Film DVD related reviews


DVD title: The Hidden Fortress - Criterion Collection
Productgroup: DVD
The Hidden Fortress - Criterion Collection - movie DVD cover picture
Hidden Fortess: another masterpiece by Kirusawa


I often wondered about my taste in men when after seeing Star Wars I found myself favoring Darth Vader over the heroes. Darth seemed the quintessential general, CEO, or any other take charge kind of guy, while the heroes seemed like bumpkins. Hidden Fortress is reputed to have been Lukas' prototype for Star Wars, and after seeing the former, I now know why I felt as I did about the latter! In fact Darth Vader is the hero in Hidden Fortress, facing staggering odds with only his own courage and generalship to carry the day. And the bumpkins are in fact bumpkins! A fun film to see, especially if you are a Star Wars fan, but even if you're not. This film is not a sci-fi epic but a period piece set in Japan's heroic past. The director's feeling for cinematography is evident here as in Throne of Blood, although for shear visual beauty, the latter is by far the better of the two.

Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Actors:
Toshirô Mifune
Misa Uehara




DVD title: Hud
Productgroup: DVD
Hud - movie DVD cover picture
hud


very good filming, the part when the cows have to be killed is really great. even still, people have missed what the film is really about. This is the classic tale of the son trying to please his father for something that happened a long time ago, and never getting forgiveness. Even though, the death of Hud's older brother doesn't seem to be his fault. Hud says it best, "You know the the whole world is so full of crap , a man's boun' to step in it."

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Martin Ritt
Actors:
Paul Newman
Melvyn Douglas
Patricia Neal




DVD title: Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker
Productgroup: DVD
Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker - movie DVD cover picture
THE GRAND FINALE BATS GOES OUT ON TOP


Here's something I never thot would happen. Warner released a safe and sanitized 'family' version of this movie on DVD in 2000 and fans freaked. Quite right as a lot of violence was taken out and alternate takes were used in other scenes. Warner were bombarded with petitions to release the original version and, whadya know, they did.
The Batman animated movies (and the TV series) have a zillion times the atmosphere and gothic pathos the last movies had. In fact, in comparison, the animated movies completely blow Batman Forever and Batman and Robin out of the water. I would like to see Batman Beyond back on the air or at least more animated movies of it. Perhaps one a year, like Warner do with Scooby Doo.
Plus it's an all round better DVD package than the first release, giving the movie the higher status it deserves. But here's the thing it's NOT 'full frame format'. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is presented here in 1.78:1 widescreen. For some reason it's not anamorphic tho. The soundtrack is Dolby 5.1 and it sounds terrific.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Curt Geda
Actors:
Will Friedle
Mark Hamill




DVD title: Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Volume One
Productgroup: DVD
Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Volume One - movie DVD cover picture
Here's One for the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past!


This show is by far one of the smartest and best shows on television. The plot follows a Giant milkshake, Box of Fries, and Wad of meat that are supposed to be detectives in Southern New Jersey. The show focuses mostly on what happens to the Aqua Teens, and their always irritated neighbor, Carl, when not solving a crime, and usually the events in their "normal" lives are far more exciting (and hilarious) then anything they could experience while solving crimes. With a great soundtrack (especially the Opening theme, which always gets stuck in my head), and hilarious plots, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force will entertain anyone with even a remote sense of humor.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Actors:
Dave Willis (III)
Carey Means
Dana Snyder (II)




DVD title: Horatio Hornblower - The Adventure Continues
Productgroup: DVD
Horatio Hornblower - The Adventure Continues - movie DVD cover picture
Hornblower, The Adventure Continues


The cast, producers, directors, etc. did and outstanding job in the latest two episodes, Mutiny and Retribution! I heartily echo the sentiments made by Hornblower fans in previous reviews.
It is so refreshing to see a wonderful story, with outstanding acting, direction, etc. without relying too heavily on complicated special effects. With that said, I would like to state that the sequences with the model ships were outstanding yet again!
Because I have so enjoyed the Hornblower series on DVD, I have eagerly read all the Hornblower reviews by you long-time Hornblower fans.
Being a fairly new fan of just one year, I have recently learned here on this site, that CS Forrester had written a series of 11 books about Hornblower's career. I have purchased and read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. What an excellent book! Looking forward to reading the remaining 10 books and hope more televison movies will be made!

Studio: A & E Entertainment
Director: Andrew Grieve



DVD title: The Beach
Productgroup: DVD
The Beach - movie DVD cover picture
Rather good.


This is a great movie, and Leonardo is the man for the job. The movie is NOTHING comparred to the utterly brilliant book, but don't mind that. The scenery is beautiful and the acting is wonderful. The picture and sound (of the DVD, as well as vide) are great. The commentary on the special features is actually INTERESTING.
Richard is a man who wants to try something different. He gets a map from a mad englishman, and , with his two new french friends, sets off for the island. The way that the people of the island work is amazing, and it gets me everytime I watch it. Leo does such a great job as the star that you feel as if you know the main charecter personally.
Although the book ending was better, the movie ending was not bad either. I prefer to think of the book and the movie as two sepperate storylines, because the movie is EXTREMELY different than the movie, yet the movie is exelent on its own. Buy this movie. Trust me.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Director: Danny Boyle
Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio



DVD title: Bringing Out the Dead
Productgroup: DVD
Bringing Out the Dead - movie DVD cover picture
An obscure masterpiece by Scorsese


A comparison between Martin Scorsese's most recent two films - Bringing Out The Dead and Gangs Of New York - goes to illustrate the scope of the master director's genius. In direct contrast with the grandiose epic that is Gangs Of New York, Bringing Out The Dead is a dark, almost claustrophobic, intimate movie that takes place more within a man's soul than in the streets of New York.

The soul belongs to Frank Pierce (Nicolas Cage), a paramedic who is haunted by the ghosts of people he could not save and feels the very things that make him real are slipping away from him. Following four years of mediocre to horrible action films (The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, 8 MM, Gone In 60 Seconds, Snake Eyes), Bringing Out The Dead was Cage's most impressive performance since Leaving Las Vegas at least, and one of the finest performances of his career, and it reminded viewers that Cage is still one of the finest character actors in Hollywood, and always at his best when playing disturbed, off-beat characters. Frank Pierce is indeed disturbed, and the entire film is shown through his eyes, making it a difficult - often intolerable - dark, depressing, surreal experience. It focuses on character development much more than it does on the plot - but all of the characters are merely mirrors to reflect Pierce himself. Three co-workers - played by John Goodman, Ving Rhames and Tom Sizemore, in this order, each one representing a different way of coping with their stressful and demanding line of work, shed their respective light on Cage's character, as do his relationships with the daughter of a comatose patient, played by Patricia Arquette, and with a mentally ill patient played by - surprisingly impressively - Marc Anthony.

Bringing Out The Dead tells two stories - one is of the insanity and hopelessness of a busy, understaffed E.R - A much more bleak and disturbing view than that of the TV series with that title - and the other is of the private insanity and breakdown of Frank Pierce. Between the two, the viewer hardly has time to catch his breath. The film is brilliantly manipulative, combining editing, cinematography and music like only Scorsese can to create a truly hypnotic and staggering experience. It's not an easy movie to watch by a long shot, and I can understand perfectly well why so many reviewers didn't enjoy it. Still, give it a chance; it's a real work of art that's well worth your time.

Studio: Paramount Studio
Director: Martin Scorsese
Actors:
Nicolas Cage
Patricia Arquette




DVD title: Mulan (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Productgroup: DVD
Mulan (Disney Gold Classic Collection) - movie DVD cover picture
We Love Mulan!


My entire family-- including aunts, uncles and grandparents-- watched "Mulan" last Christmas and loved it. The story, a young Chinese girl fights in her injured father's place against the Hun army, is more complex than many animated movies. The nuances about culture, family honor, ethics and values, and how to take risks that others might not take, add strong issues to the plot and sub-plots. Above all, "Mulan" is amusing, a good story, adn fast-paced.
I enjoyed the music, which is rare for me. I also loved how feisty Mulan was. And I sure didn't blame her for falling for the guy-- he was so CUTE!

Studio: Disney Studios
Actors:
Eddie Murphy
Ming-Na




DVD title: Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Shrek (Two-Disc Special Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
A Must See!


I never even heard first of this movie when it came out, and a friend suggested it and I loved it. It has a great cast of actors. Mike Myers plays Shrek and he does a wonderful job. Co starring are Eddie Murphy as the donkey and Cameron Diaz as Pricess Fiona. It starts off that Shrek has some of his land stolen and he goes to Lord Farquuad(John Lithgow)and he makes a deal with him... he gets his land back if Shrek will go on a journey and get the pricess that Farquuad wants. Shrek saves the princess but something unexpected happens.. he starts to fall in love with her, but doesn't believe she will love him back. This is a film definately worth seeing!!

Studio: Dreamworks Skg
Actors:
Mike Myers
Eddie Murphy




DVD title: The Gold Rush
Productgroup: DVD
The Gold Rush - movie DVD cover picture
The clown that can make you cry.


The person who introduced this film to me said the test of a truly great comedic actor is not the clown that can make you laugh, but the clown that can make you cry. By this standard, Chaplin is overflowing with talent in this film. The well-known shoelaces spaghetti, teetering cabin, and roll dance are hilarious - my favorite was the huge dog tied to his makeshift belt! But the scene in which the little tramp hears the solemn "Aude Lang Syne" coming from the dance hall, and knows Georgia is there instead of with him - the single tear is charmingly heartbreaking. As funny as he had been to that point, I was surprised to see he was so effective at being sad. (Don't worry-it gets better!) However, the re-release by Chaplin in the 1940's is AWFUL. The change in music ruins the movie-especially the New Year's Eve scene. Also a couple of scenes are edited in such a way that it changes the story. Watch this movie, but definitely watch the original. You'll remember it for a long time.

Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Charles Chaplin
Actors:
Charles Chaplin



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