Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Firefly - The Complete Series
Productgroup: DVD
Firefly - The Complete Series - movie DVD cover picture

This show is groundbreaking in its conception for three reasons:
1. The combination of genres was surprisingly effective. Honestly, I cringed the first time I heard about the then soon-to-premeier "science fiction western." But I watched it anyway, and it worked.
2. The inclusion of a main character who is a prostitute is adventurous. But even more, this is a society in which prostitutes are held in the highest esteem and treated like honored dignitaries. That's daring and thought provoking.
3. Most impressive (to me) was the fact that the show mixed Mandarin Chinese words and phrases in with the dialogue, smoothly, and without subtitled translation. The Mandarin was always included in such a way that you could figure out what the essential meaning was from the context (a guy walks up to a bar, says something in Mandarin, and then gets handed a drink, for example).
Mandarin provided a unique flavor to the show and a bit of socio-political background: clearly, in this future, Chinese culture has remained powerful, so much so that the language pervades the society and is spoken by pretty much everyone. Chinese culture, too, keeps subtly appearing. The prostitute does Chinese caligraphy in her spare time.
Too bad the show didn't last long enough for us to uncover much of the backstory of this future vision. It was certainly an intriguing one.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Nathan Fillion

DVD title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 1)
Productgroup: DVD
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Full Screen Edition) (Harry Potter 1) - movie DVD cover picture

I think that this DVD Could have been MUCH better if they kept more of the basic structure in it. But I still really enjoied the Movie. It did have some really good parts, like when Harry was under the trap door with the chess peices. Smashing Each other to bites. And him fighting Voldermort/Proffesor Querill. I didn't picture Him turning to dust, but I did think of Querill just meling from Harry's touch. That was just birlint!!

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Chris Columbus
Daniel Radcliffe

DVD title: Raging Bull (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Raging Bull (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Powerful Film That Leaves a Tremendous Impact!

A film brimming with fire and passion. THE quintessential Scorsese picture, his best film and surely the one he will be remembered by. A powerhouse film from the beginning credits to DeNiro's final 'I Coulda Been A Contenda' speech. DeNiro gives one of the best performances in film history, the physical transformation is astonishing but the emotional rhythm of his performance is also admirable. He captures the essence of LaMotta, a man who is insecure with himself and his sexuality and takes it off with his wife and with his opponents in the ring. The boxing sequences are nothing short of brilliant and they're technical marvels as well. Astonishing use of editing and beautifully brutal cinematography but also the sound editing is brilliant, Scorcese used cracking bulbs and squishing sponges for the punches, but also mixed in some animal cries to heighten the brutality of the sequences. DeNiro is probably the greatest actor of his generation and this is his best performance. He is a fearless actor that isn't afraid to give his heart and soul to the film and that is exactly what he does here, we don't see 'DeNiro playing another character' we see and hear Jake LaMotta. Joe Pesci is also great as LaMotta's brother, a flawless performance that could almost compare to DeNiro's. Cathy Moriarty is also devastating as LaMotta's young wife, he was only 19 at the time and her transformation to an adult Vicky is remarkable. Powerhouse direction by Scorsese and a gem of a script by Paul Schrader. One of the best films of all time and without a doubt the best movie of the 1980's. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 10!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro
Cathy Moriarty
Joe Pesci

DVD title: 24 - Season One
Productgroup: DVD
24 - Season One - movie DVD cover picture
First rate drama.

Until I bought this set, I was not a big Kiefer Sutherland fan. I had not watched a single episode on television. After watching Season One on CD I was hooked and had to buy Season Two. It is just simply the best thing I've seen from broadcast TV in a really long time. The plot has a twist a minute and there are some completely unexpected surprises throughout. All of the characters are believable including his Val-Gal daughter. Season One feeds nicely into Season Two, but you will have to watch it for yourself. It will be time well spent.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Kiefer Sutherland

DVD title: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
...I was so wrong...

Now, let me get started by saying that I don't easily confess I was wrong to others, but this is worth it. I've already reviewed this product, and at the time I was all for Harry Potter, so I gave this a 1 and called it worthless and overrated and all of that. Well, it's definetly NOT worthless, but it may be a little overrated. But, beside that, this is a really great movie, though I wouldn't go as far as to call it an "astounishing masterpiece", but I would go as far as to say it's one of the best movies I've seen in quite some time, and is better than Harry Potter. The special effects are dazzling, the actors are amazing, and I would say that if JRR Tolkien were still alive, he would be very, very proud. The only mistake I've made is not seeing it in theaters.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Peter Jackson
Ian McKellen

DVD title: Driller Killer
Productgroup: DVD
Driller Killer - movie DVD cover picture
Uh Oh...Spaghetti O's

driller killer has, without question, the best director's commentary of any dvd i have ever seen. although driller killer is a far cry from his second film "ms. 45" it is a classic. reno can't seem to buy a thrill. despite the fact that he lives with two bombshells he can't get his painting finished to collect for the rent. his agent's reaction to his finished painting is absolutely priceless. what's worse is that his landlord has allowed a punk band to move in upstairs, adding insult to injury. the band, tony coca cola and the roosters, play "the grand street stomp" a guitar riff that has a great driving force. this film really documents the viallge punk circuit at the end of the 1970's. conventions are borrowed from polanski's "repulsion" and cassaveetes' "shadows". the handheld mingling with the street people of the period shows how filthy NYC was at the time. Lots of fun. Driller Killer was meant to be listened to loud!

Studio: Cult Epic
Director: Abel Ferrara

DVD title: Alias - The Complete First Season
Productgroup: DVD
Alias - The Complete First Season - movie DVD cover picture
I'm an Alias Addict!

I work in TV and rarely get the time to watch any that isn't work related. Since I work for an ABC station I saw the first episode, and like others here have said -- I was hooked!! I've missed a few episodes because of work, and have tried to tape them. Knowing that I can see each episode without commercial interruption! WOW, I can't wait. There are so many little things that you can miss in watching this well edited show. I can't wait to watch them again to see what else I can learn. (This is really the ONLY show I watch on TV at this point besides the news. Unless something happens to be on at the gym.)
If you like great cool original music, Alias is the show for you, if you like great, believable action -- Alias, good- great acting -- Alias.
If you watched the Super Bowl episode (because of the amazing teaser ads) and didn't understand the HUGE moment of Sydney learning that her father had been "uncovered" at SD-6 and why the "Kiss" was so amazing... You MUST buy the first season!
Trust me, you'll thank me later! Also -- check out!

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Jennifer Garner

DVD title: XXX (Widescreen Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
XXX (Widescreen Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
X-treme, X-citing, X-cellent

"XXX" is one of those movies you shouldn't take seriously at all, but just sit for the ride. So that means stiff board movie critics shouldn't waste anybody's time by bitching about how bad this movie is. It's just entertainment. Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) sporting his best Mr. Clean, has just been recruited by the National Security Agency and he has to stop a crazy man who wants to do something bad to Prague. Immoral man. A Russian agent (Asia Argento) foils Cage's plans. The stunts are out-of-this-world. I mean, I USED to ride motorcycles over rooftops while they were caving into fire. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who can do that. "Witches come." What a great line that was. Rob Cohen directed this jumbled insta-classic. "I live for this stuff!"

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Director: Rob Cohen
Vin Diesel
Asia Argento

DVD title: Pygmalion - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
Pygmalion - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
A bit didactic but full of fun, gaiety, humor & Shavian wit

Published as a play in 1916, 'Pygmalion' is one of Shah's playnot heavy on philosophy. I, personally feel that his plays heavy on philosophy are his best - 'Man and Superman', 'St. Joan', 'Androcles and the Lion' et al. Among his plays of 'not heavy on philosophy' genre, I rate 'Pygmalion' as one of the best. It is full of fun, gaiety, humor, Shavian wit and is a wee bit didactic. As Shaw wrote in the preface of 'Man and Superman', that all good, great writing should be didactic. So, even in the mildly didactic 'Pygmalion', Shaw had more than one axe to grind so to say.
The central theme of Pygmalion is the gift of speech in human beings. Shaw has tried to depict as to how a person speaks affects their own personality and the people around. As a corollary to this theme, Shaw hoped to popularize the science of phonetics. In the short preface of the play, Shaw also makes a plea for enhancement of the English alphabet (with it's too few vowels and few consonants) to make English reading pronunciation rational. Both his wishes of popularizing phonetics and getting the English alphabet enlarged remain unfulfilled even today, perhaps a measure of how much ahead of the times he was or still is!
The locale is London's Covent Garden vegetable market. The time is late night. It is pouring heavily, everybody is seeking the shelter of a church's portico. Among the shelter seekers is an impoverished, bedraggled flower girl Liza with a terrible cockney accent. Liza is trying to peddle her flowers to the crowd of shelter seekers. A middle- aged gentleman, professor Higgins is taking down her speech (in Bells Visible Speech) in his notebook. Professor Higgins is an eccentric phonetician, expert on London accents and can place a person by their accent to the street they originate from. One other shelter seeker is an ex-military man, Colonel Pickering (also middle aged) with a deep interest in phonetics. As professor Higgins Colonel Pickering get talking, Higgins bemoans the terrible accent of Liza (most depressing and disgusting sounds) and boasts that if given a chance to teach and train her to speak for three months, he could pass her off as a duchess on the basis of her fine way of speaking! It comes about that Colonel Pickering is willing to bear the expense of teaching Liza to speak by Higgins. The rest of the play is about Liza 'the live doll' learning to speak like a Duchess from two confirmed bachelors Higgins and Pickering and whether they are able to pass her off as a duchess.
The woman protagonist character of the play Liza like all Shaw's woman protagonist character is strong willed and assertive. Having to endure during her learning the overbearing ways, domineering mien, downright bullying from a socially superior Higgins her teacher, she manages to hold her own. In the latter stages of the play, she even manages to get the better of him and Higgins has to tamely acknowledge that he has made a 'woman' of her after all. (a lame defence) Although there is a romantic angle, (Liza and Freddy) the relationship between Liza vis-?-vis Higgins and Pickering are pivotal, focal relationships of the play. The Liza, Freddy romance is a relegated affair. I feel only Shaw could do this i.e. make a non-romantic relationship so interesting over the other. But then Shaw loved debunking popular notions. All in all a much readable play.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Leslie Howard
Wendy Hiller

DVD title: Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete First Three Seasons
Productgroup: DVD
Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete First Three Seasons - movie DVD cover picture

a look at how we live despite our family that we can't live without. how can you not see how much is truth with slight exageration for affect. try it you''ll like it! we already own and watch the first two seasons.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Ray Romano

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