Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: Ed Wood (Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Ed Wood (Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
He's killed! Murdered! And someone's responsible!


Ed Wood is quite simply Tim Burton's best film. It's a loving portrayal of the man who wanted more than anything to make it in Hollywood. Wood became only the second person to write, direct, produce, and act in his films, blissfully unaware of how inept he was in all four areas. Johnny Depp (is there anything he can't do?) plays Wood to the hilt. I dare you not to laugh when he tries to shake his head yes and no at the same time. Jeffery Jones is also great as Criswell, and is clearly having a lot of fun in the introduction. Bill Murray doesn't really look or sound like John "Bunny" Breckinridge, but I actually think he was much better for the role of the Ruler in Plan 9. However, the single greatest performance is by Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. I had to watch the film twice before it sunk in that he was not the same guy! Overall, just a great film. It knows when to go for laughs and when to go for tears, and it's certainly better than anything Wood himself could have done.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Tim Burton
Actors:
Johnny Depp
Martin Landau




DVD title: Diamonds are Forever
Productgroup: DVD
Diamonds are Forever - movie DVD cover picture
Jill St John


There is not a whole lot to say of this James Bond movie. There is a cool story and cool spy stuff but Jill St John has to be one of the hottest women of all time. She is both funny and utterly sexy at the same time.

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Guy Hamilton
Actors:
Sean Connery
Jill St. John




DVD title: Comic Book - The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
Comic Book - The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Destined to become a cult film


Mark Hamill plays a rabid comic book fan hired as a consultant by a production company to lend credibility to its movie about a famous Golden Age comic book character. The production company of course has no qualms about making wholesale changes in the mythos of the character to appeal to modern audiences, much to the horror of Hamill's character, who the producers continually brush off and try to get out of their hair. Eventually they decide to just keep Hamill busy by giving him a camera and letting him shoot bonus materials for the eventual DVD at the famous San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest comic book convention in the industry. It's fun to see Hamill then use all the comic artists, actors, and other celebrities at the convention to help turn the tide against the current, slick version of the movie envisioned by the producers and try to bring about a more faithful treatment of the character. You don't have to be a comic book fan to enjoy the film (in fact, there's lots of good stuff about the trials and tribulations of being the spouse or significant other of a comic book enthusiast throughout the movie), but fans will get the most out of it. Entertaining extras on disc two make for a really nice package as a whole. In the end, I can't say this is a great, great comedy, but it is a good one and worth a look. Alas, it's a shame there wasn't a real-life version of Hamill's character roaming around the sets of the last couple of Batman movies.

Studio: Buena Vista Home Vid
Director: Mark Hamill



DVD title: Five Fingers of Death
Productgroup: DVD
Five Fingers of Death - movie DVD cover picture
It's a classic, but you must watch it the correct way.


This is actually one of the first Shaw Brothers films that came out regarding martial arts. The original title in Hong Kong was "King Boxer". When it was released to the US, it was retitled "5 Fingers of Death" emphysizing the lead's knowledge of the "Iron Palm" technique (glowing hands & all). On the Celestial Pictures version, the picture is crystal clear. The sound is Dolby. The format is Mandarin with English subtitles. Viewing it this way is quite a pleasurable experience. Unfortunately, you need to get it from a place that specializes in Asian import films. Also, you'll need a player that is eather a region 3 player, or region 0 (aka; region free). It took a great deal of doing, but it was well worth it. I can't give you the link I used to get the HK version of the movie, but I can tell you where you can get the player. It's right here at Amazon.
Look up under DVD Players "Yamaha DV-C6760", and read the reviews. As for the film, just remember the original title is "King Boxer" made in 1972 by Celestial Pictures / Shaw Brothers. Happy Hunting

Studio: Front Row Video, Inc
Director: Chang-hwa Jeong
Actors:
Lieh Lo



DVD title: Music From Another Room
Productgroup: DVD
Music From Another Room - movie DVD cover picture
This was an amazing movie!!!


Music From Another Room was one of the best movies I've ever seen. There was not one part I didn't like. It was cute, quirky, sad, thought-provoking, and absolutely hilarious all in one great combo. I recommend it to everyone, and I own it. I can't express how much I love this movie! The soundtrack is also *great*, and the music was used perfectly in the movie. SEE IT!

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director: Charlie Peters



DVD title: In the Mirror of Maya Deren
Productgroup: DVD
In the Mirror of Maya Deren - movie DVD cover picture
A Creative Woman's Sense of Biological Time


Maya Deren is not greedy. She does not seek to possess the major portion of your days. She is content: "If on those rare occasions, whose truth can be stated only by poetry, you will perhaps recall an image, or even just the aura of one of my films."

Filmmaker Martina Kudlacek, with "In the Mirror of Maya Deren", has created the perfect companion documentary to the Mystic Fire Video DVD release of Maya's work: "Experimental Films". "In the Mirror of Maya Deren" weaves together excerpts from Ms. Deren's surreal films with archival audio recordings of Deren's voice and filmed interviews of her contemporaries: Alexander 'Sasha' Hammid, Katherine Dunham, Chao-Li Chi, Jonas Mekas and Stan Brakhage. It also features a haunting original score from Tzadik Records founder John Zorn.

This 103-minute work begins at Manhattan's Anthology Film Archives, where some lost containers of Maya's 16mm films have been uncovered. It then continues with the reminiscences of 'Sasha' Hammid, a pioneering Czech experimental filmmaker, who married Ms. Deren in the spring of 1943. Excerpts from and reflections on, "Meshes of the Afternoon", "At Land" and "Ritual in Transfigured Time" all lead into a discussion of Maya's 4 trips to Haiti. She spent 21 months there, between 1947 and 1955, documenting the religious festivals of the Haitian people.

Though much of the Haitian trip was recorded on film, the major fruit from this intense period of study was Maya's book: "Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods in Haiti", which was edited by Joseph Campbell and published in the year 1952. Also in 1952, Maya meets her second husband to be, Teiji Ito, son of the martial arts artist featured in Maya's 1948 film: "Meditation On Violence". They marry at sea in 1960, despite an 18-year age difference between them.

In 1961, Maya Deren dies as the result of a massive brain hemorrhage, at the age of 44. She will long be remembered for working completely outside of the commercial film industry, where she made her own inner experience to be the center of her cinema. "In the Mirror of Maya Deren" tells her uniquely dramatic story in a manner that both excites and perturbs. This compelling documentary should now be considered as essential viewing for all fans of avant-garde film.

Studio: Zeitgeist Video
Director: Martina Kudlácek



DVD title: Kylie Minogue - Fever 2002 (Live in Manchester)
Productgroup: DVD
Kylie Minogue - Fever 2002 (Live in Manchester) - movie DVD cover picture
Yeeeeaaaaaah


I cannot tell you how happy I am that Kylie has hit the USA (again) and become a smash! I've loved her for quite a few years now and i'm glad to see she's catching on here. This concert is just an example of why's shes a megastar everywhere else... Although previous reviews are correct, she doesn't seem to do too much dancing or movement, this is still an amazing show. The special effects, the energy of the music, combined with Kylie's live singing show what an outstanding artist she really is. Im glad this was released in the USA, shows us what we're missing out on...

Studio: Emi Distribution
Actors:
Kylie Minogue



DVD title: Superman IV - The Quest for Peace
Productgroup: DVD
Superman IV - The Quest for Peace - movie DVD cover picture
GREAT SEQUEL


In fact, it deserves to be ridiculed on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Of course, Superman and anyone who possesses his powers could go into outer space and do other extraordinary things, but 13 years after having first seen it, I still can't believe that Nuclear man was able to take the (human)Mariel Hemingway character into outer space with him. Not only did she not incinerate while escaping Earth's atmosphere, but she was able to breathe in outer space as well.
Guys, this movie was horrid. In fact, it makes the previous effort with Richard Pryor seem like great entertainment, and that's a shame as the first 2 films, particularly the second, were excellent. Many scenes (such as the ones involving the subway and Russian cosmonauts) have nothing to do with the film's plot, while others just don't make any sense. The film is full of movie flubs (just one example:when Superman is chasing Nuclear Man across the planet, it is daytime in America and China at the same time).This cartoonish movie can only appeal to the 7 and younger crowd. A disgraceful finale to what was once a great movie series. In fact, I seriously question the writing ability and education of the men who wrote it.
Where's General Zod when you need him?

Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Actors:
Christopher Reeve
Gene Hackman
Margot Kidder




DVD title: G.I. Joe: The Movie
Productgroup: DVD
G.I. Joe: The Movie - movie DVD cover picture
Kick-ass movie even for non-Joe fans


G.I. Joe: The Movie wasn't as good as the other Joe cartoons that I remembered watching. G.I. Joe was at its best before they got into all that stuff about Serpentor and Cobra-La. While this movie does bring back old memories of playing with the Hasbro toys, the plot is somewhat lacking. I would much rather have seen no-name actors as the voices of the characters. Don Johnson--come on!!! Burgess Meredith was cool, but the movie seems to rely on big name talent instead of a good script.

Studio: Rhino Video
Director: Don Jurwich



DVD title: Neon Genesis Evangelion - The End of Evangelion
Productgroup: DVD
Neon Genesis Evangelion - The End of Evangelion - movie DVD cover picture
A misunderstood masterpiece


To sum up Evangelion for a non-viewer it is best to say that the entire evangelion story is realy many stories that complement each other (no pun intended, you will get that after seeing the movie). It is the story of a group of people who are struggling with their personal demons, a story of mysterious beings know as angels and how they relate to humanity, a story of political power struggles and finally and in my opinion least importantlya story of giant robots fighting. It is one of the greatest anime films or any films for that matter that have been ever made.
I find it not surprising yet at the same time appalling looking at many people's views on this movie. One unfortunately has to look at the typical anime fan's expectations and the general calibre of most anime produced to put this movie and people's review of it into perspective. If you are looking at this review you are no doubt a fan of anime or a curious onlooker. If the latter applies to you and you enjoy "films" or something above the latest kill the bad guys action movie then this movie may well appeal to you. It stands as the most engaging and thought provoking anime produced so far. If you are an anime fan and you believe gundam is the pinnacle of anime then you should probably pass it by or buy it and watch with an extremely open mind. The main thing to keep in mind is that anime is not a genre but a medium. Just like you can not say that everything on television is the same the same goes for anime. This is more in the style of Lain than it is Trigun let's say. The story is not very straightforward or quick moving but at the same time compelling. Also, please don't believe these perception of the director Hideaki Anno being "insane". A small mind is scared of what it can't understand and unfortunately has to lash out with such derogatry remarks. He is extremely intelligent and a master story teller with with a complex and thorough understanding of both psychology and Judeo-Christian mythology.

Studio: WEA
Actors:
Megumi Ogata
Megumi Hayashibara
Yûko Miyamura




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