Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: 24 - Season Two
Productgroup: DVD
24 - Season Two - movie DVD cover picture
How TV on DVD should be

Though I never really got a chance to watch this when it originally aired, I have found myself locked-in on it now that it has come to DVD. This set just plain ROCKS! The images are clean, clear (and widescreen), and the sound is very nice.
Surprisingly, there are 44 deleted scenes included! Try finding that on any other TV boxed-set.
Overall, I highly recommend this set for any fan of Keifer Sutherland, dramatic shows, or just good television in general.

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Video
Kiefer Sutherland

DVD title: The Wicker Man
Productgroup: DVD
The Wicker Man - movie DVD cover picture
Beautifully crafted film gets its well-deserved re-editing!

I can't remember the first time I saw this film, but the next day I started a search for a print of it.
Edward Woodward stars as the almost unsympathetic, pious, and determined officer who matches wits with Christopher Lee, in a marvelous role of the smiling, ever-reasonable villianous island cult leader. The entire community seems to be hiding the truth behind the disappearance of a young girl, even to the degree of at first denying her existence. The very conservative Christian representative of the law has walked into the middle of a very Pagan circle; this conflict has to be resolved. Initially, the audience may not be too sure who is playing with whom or why. The climax of the suspense is a twist where the hunter becomes the sacrificial hunted.
Incredibly, the suspense of the plot does not wear off with repeated viewings, thanks to the production values (hats off to all those involved, shooting outdoor spring scenes in November on the coast of Scotland!) and outstanding performances of the cast.
I knew, when I saw it the first time, that the version I had seen of it had been cut down; however, even at the "sliced salami" level, it was an extraordinary experience - and experience is the word. The film puts you right there in the midst of the puzzle. Over the years I found various cuts of the film, eagerly awaiting what might be reconstructed. (The only other film I can recall searching for this diligently is a "more complete" cut of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis.")
This special edition of "The Wicker Man" might well be as good as it gets. Certainly, the inclusion of the backstory of the film ("The Enigma of The Wicker Man") added to both the theatrical and extended versions makes this particular release worth having.
If you haven't seen the film, make the chance. It's not exactly horror, it's not exactly mystery - it's both. And then some. It's one of a kind. It's "The Wicker Man."

Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Robin Hardy
Edward Woodward
Christopher Lee

DVD title: Out of Order
Productgroup: DVD
Out of Order - movie DVD cover picture
Don't blame Showtime

The two reviews before mine say that Out of Order was one of the best shows on tv but complain that only the pilot episode is on the dvd. The reason for this has nothing to do with Showtime being greedy. The pilot is also owned by Hallmark, the other episodes are not. Hallmark has a distribution deal with a large video chain (rhymes with RockLuster), so it had to be done this way. If this DVD does well the remaining episodes will follow. This pilot received rave reviews (and made the NY Times list of Best 10 programs of 2003) and should not be penalized because only the pilot is available (so far.) The pilot stands alone and is awesome. Check it out.

Studio: Showtime Entertainme

DVD title: The Quiet American
Productgroup: DVD
The Quiet American - movie DVD cover picture
Caine Shines

"The Quiet American" is a languid and eminently watchable film. I recommend it to all viewers interested in Vietnam and the acting of Michael Caine who plays the lead character, Thomas Fowler.

The film is based on the book by Graeme Greene and it set in the Vietnam of 1952 when French colonial rule was collapsing and the influence of America was correspondingly rising. The country is slowing slipping into chaos from which it will not even begin to emerge for a generation. Some countries are seemingly inflicted with a role in world history that they would rather not experience. Vietnam is one such country.

The film is a wonderful production and owes much to the direction of Phillip Noyce who covers his subject matter with great care. The result is a beautiful but tragic film. Thomas Fowler rises above mediocrity to become a truly successful journalist while the rank opportunism of the US government is exposed for all to see. Vietnam slowly slips into a mire of tragedy. The film, however, is a great result. Make an effort to see it!

Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
Director: Phillip Noyce
Michael Caine
Brendan Fraser
Do Thi Hai Yen

DVD title: The Return of the Living Dead
Productgroup: DVD
The Return of the Living Dead - movie DVD cover picture

In the opening credits, it stats that the movie was based on a true story. Imagine that! The finest horror flic of all time!I've spent the last two years buying the original copies online. Because I thought they would never release it again. I even have the rare alternate ending w/ twelve minutes of never before seen material. Duriing the scene when the tyroxin turns into rain and begins to fall, it has the actual drawings that where used to make the film. Amazing! Anyway to make a long story short I'am absolutly exstatic that they are finally releasing this amazing film on DVD. I cant wait to see the special features If anyone has doubts about this movie, believe me this movie is a must for anyone who enjoys movies. SHOCKING, GOREY, INTERESTING, SUSPENSFUL AND FUNNY......THE ULTIMATE HORROR MOVIE...

Studio: MGM/UA Video
Director: Dan O'Bannon
Clu Gulager
James Karen

DVD title: Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
The Best DVD Ever!

Okay, I'll admit that AUSTIN POWERS 2: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME really did annoy me in the beginning. I guess that's because ever since my older sister got the video for her birthday, both of my two sisters (younger and older), and my father would do impressions and speak parts of the diolouge from the movie because they've seen it so many times and have probably memorized it by now. They'd say stuff like, "Groovy, Baby!" and say other stuff that the characters in the film say. Trust me: It REALLY got annoying! But after my older sister left for college, my father and younger sister stopped doing impressions from the movie so much and so now it's not quite as annoying. In fact, now I find AUSTIN POWERS 2 quite humorous (I especially love the part on "The Jerry Springer Show"! That's the most hilarious part of the movie!). And my favorite character in the film is surprisingly not Austin Powers himself but Scott Evil (played by Seth Green). He's my favorite character because of the way he acts in the movie - if you've seen it, then you'd definitely agree! Of course I still don't love AUSTIN POWERS 2 enough to give it 5 stars, but I'm being fair and giving it 4 stars. (I never really got into the whole AUSTIN POWERS thing anyway to being with.) But if you love comedies (and are either a "fan" of the 70s or have lived in the either takes place in the 60s or 70s, but I forget which one) then you should definitely see this movie!
Totally Groovy, Baby!!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Jay Roach
Mike Myers
Heather Graham

DVD title: Eddie Izzard - Dress to Kill
Productgroup: DVD
Eddie Izzard - Dress to Kill - movie DVD cover picture
Brilliant, intelligent, not miss this!!

I first saw this special on HBO some years ago and was immediately hooked. I have never seen a standup who uses so much intelligence in a performance. His care and knowledge of history, not to mention his take on it, create the most amusing look at world events and history to this day. I saw Eddie live in Chicago a couple of years back and his show was very different (no drag) and just as amusing. If you ever get the chance to see him live do not pass up, he will satisfy the viewer who has a knowledge of history and world events. For those that gave him a 1 star rating -- a highschool education is a minimal requirement to view Eddie Izzard, if none, stick to Carrot Top and Pauly Shore!

Studio: WEA Corp.
Director: Lawrence Jordan (II)
Eddie Izzard

DVD title: Seinfeld - Seasons 1 & 2
Productgroup: DVD
Seinfeld - Seasons 1 & 2 - movie DVD cover picture
Don't make us wait any longer! Please!

Obviously, I'm not the only one who is willing to spend a lot of money on the Seinfeld Series DVDs.

I've been waiting to add this series to my DVD collection for years. I still look forward to watching the show (which is on several channels at the same time) every night, whenever possible.

Give the people what they want! The demand is huge!

Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
Jerry Seinfeld

DVD title: The Blair Witch Project
Productgroup: DVD
The Blair Witch Project - movie DVD cover picture
...and there will be no place to hide

This has got to be by far the most scariest film I have ever seen in my entire life. You're not sure what to expect throughout the whole film. By the reviews it had gotten, I wasn't really sure what to expect. People I knew said it was not scary at all. Some other people said it was the freakiest thing on earth, and all the rest were pretty much mixed reviews from I was open to anything at that point, and just wanted to be scared for a changed. I got more than I bargained for, by an independent film company, I was totally surprised that with a budget under 22,000 dollars, that they could make a movie so good, and so real, it was scary.

The Blair Witch Project follows the story of three young college kids who just want to make a film based around the legend of a witch back in the 1700's that has carried on through the present time. Heather: the leader of this so-called movie crew, Josh: her partner and friend in the business, and Mike: their skeptical sound man are all ready and excited to explore the unknown. But then the three become undeniably lost in the woods just outside of Burkittsville looking for a cemetary. But there's more to the documentary than meets the eye, literally.

Camping out the first few nights, eerie crackling sounds soon come from the distance beyond their campfires light. Heather anxiously wants to find out what it is, but Josh and Mike just want it to go away; wouldn't you? Voodoo dolls are unwantedly found by the unaware trio hanging all over a group of trees, and that same night, children's voices soon surround the area right outside their tent, and the three are attacked. And when Josh suddenly disappears the next day, Heather and Mike aren't even that confident that they can get out of the spiraling vortex the Blair Witch has them trapped in as the two slowly fall to pieces within their own sanity.

I think the thing about the Blair Witch that made it the most scary and hard to get away from was the fact that you can hear all these sounds coming from the woods beyond them, yet the whole time, you never see a thing of it. The movie leaves your mind to do the imagining of what these three really are hearing, which is more scary than anyone can even think about. Is the blair witch really after them? Who were those children, and what did their ghosts look like after Rustin Parr murdered them?

The special features on the DVD are pretty cool. You get the SciFi documentary on the Blair Witch "The Curse of The Blair Witch". It also has a commentary by the five main producers of the film which gives some pretty cool insight on how primitive everything really was when they made the film, and how everything they did made everything all the more scary beyond your TV screens sounds. And I know, the big complaint mostly on the movie is the fact that people are getting motion sickness. I'm probably one of the though ones that can take it probably because I've watched so many home movies, but it's understandable. For people who easily get motion sickness, steer clear of this movie. You'll be puking left and right.

As far as the acting goes, these three unknown actors who go by their real names give such a real portrayal in the ways of their characters desperately trying to get out of the woods, it sends chills up your spine. Their acting almost takes you out of the movie, and into the story their telling all by themselves. Although I could've gone with the use of the "F" word so often, but hey, if you listen close, that's how people talk these days, even at my high school. Pretty sad if you asked me.

But, I really liked the original idea of having footage found and using it as the surroundings to the movie. It's almost as if it's actually being showing right out of the characters eyes, rather than from your own view. You see what they see, and you hear what they hear. No more, no less. And when things even become intense, you feel what they feel. Immediate five stars to the most original, and the most frighteningly real movie of our time. Watch it at night to get the real feel of the film. You'll be hearing what they hear outside your house.

Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Heather Donahue
Joshua Leonard
Michael C. Williams

DVD title: Poltergeist
Productgroup: DVD
Poltergeist - movie DVD cover picture

When two of the greatest directors, horror master Tobe Hooper (creator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" & "Salem's Lot") and filming genius, Steven Spielberg (creator of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" & "Schindler's List") came together, the blockbuster smash-hit, "Poltergeist" was born and blew audiences away worldwide! A classic combo of epic proportions that brought us one of the most horrifying, imaginative, and powerful films ever put on the BIG SCREEN!
Originally released in 1982, Heather O' Rourke plays the main role as loveable (and cute!) Carol-Anne, while JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson (leading star of the 80s T.V. sitcom hit, "Coach"), & Zelda Rubinstein would probably be considered the supporting actors. It is the most original and creative ghost story since "The Exorcist" (1973) & "The Amityville Horror" (1979) about the Freeling family who lives in the beautiful California suburbs. (which is where the movie was filmed) Carol-Anne somehow has a link with the supernatural via the family television set and soon strange and funny things begin to happen: a large earthquake strikes the community, chairs begin moving on their own, and the family dog begins barking for no apparent reason. (Or so it looks from OUR point of view!)
However, the phenomenon soon turns into a terrifying nightmare of unspeakable horrors: the mysterious tree outside in the back yard comes to life and nearly swallows Carol-Annes' brother, Robbie whole; and Carol-Anne is sucked into a parallel demension (the afterlife) through her bedroom closet. Now, it's up to a group of professionals in the study of the paranormal and a gifted elderly psychic to get her back!
(WARNING: Do NOT read this if you have not yet seen the movie. Contains spoilers...)
In the world of the afterlife, Carol-Anne continues to be tormented by the powerful entity (AKA The Beast) and soon her mother must be plunged into the spectral world herself, while her husband and the others assist her safe return in the process. Barely escaping the undead insanity, Carol-Anne and her mother are brought back to our reality through a gateway in the bathroom ceiling.
Everything is back to normal and everyone is safe again... OR SO IT SEEMS! One night, the family agrees to leave their beautiful home but the nightmare isn't over yet! Robbie is attacked by the one thing that scares him, his stuffed clown doll, while the mother tackles head on with the beast ITSELF! The spirits are now PISSED!! Carol-Anne and Robbie are nearly swallowed back into the portal to the afterlife but are saved by their courageous mother.
The father, being a real estate agent arrives home with his boss and is enraged with anger with the discovery that the town cemetary's headstones was moved but the bodies were left buried under the Freeling's home. After a breathtaking escape, all hell breaks loose in the suburbs in an explosive thrill-ride finale! The ending was quite clever and nicely done and once you see it, you'll never think of T.V. sets the same way again! The DVD includes WIDESCREEN & FULLSCREEN animorphic formats and the original theatrical trailer to the film which is nice for an extra treat! But keep in mind that the BONUS extras are pretty limited.
There are absolutely NO BTS footage, let alone cast interviews or director commentaries. During the production of the film, real scary events were reported happening which weren't supposed to happen and ironically a few years later, Heather O' Rourke, Dominique Dunne (who played Carol-Anne and Robbie's older sister, Dana Freeling), & Julian Beck (who played the villain, Kain in the sequel) died. (Heather O' Rourke died before the release of "Poltergeist III") I only hope that maybe in the future a Special Edition 2-disk set of the movie can be available, teaching us what REALLY happened during filming with the cast interviews and such. After all, it would give Tobe Hooper and Spielberg fans a more insight to the movie. For now, this is the best version of the movie you can get and is without doubt, a MASTERPIECE in cinema!
I GIVE IT A 10/10!!!! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS #1 HORROR CLASSIC! BUY TODAY!!! I also recommend, "The Amityville Horror", "Tourist Trap", "The Exorcist", & "The Funhouse" in addition! They are all truly horrifying films in their own unique way.

Studio: Turner Entertainment
Director: Tobe Hooper
JoBeth Williams
Heather O'Rourke

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