Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: The Shining
Productgroup: DVD
The Shining - movie DVD cover picture
Great comedy but when exactly does Nicholson go nuts?

I mean, he's as psyhchotic in the beginning as he is in the end. Jack is talking about the people who ate each other in the olden days, a story he is telling to his son on the way to the hotel. His face and voice, however, look and sound just as freaky as they do at the end of the film. It's almost a little too hilarious.
The Shining is a masterpiece, a classic, yadda, yadda, you already know since all about since nearly 400 hundred people have already reviewed it. If there is an impossible chance that you know absolutely nothing about this film, you will find a great horror film about the mental breakdown of a man, only in Kubrick's version we can't really begin to see when Nicholson goes nuts. The reason I gave it five stars is based on the comedy it unknowingly possesses. No wonder Steven King hated Kubrick's guts long after this film was made.
NOTE TO VIEWER: There are a number of hilarious parts in this film, the scene where Nicholson is staring aimlessly out the window for one. The segment with the kid saying, "Red Rum" with his finger is an absolute laugh riot.
Also to note, THE SCARIEST THING ABOUT THIS FILM IS SHELLEY DUVALL. Is it just me or is that lady completely scary looking? WATCH THE MAKING OF THE SHINING, it's enough to make you pee your pants in laughter. Especially as you watch Nicholson. He's as nuts in real life as he is in this film.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Jack Nicholson
Shelley Duvall

DVD title: Teletubbies - Christmas in the Snow
Productgroup: DVD
Teletubbies - Christmas in the Snow - movie DVD cover picture
Teletubbies Discover Snow and Christmas Traditions

This video conveys a peaceful and loving atmosphere. Even when it is snowing, the sun is shining. There are great segments of different countries and Christmas traditions. It is "too cute for words." The children loved it! They danced, clapped and sang along. Even the babies enjoyed watching the snow fall and pointed to the snowman. Older kids were curious about the different languages spoken. Best for ages 0 to 2 when broken into smaller viewing segments.

Studio: Warner Home Video

DVD title: Girl With a Pearl Earring
Productgroup: DVD
Girl With a Pearl Earring - movie DVD cover picture
For the attention to detail & catharsis it is a real keeper

Girl With a Pearl Earring is proof positive that history is narrative. Conjuring a tale of deceit and passion Tracy Chevalier's invents a narrative of the origins of the portrait of the same name. Perhaps, yes, Girl With A Pearl Earring uses an accurate historical backdrop to create a complicated fictional account of reason over passion. In this rendition Jan Vermeer lets his passion run into his paintings as he paints a woman other than his wife. The counterbalance in this existential invented examination (coupled of course with loads of social commentary) Griet is the offspring of a Protestant artisan who has not had the best of luck. Griet is then sent out to make a living as a servant, in the Vermeer's household. Griet is sucked into a whole world outside of her control turns into the mechanism that causes the tenuous social balance of Vermeer's to disentangle. Griet, intrigued by the enigmatic artist's studio is quickly transformed to helper as `she understands' Vermeer's work. Becoming the focus of his unrequited passion, Vermeer subsumes his passion by painting Griet using the wife's pearl earrings - a move that would prove catastrophic for everyone concerned. At first glance the story seems to revolve around the painting... however, closer examination of the movie reveals its many layers. There is, primarily the tension caused by Vermeer's lack of inspiration. The tension that is caused by his lack of productivity is apparent as the Vermeer household begins to suffer. This painting is a commission he needs. Vermeer's mother in law represents the pragmatic, almost opportunistic, representation in the movie. She fully understands the connection happening via shared enthrallment and common curiosity concerning art. Griet and Vermeer become completely entwined with in the artistic process. Griet fill the void as both focus of the painting and aide in his shop. On another level, Vermeer's wife feels that she is suddenly on hand more often than seems healthy. On another level, there is certainly the class divide that separates the two artistic souls. Perhaps I did not see it but if there was indeed a passion between the two it was overshadowed by their shared interest in art and color. Griet becomes the space of contention and it all falls on her. She is the focus of an errant patron Van Ruijven (Tom Wilkinson) who is trying to understand what inspires of Vermeer, she takes the brunt of a wife Catherina (Essie Davis)who is so disconnected from her husband , she is seen as the last hope by an opportunistic mother-in-law Maria (Judy Parfitt), and indeed she is target of a paranoid daughter (Alakina Mann) out to protect her mother. In effect, all those who vent their spleen on Griet personify the range of emotions that inhabit and surface at such a tight and constraining space... If for the attention to detail and cathartic element, it is a real keeper.

Miguel Llora

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Director: Peter Webber
Colin Firth
Scarlett Johansson
Tom Wilkinson

DVD title: The Transformers - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Transformers - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Transformers: The Movie

This is still an excellent movie, but it has added dialouge at the beggining and at the end, which takes away from the original version.

Studio: Rhino Video
Director: Nelson Shin

DVD title: The New Method: Baby & Mom - Prenatal Yoga
Productgroup: DVD
The New Method: Baby & Mom - Prenatal Yoga - movie DVD cover picture
Baby & Mom Review

I have done about a year of Iyengar and Hatha yoga and was looking for something of a high beginner/intermediate standard. This workout is NOT what I had expected. There are no asanas/poses. It is more a very low impact stretch/calisthenics routine. She talks WAY too much, as another reviewer also commented. Even with the sound down I found it annoying. Contrived and corny. I would NOT recommend this at all. If you want a 'yoga' class try Prenatal Yoga. This is a pseudo-yoga tape. If you want very easy low-impact stretches, dancing and movement then this will help you.

Studio: Parade

DVD title: Mr. Wong Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Mr. Wong Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Wong is da man

For those of you who like Charlie Chan and Boris Karloff, here's Karloff in a Chan alike character. These 6 films are excellent, the last one stars Keye Luke who coincidently played Charlie Chan's Number 1 son. The question is he James Lee Wong Jr. or a younger version of the Karloff character, hard to tell. The DVD copies are top rate over the tapes, 3 on a disc. All around a great series. For a Bela Lugosi film that should belong with anyone who buys these see the non related "Mysterious Mr. Wong"

Studio: Roan Group
Boris Karloff

DVD title: Star Trek Voyager - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Star Trek Voyager - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
Back to the Delta Quadrant

Although I have been critical of Voyager in the past, I must confess that it was nothing short of impressive in its first three seasons. The show had so much promise, its huge story arcs and original concept made it a show to watch. The first season had the show proving itself quite nicely, with riveting science fiction and the intense drama of two disparate crews trying to work together. This show certainly had the makings of a champion, and although it certainly didn't fulfill all hopes, it had more than a few good moments.
Voyager's first season put exposition on hold to give us great stories. The approach paid off, as many were hooked on the show from the beginning. One of the show's greatest strengths was combining human drama and science fiction in such a way that the season never got formulaic, and we certainly saw that here. "Caretaker" was a magnificent pilot that nicely set up the show, introduced the crew's principal enemies and some of the tumultuous politics of the Delta Quadrant, and had quite a bit of excitement and suspense. From there, we saw episodes dealing with classic Star Trek motifs like time travel (Time and Again), unusual life forms (The Cloud), and justice (Ex Post Facto, one of the season's best shows). The show also tackled unfamiliar territory, such as genocide (Jetrel, another of the season's best shows) and treason (State of Flux, where Seska defects to the Kazon). All the while we got to know (albeit less than in the second season) the various officers of the ship: Janeway, the stern but optimistic captain (and, in the first year, far from the sanctimonious shrew she became); Paris, the navigator and funnyman (he provided the best comic relief) and his friend Kim, the homesick wet-behind-the-ears recent Academy graduate; Tuvok, the wry Vulcan; the Doctor, a crotchety hologram (and also very amusing); and Neelix and Kes, the pair of aliens along for the ride. The first season did a good job of introducing them, although it wasn't until the second season that they really became more concrete.
The DVD is loaded with extras, probably to compensate for the fact that the set is exorbitantly priced. In any case, it's a must have for a collector or a fan.

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Kate Mulgrew

DVD title: The Jesus Film
Productgroup: DVD
The Jesus Film - movie DVD cover picture
Falsehood or just plain ignorance?

To claim that Jesus Christ did not even exist is mere ignorance. Such preposterous claims belie a desire for some illusion of moral or intellectual superiority. The argument is nothing but a straw man easily knocked down. There is plenty of historical and archaeological evidence to support the FACT that Jesus Christ did in fact exist. The Jesus movie is a good introduction to his life and teachings but by no means comprehensive (for that you need the Bible).
If you're sincere in your search for the Truth, I highly recommend reading Josh McDowell's book, More Than a Carpenter, as an easy first read. Available at, of course.
It's reasonable to question Jesus' deity if you've only heard the name and never seriously investigated His life. Those who have, including the hard-nosed skeptics who set out to debunk this thing called Christianity, often become Christians themselves. Those who don't generally do so out of mere pride -- an unwillingness to sacrifice their old, comfortable beliefs that allow them to live an ungodly lifestyle. But you reject Jesus at your own peril. It's the very height of folly.
As for my opinion of the Jesus the movie? Why not judge for yourself! You can watch the entire movie streamed online at in any of 62 languages (of the 858 it's been translated into)! Then you can decide whether or not to purchase the DVD.
I do recommend this film. I also recommend, highly, 2003's The Gospel of John. It is extremely faithful to the New Testament book of John and really brings life and a better understanding to the life, times, and teachings of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.
I wish you well and pray that God may draw you to Him (that you may be receptive to His call). Perhaps I'll see you in heaven someday. If you have honest seeking questions, you're welcome to e-mail me at robvh at

Studio: Madacy Entertainment

DVD title: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Depp "Shines" in Disney's Latest Gem

One of the more refreshing and well-crafted characters to grace the screen this year, Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow leads the charge in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl".
Based on the most popular attraction in the history of the Disney theme parks, "Pirates" follows the exploits of Jack Sparrow (sorry, that's Captain, CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow), a whimsically eccentric buccaneer on a mission of redemption and revenge. Soon after arriving in Port Royal, Jamaica he saves the life of the Governor's daughter Elizabeth at the peril of divulging his identity to the authorities. While hiding from the British, Jack crosses paths with blacksmith and sword virtuoso Will Turner (Orland Bloom of "Lord of the Rings") who aids in Sparrows capture. Yet soon there appears in Port Royal an even more sinister threat: the Black Pearl - a ship crewed by the damned and captained by the most black-hearted pirate to ever sail the Spanish Main, Captain Barbosa (Jeffrey Rush). The Pearls crew sacks Port Royal and kidnaps the fair Elizabeth; not for ransom or pleasurable company, but for a medallion that is the final price of redemption from a curse that has plagued the pirates for over a decade. Will and Jack form an odd alliance in order to track down the Black Pearl and rescue Elizabeth. Will our heroes be able to track down the cutthroats and save fair maiden before it's too late?
Treading the dangerous waters of transforming a theme park ride into a major film, the producers and director Gore Verbinski have come through with flying colors where others have failed miserably (i.e. "The Country Bears", "The Haunted Mansion"). The casting of Johnny Depp and Jeffrey Rush as pirates jockeying for command of the same ship was inspired. These actors breathed life, depth and believability into what could have easily been cast off as two-dimensional cartoons in lesser hands. Orlando Bloom and Kira Knightly ("Bend it Like Beckham") are strong and offer fine performances to boot. The supporting cast puts in fine efforts as well and serves to keep the pace of the film moving and on track. The ghostly CGI effects are spectacular and well matched to their physical counterparts. Filmed in and around the Caribbean, the settings are authentic and breathtaking.
It's difficult to be so enthusiastic about a film and still remain objective, yet in all honesty I could not make a single detraction in "Pirates". This is a film that is sure to find a top spot not only in Disney's film catalogue but as one of the top grossing films of all times.

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Director: Gore Verbinski
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jonathan Pryce

DVD title: Sarah McLachlan - Mirrorball
Productgroup: DVD
Sarah McLachlan - Mirrorball - movie DVD cover picture
Mirrorball Magnificent

This is a must have if you're a Sarah McLachlan fan! The intensity and feeling behind every song is amazing. Sarah is truly one of the best performers out there right now. She leaves her heart out on the stage after every song!
Buy it today and you won't be sorry!

Studio: Bmg/Arista
Director: Sophie Muller

TopSellers at Amazon - Action and Adventure movie DVD disks

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
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The Secret Life of Bees
The Beast And Babylon

TopSellers at Amazon - Comedy movie DVD disks

A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
The Historian
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The Da Vinci Code
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Crusader's Cross : A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries (Hardcover))

TopSellers at Amazon - Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie DVD disks

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
The Time Traveler's Wife
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5 Audio CD)
Fahrenheit 451
The Traveler : A Novel
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling))
The Chronicles of Narnia
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)

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