's wife, robbing banks, etc. Barry finally resorts to robbing banks with Jeff to replace the money Jeff had stolen from his boot. Jeff laughs when he tells Barry that he spent it on whores.
It's a good lesson for all who watch it enfold--Barry's corruption does not happen all at once; it evolves. See the movie. Many other Westerns seemed mediocre to me after I saw "Bad Company."

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Robert Benton
Jeff Bridges
Barry Brown
Jim Davis

DVD title: Almost Famous
Productgroup: DVD
Almost Famous - movie DVD cover picture
Simply a great movie

Writer/Director Cameron Crowe ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Jerry Maguire") has a knack for capturing the human condition in all its imperfect glory. He is particularly insightful when he is writing from his own experiences. To write "Fast Times", he went undercover at a high school posing as a student. The result was an honest and genuine high school flick that was too real to be fiction. He does the same with this film, drawing on his experience as a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine when he toured with Led Zeppelin at age 16. Though the band and the most of the people in this film are fictitious, many of the situations are based on real events and the characters are composites of real people.
Some people have compared this film to "This is Spinal Tap", but other than the fact that it follows a rock group, there is little similarity. "Tap" was a spoof documentary with its tongue firmly in cheek. AF is raw and real with a believable plot (except perhaps the silly airplane confession scene) and affecting characters. Crowe went to great lengths to capture the rock scene precisely, sending the actors to band camp to get them to the point where they could actually perform. Stillwater is literally a rock band created out of actors. While some of the vocals are dubbed, Jason Lee really sings lead on a couple of tracks, and Billy Crudup and the band are actually playing. Crowe was quoted as saying it was a pity that the band had to break up after the film was produced, because they were actually a pretty good band. Nancy Wilson and Peter Frampton wrote most of the band's original music to give the songs an authentic sound.
Crowe's direction is excellent. Though the pacing of the film is a bit uneven, dragging at times, his ability to depict the feelings of the time through the performances of the actors is superb. The sound track is rich in 1970's music that is enhanced by the use of the DTS format on the DVD. The DVD also has numerous fascinating behind-the-scenes segments, including a copy of the original articles written by Crowe when he wrote for Rolling Stone Magazine.
The acting by the ensemble cast is outstanding. In keeping with the theme of the film, most of the actors are bright young talents who are almost famous. Billy Crudup is the closest thing to a leading role actor, having starred in a few good but minor films ("Without Limits", "Waking the Dead"). Crudup's performance as the self-absorbed and brilliant guitarist who holds the band together is first rate. Frances McDormand is fabulous as always as William's oppressive mother.
In a cast replete with fine performances, Kate Hudson stands out, giving a brilliant presentation of Penny Lane. She brings enormous emotional power to a very demanding role that ranges from effervescent to suicidal. Newcomer Patrick Fugit finds the right balance between nerdy and wise as William. Jason Lee is wonderfully turbulent as the temperamental lead singer.
This film is a winner. By capturing the emotions rather than just a series of rock events, it takes us behind the scenes of the rock revolution in a way that no documentary ever has. I rated it a 9/10. It is necessary viewing for rock fans young and old.

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Director: Cameron Crowe
Billy Crudup

DVD title: WWE Unforgiven 2003
Productgroup: DVD
WWE Unforgiven 2003 - movie DVD cover picture
good ppv

dudleyz vs la resistance......7/10
test vs steiner......7/10
randy orton vs hbk......7/10
wamans match......didnt watch
kane vs shane......10/10
christian vs rvd vs y2j......8/10
jr/lawler vs al snow/coach......5/10
goldburg vs hhh.......8/10

Studio: Sony Music (Video)

DVD title: Lost in Space - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Lost in Space - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture


Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Guy Williams

DVD title: Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (Special Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (Special Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
It Was One of the Best

I think Tomb Raider was one of the best actions Movies i've seen this year. I think everyone should watch that movie. It also shows that a women also do a man's job.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Simon West
Angelina Jolie

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